My Fitness Journey – Boot Camp

Fat MeSo in part one I basically explained the background of where I came from in regards to my physical fitness. To recap:

I had some injuries, and some hereditary physical health problems which made those injuries much, much, worse and was in chronic back pain. This, added to my history of depression, meant that I was filled with self-loathing, never wanted to leave the house, never wanted to talk to anyone, and was angry all the time. And because my physical appearance and physical pain lead to emotional pain, I ate to fill that gap (I used to do drugs and drink for that, but now it was hamburgers, pizza, and chocolate) and self-selected away from the things in life that would open me to being mocked for my weight. I refused to go to the beach, swim, or anything wherein I might be pressured socially to take my shirt off or do anything physical.

I would make jokes about it, but that was simply my way of getting out in front of the mockery to lessen the emotional pain.

And my friends would make fun. I kind of became everyone’s fat friend. There were comments and whether it was real or not, I felt people staring at me, at my bulging belly, and at everything about my physical appearance that I hated.

And I hated. Oh did I hate. I fucking despised the guy I saw in the mirror. He was weak, he was ugly, he was undisciplined, he was lazy, and he was miserable. He didn’t deserve anything nice in life, didn’t deserve to be loved, and could not understand why anyone would want to be his friend.

More fat me.So, then enter Groupon.

It was coming up on a summer and I had left Seminary without being sure that I was every going back. I wanted to do something that allowed me to soak up a lot of sunshine, and hang out with my wife. So, I found a Boot Camp Groupon for $20.00 that would give you unlimited sessions over the course of a month. I talked my wife into coming with me, and bought two. I arranged for babysitters for Trinity and we decided we would trudge out to a park on the south side and do these four nights a week.


It was terrible.

I could hardly get through ten push-ups with terrible form. I couldn’t run for more than thirty seconds at a time. I couldn’t jump. I had to shake out my legs and rest after each air squat.  I felt like garbage at the end of each workout. But….I was having fun. The workouts were varied, which helped because I wasn’t getting bored, but mainly I was bonding with my beautiful wife through this shared suffering and though our form was terrible and we were likely trying to do more than we should have, almost by accident we started to lose weight. I started at about 235 lbs. jogging my fat ass around the park and doing squats and burpees and pushups and sit ups in the hot sun and clouds of mosquitoes until I nearly puked 4 nights a week.

Kettle bell side to sides

I did make the decision that I wasn’t going to diet this time, as I always failed on my diets, and I wasn’t going into this to lose weight, I was going into it to hang out with my wife and do something together that was outside. However, because I was coming so close to puking while I was working out, I was eating less and slightly better (read: no greasy, heavy, foods) so I didn’t embarrass myself publicly. So, kind of by necessity/accident I was eating slightly better. And when I started to see results, I started to try to select better foods and less of them even on days I wasn’t working out. Which, I guess, led to more and better results.

And what were the results? Well, basically the fat started to melt off; in a couple of months I dropped 35 lbs. and dropped to 200 lbs. And I started to get stronger and fitter and get faster. I also suffered through what I thought was shin splints that I ended up finding out later was a sprained ankle.

Picnic Table jumpsActual Doctor quote: “I’m not sure how you were running on that. Actually, I’m not sure how you walked in here today.”  My theory is that I had been in such intense and chronic pain for such a long time that I had just learned to deal with the pain. That, and since I was waking up my entire body from atrophy and a completely sedentary lifestyle, I was already in such intense pain from the workouts that I thought maybe this was just part of that. I really didn’t understand the difference between soreness and injury pain.

It was about this time that due to family commitments my beautiful wife stopped coming with me and the moment of truth was upon me; would I continue on without her?

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