Gaining Weight

I don't even know how it happened. One day I was like 160-170 pounds, then boom, I weighed like 210, then 220, then 225.

What are these marks around my waist? Why is my gut slumping over when I lie on my side? Where did this extra skin around my stomach come from?

Did I randomly eat more food? Is it a part of aging? Is it my sleep hygiene?

It was probably a mix of things.

I saw pictures of myself and knew I'd gained weight, but I didn't address it or let it fully register. My personality and work ethic get me through life, I told myself.

I remained overweight for about 7 years, with a few exercise programs trimming me up here and there.

Then in spring of 2019, this co-worker, a guy headed for the military, said, "Hey Brandon, you set goals. Wanna work out together?"

"Sure. Let's do it."

We'd get off work and hold each others feet while we did sit ups. He told me about his running routine and we partnered up.

We ran 2 miles, then for a half hour straight, then for 45 minutes straight, then intervals. Each time got easier. Then someone said to me, "Count your calories and take in 2000 or less." So I did.

I'd take in about 1200 calories and run 3 to 4 miles per day, 4 to 5 times a week.

Holy shit, did it work!

People were startled by my appearance. "Where did you go? You shrunk."

I liked the attention.

It actually wasn't that hard physically but the part I'm not sharing is that I got there mentally first. Something in my mind healed, my self-image changed, and I made choices to align my outside life with my inside life.

How did I get there? The basic (but effective) mental health stuff. Therapy, self- improvement, kicking negative people out of my life, setting other goals that excited me, and taking risks to be who I really am. It changed the image I held of myself on a subconscious level and my physical appearance followed.

If I would have forced myself to "get going" without my mind being right, I would have sunk into some "I can't do this, I'm not good enough" mindset, resenting myself and the process.

One of my pet peeves is people taking shortcuts. In this category, shortcuts come in the form of trendy diets, not eating, and "get skinny fast" programs, none of which work in the long-term.

Doing the mental work first made the physical work rewarding and fulfilling. And you know what? Doing the mental work wasn't that bad.

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