All through my childhood I was actually underweight, and maintaining my weight was exceptionally easy because I was pretty active, and also receiving physical therapy as part of keeping me healthy and fit because of my disability (more on that later).
Well, eventually the physical therapy came to an end at 16 years old. Back then, I silently cherished this day because I absolutely LOATHED essentially being "forced" to undergo physically demanding exercises on a regular basis. So naturally once that stopped, I felt like I was "free" and didn't keep up with it.
That's where it all went south, as they say. My decline into fatness started slowly, gaining a few lbs here and there, but as I was underweight it didn't become apparent for a while. I actually was filling out and looking better with a little more meat on those bones (for the record, I was 116 lbs at 16 years old... I'm 5'0" but even that's a little too low). So I went from a super scrawny kid to a "fuller" kid. No problem.
Well around 17-18 years old, I got pressure sores from sitting down all the time (hard to help that being in a wheelchair, and all). This resulted in tons of time in bed, while maintaining my "eat what I want, just because" attitude to food (I mean, I always could eat what I wanted without gaining weight, so... yeah.). The lack of activity plus crap eating habits caught up to me even more, and I was actually starting to become legitimately fat.
Once the pressure sores healed though, I wasn't as active as before. I went from primarily using my crutches, to going exclusively for my wheelchair, and I was eating worse than I ever did - fast food multiple times a day. At one point, that's all I ate - I refused to eat much else.
I gained a little more than 10 lbs every year, until one day two years ago I went to the doctor and was weighed. I tipped the scales at a whopping (for me) 208 lbs. The very last time I was weighed I was 122. That is a HUGE increase, and my ultimate wake-up call.
That very day I started eating healthier, and at my next appointment three months later my doctor was literally AMAZED that I had lost 36 lbs since the last visit. I gave up soda cold turkey, I set an arbitrary calorie limit of 1800 (I wasn't even using MFP at this point, but I was counting in my head), and the lbs just started coming off. Every subsequent weigh in I was lighter and lighter, and within less than a year (11 months, to be exact) I was at 75 lbs lost, my original goal weight.
For eight years I was miserable, because I used my disability as a reason I couldn't lose the weight. I have Spina Bifida, and although I have the "worst" form of it, I have never been considered handicapped by my family, and don't usually consider myself handicapped either, but alas I used it as a reason why I was fat and could *never* be the fit guy I was before, even *if* the fact that I *was* fit before proved that I could be again. I worked around my limitations, such as cardio via "wheeling" around the neighborhood, which was my primary exercise before I figured out a routine of body weight exercises I could do, then ultimately figuring out ways to incorporate heavy lifting with dumbbells and kettlebells, which I do six days a week now.
When I look back at pictures of the person I used to be, and the person I am now, I honestly feel like a different person. Stephen is my former self, I can't identify with that person. He is gone, and I'm reborn. Who I am today is by far the best example of myself, and I will forever maintain this lifestyle because I'm infinitely happier and can finally say that I love myself and where I'm going.
Why I want to get in shape
Because I want to be the best I can possibly be.
- Being able to wear the clothes I WANT to wear, and look good IN them.
- A longer, healthier life.
View All (95)