I need to start by introducing myself to you. I’m Mike, a 44 years old who lives in Tampa, Florida. My two biggest passions are traveling and supporting the University of South Florida’s sports teams. I grew up in South Florida, came to Tampa for college and just fell in love with the city and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
I’ve been a big guy most of my life (fat, overweight, whatever you want to call it). My weight certainly would shorten my life expectancy, and I have been fortunate to not have any serious health issues caused from my size. It also limited my ability to live my life. I was always active, but it was tough knowing I wouldn’t fit into the seat at the ball game, and let me tell you, airplane seats were a challenge. Not only did they cause physical pain, but there was always that time when the door would close and if the plane was full, I worried if they would ask me to leave the plane because it wasn’t fair to other passengers.
I was at the doctor’s office in November of 2018 and I got on the scale that had a 500 pound capacity and it came back with an error. The medical assistant let me make up the number 504 for my file, but we really don’t know what my starting point was. I use 500 as my starting weight, simply because I know it was at least that. On December 9, 2018 I made the decision that I wanted a different life.
Today is April 13, 2020, so approximately 16 months into my journey. I weighted 298.2 this morning. The goal is 190 (I’m 6’1″). I decided to start this blog site to share my story, share motivation for others going on the same journey, and provide tips that might help you do things better.
You should know there is no magic pill or trick that will allow you to do the same things you have been doing and get a different result. You will need to make good decisions, put in work and know the journey will take time. There are surgeries out there for weight loss, if you are interested in one of them, talk to your family doctor. I am not a medical expert and I did not go that route, so I have no insight to share.
My formula has been simple. There are three variables I can control that I care about: calorie intake, grams of fat intake, and exercise. I didn’t do any of the trendy diets, I eat plenty of carbs. This is an old fashion plan, designed to make a new life for me. No food is off limits, I love BBQ, so if I know I am going to a BBQ restaurant for dinner, I make sure my breakfast and lunch are lighter in calories and fat content, so I can get the ribs for dinner.
Here is the starting photo. On December 10, 2019 I got to see Michael W Smith give a Christmas concert in Clearwater, Florida. I was lucky enough to get a photo with him and my wife, Vicky. It wasn’t a planned before photo, but it just happened to work out that way.
This next photo was taken in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was taken on December 9, 2019. At the 1 year mark I was down 170 pounds at 330. The setting is the beautiful Red Rocks Canyon where we did a little hiking. And yes, I did a Vegas vacation healthy!
This photo is from April 5, 2020, which is the day I hit 200 pounds down. My weight started with a 2 for the first time in a very long time.