First, I want to thank everyone for their support over the years I was making videos on YouTube. Your support inspired me to do better videos and brighten my diet with new foods. I felt the encouragement every time I released a new video, ran a new marathon, or ran an Atkins boot camp. I was able to be published in multiple cookbooks, write for a low carb magazine Carbsmart, speak on multiple low carb podcasts, and more importantly become friends with many low carbers and watch many of your own weight loss journeys. It is for these friends that I wanted to write this missive to let you know how I am doing and where I have been.
I know my final video had big plans for more videos being released, but a couple changes happened at my job. The specifics aren’t necessary, but the short answers I am often working evening hours and doing more travel than ever before. Combine this change with the recognition, I have 3 teenage children in high school. My life has gotten busier, and things have had to be prioritized. For example, I had to reduce my involvement in the fire department, my marathon training has nearly stopped, and of course the low carb videos have stopped. The evidence was pretty clear to all involved I was doing too much.
Albeit the largest reason, busyness is not the only reason though. I would be lying if that was the only case. For the first time in the 10 years, I experienced a serious regain. If I was simply a blogger, it would not matter and I could continue to blog and perhaps ignore the regain while keeping my readers in the dark. However a video maker doesn’t have that freedom, and even looking at the comments of my last video, people are questioning a 260 pound man (6’4″) as “hellaciously fat” making videos. (ignoring the fact I was still 160 pounds down). I am even heavier now, and while not happy with it, my focus on family and job did succeed in those being successful.
I do feel unworthy (edited: better word not credible) or ill-suited at the moment to make videos or even comment much about low carbing. I still absolutely follow the low carb diet with only a handful of days on a Christmas cruise where I was less than low carb. However, the question of the regain is there. Why did it happen? Was it stress related as Lord knows I have prayed about that enough times? Was it hidden carbs? Was it taking long liberties away from exercising? Is my metabolism screwed up for years of low carbing or set wrong due to years of marathon running? Is it because I hit the 4-0 birthday? The answer is probably more complex than I know, and really the only solution is to lose the weight again to figure out what will work this time.
I have tried and attempted multiple different items with little success besides stemming the increasing tide of weight gains to periods of stagnation. I have tried journaling, lower carb, monitoring blood sugar, doing another Atkins boot camp, increasing my workouts to every single day, and even ran and paced a couple half and full marathons. The long term trajectory of my weight has been upwards. It has been frustrating to say the least. I would have loved a simple answer — drop 5g net carbs or run another mile — but it has not been so.
In the past 2.5 years of working for Microsoft, I have made my life and happiness more than simply about my weight though. I have enjoyed my life, and I do consider myself as blessed as ever. I do however know that I can’t remain this weight long term without health conditions returning – like the sleep apnea, the high blood pressure, lack of energy, etc. I have seen hints of what is to come (or return), and it is concerning.
While I am still working out, I am no longer able to run for miles or even a mile at speeds more than a slog. (conjunction of “slow jog”) I now run for 5 minutes and walk a minute. Being considerably over my marathon weight has definitely made running not a lot of fun, and workouts are something I have to do instead of something I wanted to do. Since November of last year, I have been working out consistently even winning a contest with my daughter Tasha for most days worked out. These are not going out in the middle of winter at -5F and running 4 miles workouts though. Motivation has been external than largely internal. I am still competitive to want to win a contest, but dude, are the workouts a drag! Fake it until you make it hasn’t worked so far.
Where does that leave me? My life is still extremely good. I hate the extra weight I put on, and I know it can’t stay. My family of course remains my first priority and as an extension my job – being the main provider for them. I remain focused to continue to keep working out and putting the minutes in. I don’t have my answers yet, but like I said, I wanted to let you know where I am at right now.