Hey there! I have to say that I am honored that you have taken an interest in learning a little about me, why I’m here… and how the heck I became a blogger. Well, would you be disappointed if I said I had no clue? Ok, so I know who I am, and have some idea of how this happened, it’s just that there is so much to tell and some of it can be quite hazy at times. Let’s hit the high points…
In case you didn’t already know this, I’m Lloyd – aka, fatman (pka, Jr., Bubba, Ace, Big Red, and probably some other things I won’t mention in case the kids are still up). I’m a semi-retired (totally a question of perspective… mine or my clients’) graphic designer. I’m Dad to two awesome grown kids, Ashley and Jonathan, and my “might as well be daughter”, Kayla (Ashley’s best friend). I am also the lucky husband of MY inspiration, and partner on this journey, Sandy, who by the way, has had quite an amazing journey herself! (See how I did that? Guest posts in the making!). Been doing this life thing for a half century now, and yep I’ve been a pretty hefty guy for most of it.
I grew up in the seventies… Pre “fat acceptance” era, so name calling, snickering and worse were a fairly common occurrence. Embarrassed to shower after gym class, too big for amusement park rides, shopping the big & tall stores (even as a kid)… yup, all that and more. But even that wasn’t the motivation I needed. Oh yeah, some days I hated being fat, but for the most part status quo was the easy way out.
I made it to adulthood, and even though there were a few short stints of weight loss, including several years in the mid-eighties as the lead singer in various rock bands, I was still not healthy. Weight loss induced by lack of sleep, constant performing and rehearsing, and some other “chemical assistance” that was popular in the eighties, was not healthy and was destined to be short lived… it was (luckily I wasn’t).
So fast forward a few years… around the end of 2014 I had one of those “lightbulb” moments. I saw so many people around me in bad health, and worse… dying. At 407 pounds, and only mildly active, I realized I was headed down a dark path. The epiphany of realizing your own mortality is strong stuff! There was a spark.
Sandy was already tinkering around with one of the social/diet plan/food tracking apps, sparkpeople.com (which will be the subject of a future review/comparison) and was having success tracking food & activity, meal planning, etc.. There was fuel.
One of us (neither Sandy nor I will own up to it) suggested that we try running. There was this cool program called “Couch to 5k”. So we downloaded one of the accompanying apps and headed out on the road. Our first run was, well let’s just say the 30 seconds of running we actually managed was the polar opposite of an Olympic distance runner. But for some reason we did it again… and again. More fuel.
That same year, we had just taken the plunge on a new motorhome. In turn, we started travelling more, which we both really enjoy. Then it hit me like that proverbial “ton of bricks”, I was just like, “Sh*t, I want to be able to do this for as long as possible, and really be able to DO it! I want to hike, climb mountains, ride thrill rides, shop in regular size stores…” The list went on. Spark, fuel, flame… Motivation, check!
So here we are… a couple years later, and 150 pounds or so pounds lighter. Obviously I’ve condensed the history a bit for the purposes of this short bio. There’s so much more I look forward to sharing with you through the vehicle of this blog. So many more dimensions to this journey.
So why share my story? At first I was baffled by the idea that someone would give two hoots about how I did something. Then I started having people ask, “how have you done it?”, “what’s your secret?”, and “what made it stick this time?” I even had a couple friends and family members say “I might try to start running”. So then I thought, what if I had read my story 20 years ago? What if that story inspired me to make even a small change? What if it helped me be even a tiny bit healthier? What if my story could find it’s way to someone out there who is in the same position I was in a couple years ago? What if that story spurred a discussion about a healthier lifestyle? I know I am giving this humble story the benefit of numerous doubts. Yes, there are an awful lot of “what ifs” here, but seriously… what if?
And so it begins. I encourage you to join me as I share my journey… where it’s been, and where it is going. My sincere hope is that you’ll take from this blog, this story, this community some small piece of knowledge, motivation and maybe even the inspiration to help you begin, continue or rekindle your own personal journey.
And we’re off!