I’ve Come a Long Way

I decided it was necessary to clear up space on my hard drive after I discovered my iPhoto Library was over 10 gigabytes. Included in that purge was a photoshoot I did on the beach in Myrtle Beach on an off day from work. I initially deleted all of the photos, but I later took two of them out of the trash.

Here are those two photos.

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This was April 12, 2014, right at the beginning of the season for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the team I worked for as a Video Production Assistant for the 2014 season.

I never published the photos from this photoshoot. I too was self-conscious about my weight. I often made self-deprecating jokes about my weight in the presence of coworkers and friends, but there were days in which I really hated being this overweight.

The baseball season did not help me at all. Most of our workdays were fifteen hours long, and our diet included ballpark food, not the greatest source of nutrition. Everybody who works in baseball will tell you that they really enjoy what they do, myself included. They will also tell you that the season is really bad for your health. The full-time staff frequently went to work out in the middle of the day, and I hardly did that during the season.

When the season concluded in early September, I was 215 pounds, or so I think. I honestly don’t know that for sure. I likely might have weighed even more than that. I didn’t own a scale in my apartment, and I honestly didn’t want to know how heavy I was because it would just make me sad. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to be happy. So, “ignorance is bliss” was my mantra.

I have changed that mantra since I’ve been living in Austin. I decided enough was enough, and I wanted to improve my health. I tried doing this on my own about three years ago, but that ultimately failed and I fell off the wagon again.

I started working with a personal trainer, Marlo Kovach, and she’s worked with me three times a week. On the days I haven’t worked with her, I’ve done cardio work.

Adding a workout regimen was the easiest change. Completely changing how I ate, on the other hand, was one hell of an adjustment.

No more once-a-week hamburgers. No more pound-of-penne pasta dinners. No more two naan bread sandwiches stuffed with provolone cheese and either roast beef, turkey or pastrami for lunch. Those were just a few examples of foods I ate during the baseball season. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was unhealthy.

There were some nights the fans in the restaurant suites didn’t eat all of the food they ordered, so the staff brought the leftovers to us in the press box. These were usually leftover hamburgers, brownies, hot dogs and cookies. (One night they brought two whole trays of meatballs!) On a long night after a game, those staff members were our best friends. I knew the food wasn’t good for me, but I didn’t care.

Now that I do care about what I eat and work out six days a week, I have seen significant change in just two months. I started around 215 pounds, and I now weigh 199. I hadn’t seen a 1 in front of two numbers on the scale in three years, when I was a sophomore in college.

Here are before and after photos from when I started working out and eating better. (Photos courtesy of Marlo Kovach)

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September 20, 2014: ~215 pounds

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November 5, 2014: 200 pounds

When I look at myself in the mirror, sometimes the thought that creeps into my mind is, “I look exactly the same…” I look at these photos and know that is completely untrue. I know it’s untrue because all my clothes fit better. I know it’s untrue because I can set the elliptical level to 13 and not run out of breath at 80 RPM.

Full disclosure, I’m not quite where I want to be. I still have a lot of work left to do. I want to get down to around 180-185 pounds. I have a plan in place to accomplish this, and I will reach this goal.

Just for grins, while I was writing this post, I decided to take a self-portrait from the apartment balcony with my DSLR (my front-facing camera on my phone isn’t the greatest).

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I normally don’t take these kinds of photos, but perhaps I’ll take some more in the future. I’m quite happy with how this one turned out. I’m also quite happy in general.

What a difference a loss of 16 pounds makes. Can’t wait to see what 14 fewer pounds will do for me.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote awareness for ALS research.

I had my roommate dump a cooler from the third story of our apartment building on me to fulfill the challenge.

The ice hitting to GoPro makes a great sound.