On November 29, 1999 I had what I believe was an epiphany. I was on a stair climbing machine at World Gym in Auburn Hills, MI chugging away when I became so disgusted with myself I made the decision to change. I had blown up to over 230 pounds and had the cardio capacity of a sloth. My pathetic physical condition was a byproduct of excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and lack of activity. My lack of self-control spawned rage inside of me. Right there in that dingy gym I promised myself I would break the cycle and get myself in better shape. I decided to quit food cold turkey and told myself that night’s dinner would be an apple. I made instant overnight changes to my diet and my workout routine. As I shed the weight and regained control of my body I felt empowered. By summer of 2000 I had lost nearly 40 pounds but without direction and accountability I slowly fell back into my old habits and so began the yo-yo gains and losses that would consume me for the better part of a decade.
In 2001, with the help of Bill Phillips’ book Body For Life, I started to learn more about proper nutrition and fitness. After my first 12-week program of Body For Life, I found myself a lean 186 pounds and in the best shape of my life; I was 25. Again, without direction and accountability I slowly lost control of myself and by late 2003 I was right back to where I had been so many times before. With each attempt I gained valuable knowledge about fitness and nutrition but in the end I lacked the discipline to make the right choices. My choices were laden with sugar, fat, alcohol and sleeping in. I didn’t know it then, but I needed something to keep me focused and a way to hold myself accountable.
|La Plata Peak, 2007|
|New Belgium's Fat Tire Amber Ale|