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Old 01-23-2021, 02:42 PM   #1
jck
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Default Love and Hate - A Success Story

Some of yall know what I've been doing for the past year, and today I hit a huge milestone. It's been a year for the books, and I wanted to document my journey for others that might be battling the same thing I've been battling. I don't open myself up too much, especially to the internet, but I hope my experiences can be motivation for 1 or 2 guys. Sorry for the long read.

For the past 20 years, Iíve been large. Like most people, I was in great shape during high school. I was a 6í0Ē, 210, 6-pack, football jock that could do no wrong. It worked and I started dating the smoking hot girl that would eventually become my wife. When I started college, I was left without a coach to yell at me and make me run, and I began gaining weight. A lot of weight. Each year that went by, Iíd gain a few pounds. When you look at it yearly, 10-20 pounds doesnít seem like much. ďeh, 10 pounds this year? I can work that offĒ. But I didnít, and it just started adding up. But I was still happy and didnít care, and I figured it would work itself out.

Eventually I graduated college, got married, and moved across the country. Combined with being 2,000 miles away from anything and anyone Iíve ever known, and some things not working out professionally, I got depressed. Depression isnít something Iíd wish on my worst enemy. Itís a horrible state and darker than any black hole; completely devoid of any happiness or hope. I tried to be a good man and a good husband, but looking back I can tell it was probably very difficult for my wife. When we moved back to Texas, I was 275 pounds.

I thought being back in Texas would solve all of my problems, but I still found myself in a depressed state and always unhappy, even though my life was great. My wife had an amazing career, I was back home with family, I started a new career that seemed promising, but nothing seemed to get me out of this funk. I would go through stages of happiness and optimism, but It never lasted longer than a few days or a week at the most.

My wife and I welcome our first child, Emma, in 2016 and it was amazing. My boy Jackson came a couple of years later in 2018. These 2 kids are amazing and perfect in every way imaginable, but in my mind, it created a new challenge; how do I show my children what a good man is if I donít even feel like Iím a good person? Iím fat, depressed, and always mad at the world; thatís not a good role model and not the person I want my kids to grow up learning from.

I knew my weight and self-esteem played a huge role in my depression, and Iíve tried to fix it a million times. Weight watchers, intermittent exercise, random diets here and there. But I never stuck with any of them. The company I was working for was really starting to ramp things up and I found myself devoted to it, working countless hours and getting very stressed out. I wanted to be a successful professional, possibly more than being healthy. Maybe being successful would fix my problems, especially since I wasnít succeeding at the weight loss part. I even told myself, ďIím going to focus on the job. Iíll worry about the weight part later. One stress at a timeĒ. And that was my excuse to let my weight get even more out of control. In January of 2019, I was 347 pounds. My blood pressure was 140/110 and my resting heart rate was in the low 100ís.

Early January, my wife and I were driving home from the Montgomery area, and I had a mini breakdown. My wife is a saint and has always been very supportive, even though I know Iíve probably been difficult to live with. Iíve never really opened up to her about everything Iíve felt and knew was true: I hated myself. I was severely depressed, unhappy with the kind of man I was becoming, and unhappy with how I was being a father.

If I was going to fix these, I had to learn how to love myself. How can I love my family if I donít love myself? So I prayed more than Iíve ever prayed before, and God told me what I knew to be true: I have to lose weight.

On February 1, 2019, I knew I couldnít start this long journey on my own, especially since Iíve failed so many times before, so I found a personal trainer and paid him up-front for 10 sessions of one-on-one training. I knew I had to do it upfront, or Iíd find a way to stop going. Iíd workout with him once a week and it would be a butt-kicking, nothing like Iíve ever done before. My arms and legs felt like Jell-O when I would drive home. For the 6 other days on my own, I would walk around the neighborhood and eat healthy. I downloaded MyFitnessPal on my phone and used it religiously, tracking everything that went into my body. And I bought an Apple Watch to track calories burned. Weight started to come off slowly, but regularly. Each week, I looked forward to weighing myself in the gym and telling my trainer what my weight was. And knowing that he would give me crap and be disappointed if I didnít lose weight, motivated me stick with it on the 6 other days of the week away from the gym. After a few weeks, I started going to the gym during the day and just walking on the treadmill for 30-45 minutes, then going home and walking around the neighborhood at night. The more calories my Apple Watch showed me burning, the better. By March 11th, I was 318 pounds. Then COVID hit.

The gym shut down, and my sessions with my trainer stopped. But everything was working and I didnít want to stop! My motivation kind of hit a low and my weight loss slowed. I was still losing weight, but only a pound a week or so, and that wasnít good enough. I was used to losing 4-6 pounds a week, with an occasional huge 8 pound week.

While being home during COVID, I finally started to get to know my neighbors well. One of my neighbors was always the Ďin-shapeí guy of the street, and I told him about my journey and how it had kind of stopped. He was working out daily anyway, so offered to let me workout with him and continue my program. He kind of made it his goal to get me in shape, and itís the best thing that has ever happened to me. Started in April, we worked out at 5:30 a.m. doing crossfit-esque workouts, then I would walk around lunch time, then we would do another workout in the afternoon. Monday through Friday, with the occasional flag-football game with the neighborhood kids on Saturday mornings. My calorie deficit was through the roof, and weight started to fall off tremendously. My body was on board, my mind was on board, and I started to realize that all of this was working; working much more than it had before. I could see that my goal was attainable.

Every 4-6 weeks I had to buy new clothes. When I first started working out with my neighbor, I stopped 9 times trying to run 1 mile. In November, I ran my first 5k, and did it without stopping. I was having to take second looks in the mirror as I passed by because I started to not recognize myself. With COVID, I didnít see any colleagues for months, and had to wave them down at restaurants because they pass right by me without recognizing me. It was a great feeling.

This morning on January 23, 2021, the scale hit 209 pounds. In 50 weeks, I beat my goal and lost nearly 40% of my original weight. Iíve lost 17Ē around my waist, and 5Ē around my neck.

Iíve never been happier, and it shows. I walk around with a smile on my face, and feel joy again. I wish every person could feel what Iím feeling daily. During all of this, Iíve never heard Godís voice more clear. In the past, Iíve prayed for help, guidance and strength, but I guess Iíve been too stubborn to listen. Once I started listening and doing what heís told me, the fruits have been abundant. Heís opened my eyes and my heart and Iím a completely different man that I was 12 months ago. My priorities have changed 180 degrees, and I have a new take on life. I finally love myself, and now I know that I can love my family the way they deserve to be loved. Since I was in a life-changing mood, and with the encouragement and support of my wife and new best friend neighbor, I decided to start my Law Enforcement career. This was a year of change, and in a year of loss and heart ache for many in the world, 2020 would be one of the best and most meaningful years of my life.

To all of the guys that might be battling depression, self-esteem issues or weight loss, find the true root of what moves your life, and pursue it. Depression doesnít have to grasp ahold of your life and keep you down; find out what will motivate you to fight back, and give it hell.




Last edited by jck; 01-23-2021 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:01 PM   #2
rtp
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Congrats on everything. Most folks dont realize, but according to a good frined of mine, exercising daily is the number one thing a person can do for themselves when fighting depression. Keep it up and remember to give back to that wife of yours. A lot of people would have bailed on a relationship like the one you described.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:14 PM   #3
Hart8
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That is one of the coolest reads,ever! Man,I am super proud for you..A friend of mine asked me years ago.."How can you leave this hell,and go to the gym for 2 hours"? Because I said I would..Congratulations amigo!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:32 PM   #4
CabezaBlanca
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:33 PM   #5
slayr
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Incredible story! If this doesn’t give us all motivation for just about anything in life, I don’t know what would. Congrats!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:35 PM   #6
curtintex
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Chris, I'm so proud of you brother and you're an inspiration to a lot of people. I hope you never lose your love of Skittles!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:42 PM   #7
JMart76
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Congrats, don’t know you but I’m proud of you and extremely happy for you!!! What a great testimony to how amazing life can become!!!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CabezaBlanca View Post
Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story!
Great story and congratulations. You are Da Man, as they say. Prayers lifted up for you.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:49 PM   #9
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Congratulations, truly a great accomplishment. Keep it up
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:51 PM   #10
Travis Deveney
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Congrats! Amen
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:04 PM   #11
texasdeerhunter
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That’s a great accomplishment, congrats on your success. Keep it up!
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:07 PM   #12
Matt_C
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Keep listening to God and you will be fine... congratulations and God Bless.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:11 PM   #13
MBV77
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Congratulations sir. Thatís one heck of an accomplishment. I wish you continued success and happiness.


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Old 01-23-2021, 06:13 PM   #14
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Outstanding. Those kind of results didn't come without HARD WORK.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:22 PM   #15
easeup
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yes sir! thanks for the post about hard times and how our God did lift you up

.....He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him. Psalm 40.2-4

Last edited by easeup; 01-23-2021 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:37 PM   #16
Pedernal
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Big congrats!!
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:39 PM   #17
Fishndude
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You’re an inspiration to many, I’m sure. Congrats.

Only 2/3rds of you fits in the before comparison photo. Man you look different O. Way da go

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Old 01-23-2021, 07:04 PM   #18
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Congrats on an awesome and very hard journey.
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:18 PM   #19
ACbob
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Inspiring story, and all the best with your new career!
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:25 PM   #20
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Great read. Kudos!!!
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:35 PM   #21
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Dang it looks like your half the man! Congratulations
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:36 PM   #22
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Congrats. This is one of the best posts I’ve read in quite awhile.
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:53 PM   #23
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Thanks for being honest! Congratulations!
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:22 PM   #24
brianlg31
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I might have to print you post and pin to my wall for motivation!

Congratulations
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:34 PM   #25
Rudyl
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This was very inspirational, thank you for sharing your journey,
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:19 PM   #26
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:50 PM   #27
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Thanks guys for all of the encouraging comments. This forum is a great place with a bunch of good men.


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Old 01-23-2021, 11:21 PM   #28
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Wow! That's awesome! Congratulations on your accomplishment!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rtp View Post
Congrats on everything. Most folks dont realize, but according to a good frined of mine, exercising daily is the number one thing a person can do for themselves when fighting depression. Keep it up and remember to give back to that wife of yours. A lot of people would have bailed on a relationship like the one you described.
So true!

Quote:
Originally Posted by curtintex View Post
Chris, I'm so proud of you brother and you're an inspiration to a lot of people. I hope you never lose your love of Skittles!

I said it before..you ain't right!

Last edited by Burnadell; 01-23-2021 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:41 PM   #29
meltingfeather
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Awesome story and kudos and thanks to you for opening up. That takes courage.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:44 PM   #30
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Awesome!
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:51 PM   #31
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Great story. Congratulations
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:19 AM   #32
Johnny
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Incredible story and really appreciate you sharing. Are you still in the Montgomery area? I'm always out and about doing something fitness related.

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Old 01-24-2021, 12:32 AM   #33
jck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
Incredible story and really appreciate you sharing. Are you still in the Montgomery area? I'm always out and about doing something fitness related.

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I live in Kingwood, but am over there a lot for family stuff


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Old 01-24-2021, 01:17 AM   #34
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God bless
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:23 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jck View Post
I live in Kingwood, but am over there a lot for family stuff


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Huge congrats to you from a fellow Kingwooder. Very inspirational and your wife sounds like an angel! Depression is so difficult, especially for men, and it just really really sucks. So glad you found your way out the other side. God bless brother!


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Old 01-24-2021, 08:54 AM   #36
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Keep it up, you look great.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:27 AM   #37
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What a great story man. Congratulations and keep it up.


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Old 01-24-2021, 01:00 PM   #38
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You are an inspiration to many, my friend. Awesome for you to share your journey. Congratulations on your health and more importantly your relationship with God. Again...thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:06 PM   #39
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Great story man congrats
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:12 PM   #40
Meatcutter
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Congrats!! I was 290 in April of 2020. Today at 230. Want to get to 210.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:15 PM   #41
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Heck yeah man. What an awesome story. Congrats on the lifestyle change. Keep sharing your testimony.


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Old 01-24-2021, 10:13 PM   #42
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What a wonderful and positive story. Congratulations to you sir !


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Old 01-25-2021, 08:38 AM   #43
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Inspiring!!
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:46 AM   #44
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Way to go man! Great read!
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:50 AM   #45
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Congrats to you and I wish you continued success.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:59 AM   #46
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Way to go ! Great story
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:15 AM   #47
tpack
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Keep it up. You are doing great.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:15 AM   #48
cj7zrcool
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Congratulations, great story!
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:41 AM   #49
Rubi513
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Wow! That is amazing! Congrats!
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:08 AM   #50
Mary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jck View Post
Thanks guys for all of the encouraging comments. This forum is a great place with a bunch of good men.


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Bunch of good men???? Hey now!

You look great Chris! I'm not sure I would have recognized you if you walked past. Very inspirational!
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