I just want to put a quick note that I am just starting out with all of this blogging nonsense so I’m still working out all the kinks. So I’m asking you all to cut me some slack as I figure it all out.
Uncensored and Real
Another thing that I feel is important to put out there before I really get into my first blog post is that I want this blog to be as uncensored and real as possible. That means that even though I know many family and friends will be reading this, I want to bring to you all my true self and the reality of my struggles and my frustrations and I don’t want to censor it for the sake of anyone. For once in my life I can actually say this isn’t about you, it’s about me. That doesn’t mean I will be dropping an “f bomb” every other word or sharing intimate secrets, I just want the freedom to express myself precisely in the way I feel and I’m warning you of that now. With that being said, all of you who know me, know that I can’t hardly take anything seriously. So I hope that you can find the humor in all of this, because I know it’s the only way I’m getting through it.
Without further ado:
Let’s talk about changes, more specifically lifestyle changes. I don’t think anyone is good at making big changes in their life. I’m good at small changes, like changing the picture on this website ten times before finally deciding on one, or changing my outfit five times before I leave the house in the morning. But I really struggle to make changes to the way I’m used to living my life. Unfortunately that’s what the road to successfully living a healthy life is paved with.
But that doesn’t mean you have to switch to a life of running several miles a day and living off green smoothies overnight. That is straight up crazy talk. It’s not sustainable, the majority of people can’t just break bad habits instantly. Which is why it’s important to give yourself time to adjust, and make small changes on a day to day basis. Replace a couple meals a week with a healthier option, take a short walk a couple times a week.
The little changes add up over time, before you know it your life will change and you won’t feel like you had to sacrifice to get there.
I had to learn all of this before, and yes I slipped back into old habits, but I’m ready to relearn all of this again and learn new ways to make my life a healthier more sustainable lifestyle. And I’m hoping you will join me, no matter where you may be on your personal journey. Life is a journey that is meant to be lived with others, that’s the only way we’re going to get through this.
Trying New Things
As part of this blog, I want to take a chance to try some recipes and foods and possibly even drinks that I would never in a million years consider trying. As some of you may know I’m a fairly picky eater, and I tend to stick to the things I know I like. So I want to use this as an opportunity to try some new things, and to share the experience with all of you. As you might imagine, between my limited cooking abilities and my picky palate this is sure to be quite the comical endeavor.
We’re going to take a little bit of a more serious turn here while I kind of tell my background story. I think it’s important to start here.
I chose the current main photo for this site from the pictures I took while hiking Pikes Peak in the summer of 2015. Some of you may recognize what it is, others may have no idea. The rock structure in the picture is a Cairn, something that many hikers have seen in their lifetime especially on the many trails of Colorado. This Cairn actually happened to be in the last little bit of meadow before we got to the rocky (and treacherous, another post for another time) summit of the mountain. For those of you who are not familiar with Cairns, they are used to mark trails so you know you’re still on the right path. To me personally, they signify markers of a journey. Much like starting at the bottom of a mountain and climbing all the way to the top, I believe life is one big long journey. Not only that, but I think life is lots of little journeys that all add up. I have been on this journey before, and I’m here now to say that I’m starting again.
From Where It Began to Where It Begins
As a child I was thin, this had a lot to do with being more active and my parents having more control over the things I ate. By the time I hit middle school, and shortly there after everyone’s favorite: puberty, I started to gain weight and become chubby. I slowly lost interest in sports and turned my attention to music and art. I started making my own choices about food for lunch and as any kid would, I never chose the healthy options. I became more aware that I was overweight due to the teasing I started to receive from the other kids. This is where my self esteem and my body image started to deteriorate. I was constantly told by the adults in my life that I shouldn’t worry about it, and that I would thin out as I got older.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite happen that way. In fact going into high school I was still only what most would consider chubby, by the time I graduated high school I was even more overweight. I dealt with the typical high school drama, mean girls being nasty because I wasn’t as skinny or pretty as them, the boys I was interested in never paid me much attention other than to tease me about my weight. Truthfully, I’m grateful for the group of friends that I had in High School, if it wasn’t for their unfaltering acceptance of any and everyone I would have been a lot worse off. But my self esteem and body image still suffered greatly, I still remember crying when I shopped for formal dresses for school dances because I couldn’t fit into the ones that I wanted to wear.
By the time college rolled around, I moved to Louisville Kentucky for two years and I think this is where I truly started to find who I was (as most of us do). I also found lifelong friends and mentors who cared about me, I was able to spend time with loving family who I didn’t get to see very often. And I was pursuing my dream of music. Unfortunately I also found plenty more weight to add to my already heavy load. It wasn’t just the dreaded freshman fifteen, I’m embarrassed to say it was a lot more than that.
This was the first time I made a big change in my life, I decided to leave my life of music in favor of Computer Science. There was a lot of thoughts that went into that decision, but that’s not what this blog is about. I chose to move home and go to a (cheaper) school that had a better engineering department. I started school in the summer of 2012, and excelled in my first computer science classes.
October 2012 – I reached my highest weight I have ever been. I weighed a whopping 270lbs. And I was absolutely miserable.
That was the first time I sat in my doctor’s office and broke down and admitted that I had a problem with my weight and I needed serious help because I didn’t know what to do. That was the first time I started this weight loss journey.
As many of you know I was extremely successful. I lost 75lbs in a year, and even lost a little bit more than that in total the following months after that. I worked my ass off, literally. I wasn’t at my goal yet, but I was making my way there.
Here’s a couple pictures of me at my lowest weight, the first time in years that I had been under 200lbs.
Throughout this entire first time of losing all the weight, I really learned a lot. I regained a lot of the self esteem I lost in my younger years, and I had a more positive body image than I had ever had in my life. I learned the amazing things my body was capable of, I had spent time kickboxing, running, hiking. Things that when I first started I wouldn’t have been able to do. I ran my first fun mud race with one of my best friends from high school, something that had never crossed my mind to do.
Life has a funny way of giving us moments that you either sink or you learn to swim. Unfortunately shortly after all my success, the waters of life got a little rocky, and I sank. I won’t go into all the details, but over the course of several months things deteriorated, I started gaining weight back and I struggled to keep up with eating healthy and a fitness regiment. And with the addition of a completely full semester, I gained quite a bit of the weight I previously had lost back.
It is devastating to be so beyond disappointed with yourself for doing exactly what you promised you would never do again. Trashing all your hard work. But once you start spiraling it’s hard to stop, and sometimes you don’t even realize it until it’s too late. It’s even harder to admit that to the people who watched you do it the first time, the people you inspired. But sometimes, it must be done.
Here I am friends, and I fucked up, I let myself slip back to a place I thought I had left behind a couple years ago. I have no excuses, just an admission of my mistakes and regret. But this isn’t where I intend to stay.
I have an even healthier mindset than I did when I first started, and I know that that’s what is going to carry me through this time. I started this journey years ago, and today I am starting it again and this time I plan to follow the cairns to stay on the path as best as I can. One day at a time.
What Inspired the Name?
Some of you may be wondering why I chose to name this blog “Fluff to Tuff,” well awhile back I had posted a photo of my cat Leon who likes to roll around on the floor underneath me while I’m trying to work out in the comfort of my living room. At the time I was working my way through the Insanity videos, so I took the following photo after a particularly difficult work out and used the hashtag “fluff into tuff.” So that’s where the inspiration for the blog came from.
Of course I have to include a picture of my other kitty Link, who likes to make my life difficult in other ways. Not related to the photo, but his favorite workouts are climbing all over me while I’m trying to do yoga and adding 15lbs to my back while I’m doing push ups. I’m sure you’ll probably see scatters of them throughout this blog too.
That’s it for this time, I know this post was kind of long and a bit of a doozy. Hopefully future posts will be a little less wordy and a little more humorous.
Thanks for reading!