Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting Started... Again

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail". 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This rings true to me as I sit here in a hotel in Texarkana, TX trying to figure out what to write.  I'm sitting here watching my wife and my 11 month old child sleep, and I wonder what I can do to make my life better for them, and my three other amazing kids.

On November 22, 2006 I sat in front of my computer and went on a rant about my life and my weight loss problems.  This was the last time that I had created a blog.  As I sit here wondering what to start writing to motivate myself to lose weight again, I went back to that blog to see what issues I was dealing with.  I found the following quotes, from myself, in blue italics:

There's no pity-party here. It is what it is, and I'm not going to blame anyone but myself. I'm just going to put it out there. I'm lazy. I like food. I like being lazy while eating food.

I lost 120 pounds in my quest to lose weight last time.  I went through this major process of learning what to eat, when to eat it, and what I needed to do in a gym to push my body to the point of success.  I had my motivations.

But I don't like groaning when I drop the remote control. I'm not a big fan of backaches. I can't stand migrane headaches. And you know what's the worst? 

But now, I'm back to where I started.  Almost literally to the pound.  In fact, as of about two weeks ago I weighed more than I did when I first started my blog in November of 2006.  

I hate myself. I hate the fact that I'm in a 4x shirt, and I hate the fact that I'm rocking 46 or 48 size pants. I hate the fact that I'm willing to be the one holding the camera during family functions so that I'm not in the pictures.

I went from being this enormous guy to someone who was running every day, LOVED the gym and was finally figuring out what it took to be the strong guy.  I was the one in the gym that the guys came to for advice.  I was the one who people were running to his blog for motivation. I was the one that most importantly, respected myself again.

This is where I get to be perfectly honest with myself - just the same way as I was perfectly honest with myself in the blog back in November 2006.

I thrive on excuses.  Back in 2006, I was married to someone who I felt that I had to impress to get her approval.  I told myself all the time that I was "losing this weight for her", and that I wanted to be the person that SHE wanted me to be.  And there's nothing wrong with that, from my perspective.  But, I was living a lie in so many ways.  There was no happiness.  There was no "reason for doing this", except for the constant bashing I was getting at home about my weight.  Hell, in the best days of my weight loss journey, the rest of my live was lived sleeping on the couch, fighting battles until 3am, and staying at work for twice my hours because I needed to get away from my life.  I was able to hide in the gym, which while was good for my physical health, was hiding a bunch of other issues I had going.

Since then, I went through so many changes in my life.  Back then, I worked at the newspaper.  I was going to school.  I went through a pretty ugly divorce.  I was a single guy trying to sleep on my brother's couch because I no longer was welcome in a house that I paid a quarter million dollars for, and STILL have in my name to this day.  But more importantly, I found my muse.  I found my motivation for living, and in the strangest of ways, I have found myself in a life that continues to inspire me by the people I spend my time with.

I've remarried, and with that I learned so much about how relationships.  My wife, Melissa, has taught me about strength of soul, the importance of Jesus Christ in my life, how to stand up for what I believe in, and that there are more important things in my life than financial success.  When I married Melissa, I also gained three of my best blessings that I have ever received.  I became a step-dad by law, but a father by nature.  I took on three completely amazing children - Caleb, Meghan and Christian.  While I am "only" a step-dad, I feel like I've gained this entirely new life - one that doesn't revolve around the happiness of adults, but the complete dedication of my life to children.

Then, on February 16, 2010 I was given the greatest blessing I've yet to receive when Melissa gave birth to my son, Elijah Anthony Alan Tucker.  My friend Brandon told me when Melissa was pregnant something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.  He said, "once your son is born, you will forget what it was like to not have him in your life.  Nothing else will matter".   No truer words have ever been spoken.

So now, I'm not losing weight because I'm trying to prove something to someone.   Everything I quoted in blue is still true, and the sad thing is, I'm right where I was back in November of 2006.  I'm over 100 pounds overweight.  My back is back to killing me.  I have a ruptured disk that provides me with every single excuse that a man needs to grow old, fat and a complete disappointment to himself.

But, I have FIVE GREAT REASONS to regain my life.  I have my wife, who I have promised the rest of my life to, and I don't think that it's fair for me to only provide her with another 10 or 15 years left.  At my current rate, I'm almost 34 and at almost 400 pounds, I won't make it to 50.  I'm fully aware of that fact.

I also have my four incredible kids who are watching me as their example.  How to eat.  How to exercise.  What do to when they come home from school.  The eating choices that I make.  All these things that I know I'm their example for.

I do not want my children to see me fat.  I don't want them to make these jokes about my weight, but they do.  And they don't do it to be mean - they do it because I do it.  I have this defense mechanism, that I know many overweight people have, that tells me to make fun of myself before others do it for me.

So, I'm losing weight again.  I'm doing it the right way.  I haven't been able to blog it for the past few weeks because my internet has been down, but the work has been happening.  I started this weight loss journey at 386 pounds this time.  Let me say that again.  Three hundred and eighty six pounds.  That's 14 pounds away from FOUR HUNDRED.

I have spent the past two days in a hotel for a band conference, but before that I had spent 10 days working hard.  I was in the gym 8 of those days, I'm doing WII workouts with my wife.  Melissa will be joining my gym here next week, so I will continue to work out in the morning before work, and then I'll pick her up after school, the other three kids will watch their little brother, and Melissa and I will go work out.  I'm going to get back to eating right.  I'm trying to make better decisions already.  Diet coke instead of Sonic 44 ouncers.  Chicken and fish instead of beef.  Limiting my carb intake.  

The past two days haven't been smart - I've been to Outback and Texas Roadhouse, and while I choose the lowfat option for my meal (grilled chicken last night with a sweet potato), I also had four rolls with cinnamon butter.  

When I left for the conference on Friday, I weighed in at 274.6.  That was exactly 10 pounds lost in 10 days.  Awesome.  The last two days - not so much, and I'm not sure I want to see that scale again.  What takes 10 days to lose, usually takes 2 days to regain, as I know all too well.

But, we keep going.  I blog.  I work out.  I eat better.  I'm going to start counting the calories.  

The right choices, every single day.  I've got to lose this weight before it literally kills me.

I've got FIVE GOOD REASONS to do this.  It starts now.


  1. So glad to see you posting again. Sounds like lots of things have changed for you Rob and for the better. I am back up in weight too and looking to get back in what I consider good shape. The wheels are in motion and now I need to reopen my blog and start getting back to basics. After reading through your post I want to remind you to not forget that 6th reason...."YOU". Do it for yourself too. I am going to add your new blog to the sidebar and follow you bro (like I did before), keep the good examples coming.

  2. Hey Rob, welcome back! It's great that you have some real motivation to make a permanent change this time. There's just a few things I want to point out that might be helpful for you (because they've been helpful for me and countless others):
    1) You can't really eat low(ish) carb and also eat low-fat stuff. You'll die.
    2) Worry about getting good fats. Obviously nasty stuff like ranch dressing or deep-fried stuff is out, but good fats like olive and coconut oil, avocados, fish, grass-fed beef, and some nuts are awesome at keeping you full longer and tell your brain when to stop eating sooner.
    3) I think you're already feeling this one, but make most of your carbs come from whole sources (and I don't mean whole grains): vegetables, some fruit, maybe some tubers. Avoid grains (especially gluten containing ones like wheat) as their lectin content is extremely high and they offer very little in the way of actual nutrition (outside empty calories and continued insulin resistance, which, if you're fat, you have).

    These past 3 years I've made it my hobby to geek out on nutrition and exercise science, so if you ever want any resources, tips, recipes, or ideas about training protocols, feel free to reach out.

    Again, welcome back, and here's to you getting back to good health.