You can't outwalk your fork.
Today I am celebrating the loss of 100 pounds since July of 2018. In total I am down at least 130 pounds but likely even more than that. Crystal is down over 80 pounds and our lives have been transformed. Many people see us out walking regularly, living our Onfoot.life, and presume that our physical transformation is the result of walking ourselves fit. The reality is quite different, our weight loss allows us to better enjoy our walking lifestyle.
This picture sums up the truth that your can't outwalk, outrun, or out-exercise your fork. This was taken in Oporto, Portugal after we had completed the Camino Frances for the second time. 12.5 miles a day for 40 days, 500 miles, and no measurable weight loss. What I did achieve was foot pain and continuous body aches.
Even at 350lbs, I remained active, a neck injury sidelined me for about a year and my weight went somewhere up to around 370 pounds. I was able to diet and exercise myself down to 330 pounds where I maintained for over 6 years. The reality was at this point in my life my health was starting to degrade. I had become a fully diagnosed type 2 diabetic, I had constant mood swings, depression hung close, body aches, and a general discomfort hung over my life.
Our family loves theater. My children have participated in theater their entire lives. Between dance recitals and plays I can't number the number of hours we have spent at the theater participating or watching shows. Wanting to engage my youngest more, with all of our other children out of the house, I auditioned for a role in Mary Poppins. Who knew that being cast as an old rich guy with a limp, that I would quickly turn that prop cane into a real cane.
A simple twist resulting in an audible pop, and I immediately knew something was wrong. After a number of doctor visits and an MRI, the diagnosis was pretty simple, some torn cartilage. The MRI however revealed other damage. There was no cartilage remaining behind my patella, short term solution would be cortisone injections long term solution, a total knee replacement. I limped through my role in Mary Poppins and looked ahead to the inevitable knee replacement. After a few weeks, I even got a mile-long walk in.
That spring my health continued to degrade and my weight once again was on the upswing. In April or May of 2018, I asked my doctor for a referral to have bariatric surgery. Within a few weeks, I had my first voice mail from the bariatric clinic wanting to schedule my entry into the world of radical solutions to weight loss. I ignored the calls. The more I researched the more I recognized that surgery or not; I would have to totally change the way I eat for the rest of my life in order to be successful. I argued with myself concerning the concept that if I could keep the diet required for surgery, I would not need surgery. I plodded along through the summer, working to at least reestablish my walking. During this time Crystal and I had observed a friend of our success with a weight loss "program" called Code Red. I skimmed through the website and ultimately dismissed it as just "another program". In July of 2018 Crystal bought the book, The Code Red Revolution. She started the lifestyle and had immediate success. After two weeks I read the book myself.
My initial impression of the book was not positive. Christy is a gregarious figure and I felt a bit like I was reading an infomercial. After 40 years of struggling with weight, my cynicism ran high. The reality is she fully believes in what she is doing and is a persona that doesn't accept any "bull crap". The price of custom plans seemed exorbitant to me, though I had spent much more on Optifast and Jenny Craig in the past. Having done much research on nutrition and the reality that much of the food we eat is poison I got over my first impressions and started the program myself. Real food, no pills, special exercise, but sugar had to go.
The results of the new lifestyle we amazing. Diabetes, gone, aches and pains diminished, mood swings, gone, depression gone, knee revitalized. In reality, I wasn't even striving in weight loss mode, Crystal and I were following the maintenance lifestyle of Code Red. I dropped 80 lbs on Code Red over 110 lbs from my worst and maintained that weight loss for over 6 months. Then came COVID-19. By not following the principles that I know work I saw my weight inch upward over a couple of weeks of quarantine. It was time to invest, in myself.
I purchased a custom plan. A custom plan includes macros, caloric guidelines, access to coaches and accountability, and a wealth of resources. In just 5 weeks I have dropped 20 additional pounds and crossed the 100 lb lost line with Code Red making my total weight loss over 130 Lbs. I'm not done yet.
This year we had planned on walking the West Highland Way and the Camino Portuguese. A worldwide pandemic canceled those plans. With the cancellation of this year, we are already planning our adventures for next year all the while exploring locally. Next year we plan on the West Highland Way and the Alta Via 1 trekking through the Dolomites in Northern Italy.
Christy Code red has a saying, "choose your hard" the reality is the weight loss is hard, but so is being obese. Choosing our hard has led to a revitalized life.
This is different
After a lifetime of up and down, how can I say this is any different? In the past going "off-plan" or "off diet" meant exactly that, I was off, I was done I had failed. Looking at my two years of weight loss you will see many "off-plan" moments followed by recovery and pursuit of health. Eating real food, getting my sleep and water every day feels so good that off-plan pushes me back to plan quickly, this is the difference between Code Red and every other "diet" I have pursued, this is a new life.
Changing your life is hard, obesity, diabetes, depression are hard.
Choose Your Hard!