My Fitness Journey – Fighting the Fat Man

You're cool, but are you "Overhead squatting with a tree cool?"

You’re cool, but are you “Overhead squatting with a tree” cool?

So I have been documenting my Fitness Journey here on my blog. To get everyone up to speed, you can go back to the beginning and start reading from there to get a better understanding of what is going on, but basically, I was a skinny kid that turned into a fat adult, started doing Boot Camps with gorgeous, amazing and talented wife, kept going when all my life I had quit much sooner, and finally tried out Crossfit at the Machine Shop.

So what now?

In order to understand what was going through my head one must understand how filled with doubt and self-loathing I was. You see, when for the first like 30+ years of one’s life one spends an inordinate amount of one’s energy being ashamed of one’s physical appearance and abilities, one develops certain habits mentally that are MASSIVE BARRIERS TO THE FITNESS!!!

So, in my case I began every physical enterprise with the understanding that I was probably going to suck at it, and probably embarrass myself, because I was too skinny/fat/weak/undisciplined to succeed. In a very real sense, even though I had lost all of this weight, I was still a fat guy. It was my identity; it was how I identified, and what I expected of myself. I was mentally defeated before I began. It was only by luck and happenstance (to my way of thinking) that I had made it this far and eventual failure was surely inevitable.

I even remember posting on my Facebook account once something like, “I know everyone who is complimenting me on my weight loss is trying to be nice, but each time you do, I am reminded that I am probably going to put all of it back on at some stage.”


I just assumed that my fitness had a shelf life.

I was going to put the weight back on, and everything would go back to the way it was. And as certain as I was about that, I was terrified of it. I didn’t want to go back. I liked who I was becoming, and I started to notice something huge: I hadn’t thrown my back out in almost a year. In fact, my back pain had slowly dissipated. It was more traumatic memory than present reality now. I still had some low level pain and whenever I did anything that heavily recruited my back muscles I felt excessive pain, but it was much, much, better. Because of that, my personality improved, my outlook on life got more positive, and every aspect of my life started to look better.

My marriage improved.

I improved as a dad.


My family bore the brunt of the effects of my chronic pain. And now it was getting better. Now, I could pick my daughter up and carry her around, play horsey, and throw her up on my shoulders at a parade without wondering if I was going to be laid up for a week afterwards. Now, I didn’t just lay like a lump on the couch unable to really do anything and taking it out on my intelligent, caring, reason for living.

Me, in cat form.

Me, in cat form.

I mean, my friends still call me the Human Grumpy Cat, but part of that is personality…..and the fact that the things they do are stupid and annoying.

So I felt like I had a lot to lose this time. And there was a point of diminishing returns for the joy in my new fitness, even as I saw the improvements, I was so sure it was going to go away at some stage that I basically tainted all of it with regret. For example, I saw my pain going away as a bad thing because when it came back I was going to be haunted with the memory of how good this was.

So, with the support of my loving bride, I decided to talk to Angie about it, which we did while running next to eachother at one of the last Boot Camps of the summer. Basically, when I told her about my “inner fat man” she said to me between huffs and puffs that “You have no idea how often I hear that….it goes away.”

I was pretty gobsmacked.

So, I decided to sign up for more Crossfit, starting with eight sessions a month.

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