I was your typical Canadian kid. A bit overweight from grade 3 and up. A bit awkward, never really knew the right things to say kinda guy. Not much of an athlete. Likable by almost everyone but loved by none.
I kind of floated through public school, my head always in the clouds. To avoid getting teased I developed a quick wit, a sharp tongue and I planted myself behind a block wall and refused to let people in.
By the time I went to high school my confidence rating was a solid zero. Oh, I was smart enough when I chose to apply myself, but I rarely did. It was easier to be a wallflower, to stand back and not get noticed. To just keep thinking.
My nickname in high school was Piggy, from that horrible book the Lord of the flies. Of course I didn’t like it, I hated it, it just shoved me down deeper inside myself.
I guess I was luckier than a lot of people, I had a solid group of friends and they liked me and made me feel like I fit in. We were a group that never really cared what anyone else thought. We just did our own thing.
At that point in my life I did not like anyone outside of my circle. Oh, you would never know it, but I would have rather you kept quiet and just walked on by. Some that knew me back then would have never guessed, but I never really let it out.
So let’s see, as a young man I was smart, fat, had some friends and even my first real girlfriend. But I wasn’t happy. I needed a change. So I did what a lot of people do. I ran away from the life I knew, put a cap on that bottle and moved across the country to redefine myself. Armed with my wits and less than $1,000 I headed west.
West was good. It was amazing. No one knew me, not one detail, other than I was overweight and confident. That was the first thing I changed about myself. I was not going to be a wallflower any more. Not the healthiest decision to bottle up the past as if tends to blow up later (but that’s what I did). I also learned that I was not a quitter.
I will skip through this part a bit quick. I met a girl, turned into a vegan and lost a ton of weight. I drank like a fish and never really dealt with any issues. I just created a separate personality. One that I absolutely loved. I was fun, I was a leader and I felt like I ruled the world. The only problem was is that it was all a show.
That was until it was time to grow up. I moved back east, I found a job I hated, working as a Supervisor in a manufacturing facility for the largest pop manufacturer in the world. I became angry again, I let my emotions fuel me and I started to put on all of my weight. I fell back into my old self.
I embraced my walls and my moodiness like a comfortable jacket and started up old friendships again. The western me was still in there but I did not know how to bring him out.
So there I sat until my mid-thirties working in miserable jobs, never feeling like I belonged anywhere. My strengths included, stubbornness, intelligence, integrity, kindness to some, humour, great fake smile and I was really very miserable. I had also learned how to gain and lose weight over and over and over again. Gaining and losing over a thousand pounds in a ten year period.
My lovely wife, who deserves an award through all this suggested I go see a Doctor. I was having a tonne of stomach issues which did not seem to improve my mood at all. Finally after my fifth colon invasion the doctor suggested to me that I get a dietitian and look into the foods I eat.
My dietitian put me on FODMAP diet which kind of sent me in the right direction for my stomach issues. Not about being overweight. But what had caused the inflammation. I discovered that I cannot eat gluten of any kind, dairy, popcorn or raw onions. Quite the list. I will write more about the allergies later in another blog.
My dietitian is a really smart young lady. We talked about so many things. She told me about how certain foods can cause inflammation in your brain and most of our unhealthy eating comes from depression and anxiety issues from both our past and what we put in our mouth.
At this point I was very interested on learning more about this as I had decided never to diet again, at least not until I had learned how to never put it on again.
She introduced me to a mental health councilor. One that could help work me through some of my issues with myself (sounds weird) and help me understand how to make better choices for myself.
So here I was at 46 and a half years young, learning how to be the best version of myself. It took me a lot of work to start moving forward. To start understanding that the key to weight loss was not to try and lose weight but that you needed to do a whole number of things that will take you where you need to be.
So here I sit, just shy of 49. Fit, thin, mentally sharp and healthy. Living the best version of myself that I have ever known. I did not spend any extra money to get here or have any costly surgeries. What I did learn was how to keep it off together. I learned how to flip my mental switches on and off I learned how to love me, even the old me. Hopefully through my blog posts I can help you too. Help you be the best version of you. Help you with the tools you need to never back slide again. I learned that through the power of one good thing a day, that I can do anything.