Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week 40


Before I begin this entry, I am going to make a format change.  I am not going to do weekly update videos anymore, as they take a very long time to produce, and I just don't have that kind of time anymore.  With my busy job, I find myself with only 48 precious hours on the weekend to take care of personal business.  When my family finally comes down to live with me, in a couple of weeks, I'll have even less time to do them,  I think I will do monthly update videos instead because although I'm busy I think I can find at least some hours once a month to put something together.

Okay, that being said, I want to start this update entry by saying that I miss my family.  I have been away from them for about 2 months now, and I'm counting down the days and hours until I can see them again, which will be August 9th.  I especially miss my wife.  This is the longest we've been apart in over eight years, and believe me when I say it royally sucks to be separated for this long.  I have a new found respect for our service men and women because they go for far longer without seeing their spouses, kids, and pets.

I just didn't know how integral my wife was to this weight loss program until I left for Utah a couple months back.  I thought that I'd have nothing but time, so I'd slam workouts until I sweat blood.  To be truthful, I wish I had.  But as it turns out, I found myself working a lot more at my job than I expected.  I was accustomed to working just 34 or so hours a week in Washington; it's one of the reasons I chose to change jobs.  In Utah, I find myself working 50+ hours a week.  That's 16 hours more than I am used to.  It's good because working less than forty hours a week for the last year and a half was really getting old.  The unintended consequence, however, was that my workouts suffered.

Being out in the field for 10-12 hours a day meant that I was eating out more than I was used to and with the shock to my body in regards to heat (it's been in the 90's every week here as opposed to 60's in Washington), I found my energy reserves drained at the end of the day.  I still do because my company is really working me over here.  It's not bad though.  I'm getting a lot more money here than I did in Washington.

Since I was fortunate to have in laws that really care about my family and me, they opened their home so I would have a place to stay while waiting for my wife and kids.  It's been a blessing and I'm truly grateful for their kindness and generosity.  Having their daughter come home to UT might have been an incentive too, but I think it's been good for both our families.  I really do like it here.

I didn't want to sign up for any gym until I knew where we were going to live.  It's not like these memberships are cheap, and if it's one thing I've learned from having a gym 8 miles from my house, it's that if it is not convenient, I'm less likely to go.  I needed something that was very convenient and works with my schedule.  The good news is that I was able to find such a place.  After searching for the perfect gym, I figured it out.

It actually came to me when I realized that my body is still used to getting up at 5-5:30 am.  My old job started at 7 am, so I was accustomed to getting up two hours early to get ready for work and get into Seattle's worst traffic on my 25 mile commute to work on I5.  My current employer starts at 8am most days, with the occasional early start.  My body still wants to get up around 5:30 am or so.

Now, here's something I never considered before, but have taken full advantage of now.  Vision Quest opened their doors at 7 am, so a morning workout was never an option.  But I signed up for 24 Hour Fitness here in the Salt Lake valley, and wouldn't you know it, the freeway off ramp leads right to the gym, literally.  I get off the freeway, and go straight through the stop light into the parking lot!  Now that's convenience.  The best part is that it is right on my way to work.  So, with that in mind, I just get up in the morning, put on my gym clothes, stuff my street clothes into my gym bag, head to the gym, knockout a good workout for 45 minutes to an hour, and take advantage of the fact that the gym has private showers.  Now I can work out most days and not affect the time I have with my family in the afternoons.

This is where Lindsay comes back into the picture.  She is the wind beneath my wings in this endeavor to become fit and healthy again.  If it weren't for her, I would have never gotten as far as I have.  It was Lindsay that would kick me in the butt to get to the gym when I felt lazy, and it was Lindsay would would prepare wonderful meals that are healthy and tasty.  It was Lindsay who made the real sacrifice because as I would go to the gym, I'd be gone an hour or more every night while she stayed home with the kids, making sure the house wasn't a disaster and that my nutritionally dense dinner was ready for me when I got home.  All I had to do was show up.  People look at me and tell me I'm an inspiration for them because they want to have the kind of success that I've enjoyed all this time.  I've heard comments on how hard it must be to sacrifice so much to lose weight and get into shape.  But truthfully, once it becomes habit, it's no longer a sacrifice; at least for me anyway.  I actually look forward to going to the gym and leaving all those Sausage McMuffins I used to eat on the gym floor in the form of sweat.  I have actually come to enjoy the time I have there because it's just me and my dedication to myself.  It's been said that in order to get into shape, you must put yourself first, and that's exactly what I did.  Of course, I'm doing this for the benefit of my family too, but in all honesty, what I'm doing is selfish and necessary to be a better me - not only for the benefit of my wife and kids, but most of all, I'm doing this for el numero uno, me.

On the other hand, Lindsay has spent all that time I spent in the gym alone without me.  I know she missed me when I was away turning my fat into sweat and dropping lbs like they were going out of style.  If I'm at the gym, I'm not at home, and I'm not with my family.  She knows it's a necessary sacrifice on her part; she wants me to succeed.  She wants a healthy, fit, and trim husband.  She wants me to be around long enough to see my grandchildren.  She wants me to be free of preventable disease and live healthier.  She wants me to be upbeat and outgoing - not depressed and sedentary.  She wants all these things for me, and she is willing to take on the responsibility of being my conscience and my right hand in this effort.  She knows what's at stake here and she jumped in feet first like I did, without hesitation, without second thoughts, and without looking for something in return.  She did this because she loves me.

And how do I repay such devotion, such sacrifice, such love, and such kindness?  I work out.  I lose the weight.  I make the effort to eat right and not cheat my diet.  I bring results to the table - results she can see.  I do this because she loves me enough to sacrifice so much to let me do this successfully without failure.  I do it because I love her more than anything and want to see her sacrifices bear fruit.  You think it's easy for her?  I don't.

The irony is that I didn't realize just how important she is to this program until I put 900 miles between us.  It's the little things she'd do to keep me motivated.  She'd drop the hints, call me out on the carpet, tell me to hold back, say to me that I don't need that candy bar, or drink that soda.  She'd buy healthy groceries and bring home healthy foods, research nutritious meals and prepare them.  It took me a couple months to finally realize it, but I have, and I appreciate her so much more for it.

When I signed up for this new gym membership, I vowed to myself that I would make a big change in my thinking.  No longer is this about me.  I realize that now.  I'm no longer going through the motions or telling myself to take it easy at the gym today because of whatever.  Nope, every lb lost and every drop of sweat I leave behind is dedicated to the sacrifice and devotion that Lindsay has given to me selflessly and willingly so I could be a better man.

Yes, I faltered a little bit by focusing more on work than working out, and gained a few lbs.  But since signing back up and getting into the gym this last week, I've already dropped 3 lbs and am well on my way to making up for lost time.  Down to 255 lbs from the increase to 258, I'm recharged, ready to RAWK OUT, and I'm rolling like a juggernaut to drop more weight than ever before.  By the time Lindsay comes to be with me, I will be back into the full routine and making it happen.  My goal is to have most the weight left to lose gone by my birthday.  My goal is to be at final weight by Christmas!  But I'm not alone.  I truly understand that now.

My true inspiration is my wife Lindsay because I know that she is paying the real price for all this, and I am devoted to being successful, not just for myself anymore, but for her as well.

-James

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