Over the course of the last almost 11 years, I have waged war, in my own personal life, against a variety of things. Alcohol. Substance abuse. Cigarettes. Marital difficulties. Bad choices in general. And in bits and pieces, food, and basic laziness. Most of these little nuisances, although some weren’t so little, were dealt with via the business end of the sword. Slayed, never to be returned again. But…there’s a difference.
No one needs to drink. Or drug. Or smoke. But, we all have to eat. There’s little getting around that. Certainly we can redefine what eating is, and the purpose. We can transform our relationship with food, but we can never just not incorporate food into our life. That just isn’t real. And for today, I can say with confidence that I have victory over this portion of my life. But, I’m not ready to rest back on my laurels because, I almost had it once before.
It was a few years ago, and I was doing mostly everything right. But, I was missing some of the main, and replacing the main with…fluff. And because of that, all the weight that I fought to flush away came roaring back. 3 years ago, I was close to getting over that 100 pound mark. But, the gym I was at closed, and it rocked my foundation. And even though I continued at another location in Dallas, the buy in I had went away. I justified a lot of things, and ate mostly right but…portions were utterly insane, and the only reason I was able to maintain my weight, and occasionally lose a pound or 3 was because, I was literally working out 2-3 hours a day. So while I had the supplements down, the exercise on point, the community aspect….I was still completely off on food. and there is literally no way to out work bad nutrition. Even if it’s organic, Paleo approved good food. So, as time wore on my weight yo yo’d based on my attendance at said gym. Eventually, Downsize (The gym in question) also closed it’s Dallas location which left me in a precarious position. From the time it closed in 2015, to November 2016, I would gain almost 100 pounds.
I started off with noble intentions. I would walk. I would eat right. I would do all these things…and I did for a little while. I walked almost 40 miles the first month they were closed. But, walking alone with a poor heart posture is about as effective as studying the Bible under duress. Your work is edifying, but it’s not actually producing fruit. It’s just satisfying a requirement. and eventually I missed a day. And then a week. And then a month.
Against All Odds
And then, it happened one day. All the work had put in. The mobility I had gained. The heartbeats per minute I had lost. The passion for pushing myself…it was all gone. I was left out of shape, unable to manage life on my own terms in any capacity whatsoever. My blood pressure was through the roof. High carb, high protein, high fat…horrible combination. I was pretty close to throwing in the towel. I was prepared for the reality that, if I’m lucky I’ll see my two eldest graduate, but was pretty certain I wouldn’t make it through my youngest ones graduation. I didn’t like the idea per se, but I was also just being aware of reality. But, something happened on the way to the casket.
Desperation is a great motivator. I got a little desperate in August of 2016, but not enough to act. I sought out gyms, trainers, but…I couldnt find anyone that would take me on as a client, for a reasonable financial commitment. (As an aside, fitness people that prey on desperate out of shape, hopeless people, are no different than rehabs that do the same.) In any case, the feeling passed, and the law of inertia continued to be true: An object not in motion, stays not in motion.
But then it happened, again. That familiar desperate feeling crept in. I was so desperate, I would have done anything that didnt involve violating my faith at that point. and only because I was sure whatever I agreed to very well may kill me. Not kidding. Whatsoever. I talked to a few old Advocare people, and they said this horrible, dirty word to me: Crossfit. Mind you, I knew enough about Crossfit to know it was, and to know that I was right to believe I might die trying to get better. But if that’s what it took, then by golly…let’s Crossfit our way into the Father’s presence. And, I was right to believe this because at the time, I could not walk a mile. Not at all exaggerating: .6 of a mile was gassing me. And yes, that is a period in front of the six. 3/5ths of one mile was hard…so I expected Crossfit to be, bad. But, I was gonna try. No matter what.
I almost never walked into that gym. We pulled up, and I knew at that moment, that I needed to fight or fly. I walked in, and walked out in probably less than 30 minutes. At the end of the day, I had sold my soul to Codi Morris and Crossfit 116. And I was sure by Monday, I would be dead. And you might laugh, but I wasn’t kidding.
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper
I went home, and put my affairs in order. Not outwardly, but inwardly, there was repentance and God seeking unlike anything I’d experienced since 2006. The weekend passed quickly, and there it was. Monday. I didn’t sleep much. Some out of fear. Some because, a piece of me still had some fight in it, and I suspected this guy had zero expectation of me showing up at 6:30. I stupidly showed up at 6AM, and watched what I suspected was about to happen: torture. Worse than anything Pinhead ever conjured up. In fact, I was certain that Pinhead himself was about to greet me with his infamous, “We have such sights to show you” line. But he didn’t. I prayed. Fought off every desire to leave, and waited. I survived the stretching, and warm ups, which was no small miracle, and began my first day at a Crossfit box. I came home and slept for three hours, but I did it.
And that was my existence through March. I did lose weight because, how could I not? But I was still struggling, and that came to a head in the month of March. I had gained most of what I lost, over Spring Break. And that’s when I decided, I was truly ready to go all in.
Eye of the Tiger
It started with my old friend, Advocare. A 24 day Challenge later, and most of the weight I regained the month of March was gone. I slipped slowly into a Keto way of eating, and it finally clicked. Between the supplements, and hte way of eating, the obsession with food was lifted. The work outs became for health, not for weight loss. In fact, I worked out very little over the summer, and still lost close to 50 pounds. I even lost 5 pounds during a trip to Florida. And now the difference was, I had buy in. and people were noticing. And that decision was made: Cant stop, wont stop. I follow a simple eating plan. I take world class supplements. I workout 2-3 times a week. And it’s as simple as that.
I can’t go back from whenst I came. I got my life back. I enjoy food, but in a different way. I’m received better by people. Now whether that’s because of them, or me…I don’t know. I am the one who made decisions based on self that put me in a position to be hurt: not them.
Hearts on Fire
And now, I continue. I’m going to lose another 100 pounds. I’m going to see the crops I allowed the locusts to carry away be restored. I will be a man of action. A man of purpose. I will ride roller coasters. Vomitron’s. And all the things I’ve shied away from, due to weight. I owe that to my kids. I will do right by them, by my wife, and by my God. I will not be a sideline participant in this gift we call life. God has a purpose for me. I have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and my testimony…well, I hope it blesses you. I’m not finished. It’s still super awkward when people ask me how I did it. I guess the easiest answer is, I submitted. Yes, I had to dig deep and participate in this process. I had to say yes to a lot of things I didn’t want to, and no to many things I wanted to say yes to. But it’s so worth it. My kids, my wife, and my friends relate to me differently. And I’m not even remotely offended. At the time of this blog, I have lost 102 pounds.
If you would like to talk about specifics, feel free to contact me. I don’t have all the answers, but I know what works: a combination of solid nutrition, Advocare, and fitness. I have a lot of people I need to thank, and I’ll undoubtedly leave some off but….thank you.
To my wife…I love you. I want to honor you, and continue to do that as long as I can. Same for my kids. That means you Lauren, as well as the boys.
To my trainers that have poured into me over the years…I have hated and loved you in some degree many times, and I appreciate what you’ve poured into me. So thank you Codi, Manda, Carrie, Emily, Honey, and the rest that have dragged me down this recovery road, with my heels often firmly dug in.
To my friends that have been around thick and thin, thank you.
To Michael Bolton, that originally introduced me to Advocare, thank you. Though we have journeyed down different paths, your influence is still appreciated.
To Brad Love and Chris Smith, your guidance into Crossfit is sometimes cursed under my breath, but it is truly appreciated. Thank you for speaking truth to me.
And to Jeremy Jarvis…my Keto connect, and truly a man of God in my life…Love ya man. You have no idea how much our family appreciates you, and yours.
Oh…if you’re ready to get started on your journey, have a click for yourself:
If you are in the North Ft Worth area, and are interested in Crossfit 116:
Hope this answers some questions. I appreciate your listening as I took you through a snapshot of my life.