A few weeks ago, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I weighed 373.7 pounds. It was the heaviest I’ve been in my entire life.
It’s not surprising that I reached that weight. For the most part, I pretty much gave up on myself the past few years. My “squishy tummy” (my 7-year-old’s playful description) and my massive weight gain were reflections of inner struggles with apathy, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, stress and a woe-is-me attitude I’ve lamented in for quite some time.
It’s time to change.
It’s time to change — for good.
Best part about that?
The change has already begun.
Shortly after I weighed in just 26.3 pounds away from weighing 400 — something that would’ve been my reality this summer if I’d stayed on my previous path — I went to my doctor. We had a good chat. We did the same thing last year when I thought I was ready to change my life. I explained that I’d lost 30 pounds after taking a month off from work in the spring of 2015, but then (as so often happens) my commitment fizzled.
Thirty lost pounds rapidly returned. Then another 22ish LBS joined the pity party.
Not surprisingly, my compassionate doctor made some suggestions. We decided it’d be best if I returned to taking my meds for depression/anxiety, for blood pressure (just a bit high, thankfully) and a diuretic to help relieve my swollen legs.
We also had a chat about the D-word.
No, not dishes, dentist or demagoguery.
D-I-E-T. Yeah, that D-word.
The doc suggested that I really need to either to follow a healthy diet program or seriously think about weight-loss surgery.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve actually even entertained the thought of weight-loss surgery, which I know is a great tool for many but honestly something I’d rather avoid. My big-bottom line: Something needs to happen, and the sooner the better.
I ended up telling my doctor that I wanted to try one more time without going under the knife and asked about an optimal health program with which my wife and other women in my neighborhood have had some terrific results.
He recommended it — as I’m sure he would have done for a variety of healthy weight-loss options — so that’s the path I’ve chosen to follow for at least the next month. Honestly, I have some reservations about a few things (cost, portion sizes, unfamiliarity, trying something new, etc.).
Nevertheless — does anybody say that anymore? — I’ve committed to sticking with it for the next 30 days. I recently talked about my weight-loss whys (click here for that video). This is my how.
It’s Aprils Fools today, but this is no joke. I’m done fooling around with my health and happiness.
I had an experience last week during a LIMITLESS motivational seminar that reinforced my desire to change my body and my mind. (Check out the video at the bottom of the blog to see how I became The Next Karate Kid and had a breakthrough on a limiting belief.)
This is all happening while I’m trying to help my wife and two oldest kids earn money for a humanitarian trip to Kenya later this spring. We’ve been blessed to have received generous donations (money, items for an upcoming yard sale, gift certificates) from awesome people. We still need to raise a few more thousand dollars to be able to afford the $9,000ish price.
As such, I decided to do a weight-loss fundraiser: Jody’s Changing For Good Challenge! That title signifies my new “change for good” lifestyle attitude along with the fact that I’m trying to do some good while changing.
When I mentioned this on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, a bunch of people said they wanted to participate in the weight-loss challenge. We even received some cool prizes to give out to some of the people who play along! (More details on that later.)
I’ve come up with a couple of options for those who want to change for good with me:
- POUND PLEDGE: Simply pick an amount of money you want to donate per pound I lose in the month of April. You could donate a quarter per pound, a dollar per pound or even $1 million per pound. Whatever works! You can share that number with me or keep it to yourself until the end of April for my final weigh-in. Then you can donate that amount to my PayPal or to the YouCaring page I set up for my wife and kids. I might even have a special prize for anybody who loses more weight than me (percentage-wise, to make it fair).
- PARTICIPATE PART I: Join me in eating healthy for a month! If this is your preferred option, I’d simply ask you to kindly donate at least $5 to my PayPal or the YouCaring page AND send me a note on Twitter, Facebook or via email (email@example.com) so I can put you in the prize pool (unless you’d prefer to remain anonymous).
- PARTICIPATE PART II: If you already eat well or don’t feel like going on a diet, donate at least $5 and pick a different healthy habit to focus on each each day. For example, you could work on mental health by reading inspiring books, listening to motivational speakers, praying, meditating, doing daily affirmations to build self-esteem, or whatever helps! Or you could try to become more positive and focus on keeping your thoughts and actions aligned with your intentions. Or you could try to be more service-oriented and do something kind for somebody every day of the month. You choose! Drop me a note if you want to be included in the drawing for prizes.
- WALK-A-THON: After the April challenge wraps up, I thought it’d be fun to put on an event to promote physical activity. For this one, you can choose to pledge an amount of money for every lap I take around a track or a decent-sized park during a defined time frame (probably an hour). I’m hoping you will all join me for this walk. At the end, we’ll do a raffle and give out prizes to those who participated in the month-long challenge.
By the way, I’ve lost 15.7 pounds since I hit rock bottom (after writing this blog about being the fat guy on the plane). My official April 1 starting weight for the Jody’s Changing For Good Challenge: 358.0.
That number shouldn’t get comfortable. It’s going to change very soon.
As I wrote, everybody who joins my challenge in one way or the other this month — let’s say before April 6th — will be eligible for some really cool prizes that have been donated by awesome local businesses.
(P.S. If you’d like to donate something to give away as prizes or for refreshment, please let contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to give your business some extra love on my blog and my social media channels. My Twitter @DJJazzyJody has more than 16,000 awesome followers.)
One last thing: I was touched by an incredible speech by a motivational speaker named Les Brown that I just watched. He shared this amazing quote that has me even more fired up to become a fit, healthy and inspiring man.
If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it,
to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace
and sleep for it …
If all that you dream and scheme is about it and life seems
useless and worthless without it …
If you gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it and
lose all your terrror of the opposition for it …
If you simply go after that thing that you want with all your
capacity, strength and sagacity, faith hope and confidence
and stern pertinacity …
If neither cold, poverty, famine, nor gout, sickness nor pain
of body and brain, can keep you away from the thing that
you want …
If dogged and grim you beseech and beset it, with the help
of God, YOU WILL GET IT!
— Les Brown