Updated: Oct 25, 2019
I have been overweight most of my life. I remember starting to gain weight around the age 6-7 years old. Fast forward to when I was 12 I began playing football and learned that my blood pressure was classified as prehypertension. I did not actual know what that meant, and every year I took my physical the doctors would just tell me that its normal and because I was an active kid playing sports, that I should not worry about it.
As a teenager, I had pretty high self esteem, except when it came to trying to communicate with “superficial” young ladies. I had to really pep myself up to create friendships or relationships with these girls who were not already showing interest in me, plus I really hate failing myself so you know I had to make it do what it do.
Throughout the years I continued to gain weight, both fat and muscle, until sophomore year going into my junior year of college. My freshman year in college, I allowed my weight to increase from 295lbs to 315lbs, mostly to prove my worth at the D1 college level. Being only 5’11’’, I felt an increase need to show that I was big and strong. After my freshman year I decided to move back home, where school was cheaper and could still compete for a football scholarship. During my sophomore year I began dating my love, Valencia, who was also over weight. I soon began to realize that we were both negatively dealing with weight issues. I personally made a decision to lose some weight to become a faster athlete, as well as increase my energy levels for all parts of my life. A few other positives happened as well, like I stop snoring throughout the night (V loved that! lol!), and I had a more positive mood on a regular basis. During that time I dropped from 315 back down to about 285. To lose the weight I made some small changes to how I ate, worked out in normal football regimen, and I began jogging with V.
I continued to maintain my weight at about 285 until we started to grow our family. I slowly crept back up to 315 and was not happy about it. For 5-6 years my weight would fluctuate between 300lbs to 315lbs. Until in 2015, we both decided to make changes to our lifestyles, and dedicate ourselves to being healthier. For me that included taking cardio serious, implementing a light yoga practice into my life, and creating a much healthier diet for myself (I don’t do diet plans, I just find healthier ways to eat). My cardio journey started with me trying to walk/run 1 mile a day for at least 5 days weeks until I could walk/run for 3 miles a day at least 5 days a week. I began practicing yoga with V and eventually I found myself trying out yoga IG challenges, doing group yoga sessions at various places, as well as continuing with workout habits I acquired from playing football. I also spent time teaching myself to cook for both V and myself; vegetarian, vegan, plant-based style meals of the food I’ve been eating most of my life, along with drinking a lot of water. Our new cooking style allowed me to dramatically cut down on the amount of meat and fried foods I ate. The weight loss I achieved was great for my life and played an incredible part in resolving my high blood pressure issues, but the greatest change for me was the positive mood change & how much closer and more intimate my relationship with Valencia became.
Increased focus on my new habits helped me lower my weight to 185 lbs. For the past few years my weight has been consistently between 190lbs and 200lbs. I don’t ever feel like I’m forcing myself to do anything in order to maintain my health, which has mostly, if not all, become habit-form for me.