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100 more reasons to live

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Andy in 2004, March 2011 and Jan. 2012 

Pull out your driver's license and look at what you listed as your weight. Mine says 175. I got that license about 5 years ago. Never in my adult life has my scale read the number on my license. That is until the beginning of this year when I passed an important milestone. I actually weighed what my license said I weighed. In fact, as I write this post, I am actually four and a half pounds under that number.

Two years ago, I wrote a post called, "100 Reasons to Live," where I publically acknowledged my addiction to food and my hopes of beating it. It took some time to do the work and build up the courage to face my anxieties and fears and issues with food. I even gained some more pounds back after writing that piece. At the same time, I never gave up and the response I received from telling that story, continued to inspire me. In March of 2011, with the support of my wife, I went for more help re-joining a Weight Watchers Program. The scale began to dial back again.

Over the last year, I have lost over 50 pounds. Around 10 more pounds from here, and I will be within the recommended range for Body Mass Index of 25. I will have made the journey from just over 300 pounds in 2004, to just over 160, eight years later. For the first time in my life, I won't be considered medically overweight. For the first time ever, I won't be fat. It feels liberating to be relieved of all of that physical and emotional baggage.

The cat litter we usually buy (the kind in the large plastic buckets) weighs around 25 pounds. Imagine carrying one of those in each hand, all day, every day. That is what it means to be 50 pounds overweight. A window air-conditioning unit weighs around 50 pounds. Try taking two air-conditioning units out of your window and carrying one on each shoulder. Can you imagine how you would feel at the end of just one day? Imagine the extra strain on the joints, the muscles, and the heart. Now imagine that feeling every day, all day, all of your life. That is the feeling of being crushed by 100 pounds of extra weight.

Someone recently asked me if I feel like a whole new person from all this weight loss? You lose a lot with 100 pounds or 50 pounds or any pounds of weight loss for that matter, and in the process you gain perspective. My relationship to food, to my body and to others has forever been changed. Maybe I really am a whole new person. At the very least, I definitely lost the equivalent weight of one person.

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