Hi everyone. My name is Andrew, and I created this blog to document my ongoing battle to get myself into shape. It’s a bit of an obsession for me, but after reading this, you might understand why.
I’ve struggled with my weight since I was about 13. An interest with computers and the nascent Internet combined with an unhealthy diet, little physical exercise and bad genes meant that I spent much of my teens grossly overweight and hidden from view. I’d love to post a photo from this time, but there aren’t any. I was very embarrassed about my appearance and never allowed people to take my picture. In fact, it was very rare for me to be seen out in public at all.
A few months before my 18th birthday, with university less than a year away, I decided I didn’t want to live this way anymore. At the urging of my brother, I started going to the gym 6 days a week. I drastically altered my diet. I started to participate in sports.
A funny thing happened: for every pound I lost, I gained some self-confidence. I was more comfortable around people and started to open up in social situations. It seemed people were smiling at me more than they ever did before, or maybe it was just me doing all the smiling?
From the fall of 2000 through to January of 2002, I lost 100 lbs. I went from a 46″ waist to a 32″. I had energy and drive I’d never experienced before, and I’d become a certified socialite. I had achieved my goal and the world was my oyster!
I graduated university in the spring of 2004, ready to tackle the world. I got my first real job in I.T., sitting in front of a computer all day. Life was good: I had some money, I was popular and I liked to have fun. I didn’t notice it happening, but with my sedentary work combined with all my after-hours fun, I started to put weight back on.
In 2007, I accepted an offer from my employer to work from home. I was still going to the gym, but I was phoning it in when I actually kept to my schedule and went. Most days, my physical activity for the day was getting out of bed and sitting in my office chair for 12 hours straight. I was working a lot, and eating lots of unhealthy food: mostly take-out and other processed garbage. I knew what was happening but I didn’t want to face it. When I finally did, in early 2008, I had ballooned to over 300 lbs. I was bigger than I had ever been. My self-esteem crashed. About that time, I was unexpectedly laid off from work in a cost-cutting move. Fat and unemployed, things looked very bleak. I went back to living the cloistered existence of my teens.
I spent most of 2009 and 2010 outside of Canada. When I got back, I was eventually able to land a job in my field (Communications)! Things started to look up. I was working with a great group of people, doing a job I really enjoyed. But I still wasn’t happy. In the summer of 2012, I was about to turn 30 and was still well over 300 lbs. For the second time in my life, I resolved to make a change.
The rest of 2012 was filled with starts and stops, and a lot of anger as I tried to get on track. As anyone who has tried to lose a large amount of weight can tell you, it’s like running a marathon on a tight rope. It’s very easy to get distracted and then the whole thing goes off the rails. However, I was lucky enough to know a lady who had gone through the same trials, and she was instrumental in keeping me on track.
When 2013 dawned, I completely changed my philosophy: fitness is now the most important thing in my life. If I miss going to the gym, it should be because I’m in hospital. No more excuses, no more bullshit. I cut A LOT of things out of my diet, and the pounds started to melt away.
I lost a little over 50 lbs in 2013. While that’s great, it’s really only the beginning. I’m still a ways off from my ideal weight, but I’m in a good place and feel like anything is attainable. I’m trying to keep my momentum going in 2014, and this blog is one of the things that will keep me honest and motivated. Still, 50 lbs is a lot. I’m looking and feeling better than I have in a long time, and I’m starting to come out of my shell again. I can honestly say I love working out, and it’s usually the best part of my day.
I’m resolved to make 2014 the best year of my life!!!!
And if you’re wondering what the title of this blog means, it’s my slogan for 2014. I’m big on motivational sayings and slogans as a way of staying on track. “Like Steel” means that when it comes to staying on my diet, I’m going to be hard like steel. When it comes to making time for my fitness, I’m going to be unbending like steel. When it comes to reaching my goals, I’m going to be unwavering…like steel.
Thanks for reading!