Ever have one of those eventful weeks where life is crazy and you think you’re going to go nuts from event overload but some pretty dang cool things happened?
Yeah, that was my week.
Here are some highlights that relate to my health journey:
• The Utah Jazz held a neat reunion for members of the 1997 team, which was the first in the organization’s history to make it to the NBA Finals. It was fun to interview some guys that I really admire, including Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, and guys that are always entertaining and goofy like former Utah center Greg Ostertag.
One of the personal highlights was getting to shake Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan’s hand. He and his wife Tammy have really been supportive when they’ve seen me over the past basketball season.
Here’s the fun little conversation Sloan and I had when we saw each other:
Coach Sloan: “Are you still losing weight?”
Me: “Yep. One hundred and fifty-one pounds now!”
“You feel good?”
“Even better than I look!”
“Well, you look pretty damn good!”
• I know some of you don’t like looking at other people’s toes and feet. My apologies. (Truth be told … sorry, not sorry.) While I’m not a foot person either, I find it interesting to compare my feet to where they were a year ago.
Can you imagine how much less stress there is on my feet now that I’ve lost 153 pounds!? (Yes, I’ve dropped two more since my conversation with Coach Sloan!) Look how bloated they were. They were often sore, uncomfortable and tired. Look at them now! You can see veins! They feel great — and, yes, they fit much, much better in my shoes.
• The other day I parked on the highest level of a medium-sized parking structure. I took the stairs down to get to work. That was easy. After work, I decided to hike back up them. That wasn’t so easy. With a very heavy backpack on, I hoofed it up those stairs — all 139 of them — without stopping. Sure, my legs burned a bit going up, but, heck, I would’ve been uncomfortable walking to the elevator last year. I can’t tell you how empowering it felt to take myself to higher levels on my own power that night. There’s some powerful symbolism in there.
Seeing this massive difference in my feet makes me wonder what kind of positive changes have been made elsewhere in my body in places where we can’t easily see.
Can you imagine how much easier it is for my heart to pump blood around my body?
Can you imagine how much more efficient it is for my lungs to deliver oxygen without all that extra weight pressing against them?
Can you imagine how much happier my stomach is to be nourished with healthy food instead of junk?
Can you imagine how much better my soul and mind feel now that I’ve taken control of my life?
• When I arrived at my hotel after hiking up to the top of that parking structure, I changed the alarm on my phone to 4:45 a.m. (which was really 2:45 a.m. where I live). I had an early flight to catch, so that unfortunately meant a short night of sleep after covering the Utah Jazz game in Indiana the night before and not getting to my hotel until midnight.
The good news is that I ended up getting six hours of sound sleep that night. The bad news is that I forgot to actually turn the alarm on in my phone, so I didn’t wake up until 6:45 a.m. — two hours late and right as my plane was taking off from the airport on the other side of Indianapolis.
I hopped out of bed, got dressed and headed to the airport to try to get a stand-by seat. I was fortunate to get the Emergency Row to myself on the first flight to Atlanta, but I wasn’t so fortunate on the flight from Atlanta to Salt Lake City. The only seat available on this packed flight? A middle seat, of course.
A year ago, I probably would have waited for the next flight or the next flight and maybe even the next one to try to get an aisle seat. And if I had to take that flight in the middle seat, I would have been completely uncomfortable. My whole health journey started when I wrote a blog about how miserable I was being the fat guy on the plane! And I would have been completely ashamed and self-conscious for spilling over into the personal space of my neighbors.
Having a middle seat this time wasn’t ideal — I don’t care how skinny I get, it never will be — but it was just fine. I fit perfectly inside of my seat, easily buckled up and had as comfortable of a four-hour flight as possible inside of a sardine can.
• I saw a Jazz fan from the Midwest this past week in Indianapolis, exactly one year to the day after we met in Milwaukee last year. Matt didn’t recognize me at first. He smiled and told me, “Twitter doesn’t do you justice.” (Meaning posted photos vs. real life.) His girlfriend was with him both times. Jocelyn smiled and said, “That’s one hell of an improvement!” He then ordered, no kidding, a 38-ounce prime rib that looked like something Fred Flintstone would’ve eaten. I had the famous St. Elmo’s shrimp cocktail and much smaller piece of steak — with some veggies, of course!
• The parking structure at my office has very narrow stalls. The other day, I just managed to fit my old Toyota 4-Runner in between another SUV and a sedan and barely had enough room to open the door on the driver’s side by about one foot. A year ago — even six months ago — I wouldn’t have come close to being able to squeeze my morbidly obese body through that opening to exit the vehicle. Surprisingly, I didn’t have an issue getting out of my car and sliding through the tight corridor between SUVs. It was a strange but fun NSV (non-scale victory). I had a harder time getting my stupidly heavy backpack — I swear I’m worse than a girl with a loaded purse — out of the backseat.
• As much as I don’t like traveling for my job sometimes — it’s not as glamorous as it seems — the welcome reception at home is always awesome. Big hugs, big smiles and big heartwarming moments when your kids say things like 4-year-old Jack did when I returned from an eight-day trip to the Midwest.
“Dad, I love you home.”
This week’s weigh-in:
- Starting weight (March 6, 2016): 373.7 pounds
- New Year’s Day weight (Jan. 1, 2017): 262.0
- Last week’s weight (March 17, 2017): 223.7
- This week’s weight (March 24, 2017): 220.7
- This week’s loss: 3.0 pounds
- Total loss: 153.0 pounds