Well, here we are – the last official blog post. I have enjoyed writing these posts way more than I expected, and I plan to continue chronicling my journey on my personal website after the contest ends. You will be able to find me at www.chris-gates.com beginning on April 14th.
I am amazed at the changes I have experienced and the things which have become habits that were completely foreign a mere 90 days ago. The first days of the challenge were not pretty for me, as some of my fellow contestants can attest. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the Showdown, but I experiences a tremendous amount of resistance and anger the first few days of Fit Camp. I was praying and meditating my ass off, and on the third morning something shifted and I was able to completely surrender to the process. I think it might have been the completely absurd water zumba class at 6am in an outdoor pool in 40 degree weather. I almost didn’t participate, and for the first 15 minutes I was alternating between anger and frustration. Eventually I had had all of that I could take, so I decided that I was going to find a way to decide to have fun with it no matter how stupid it was. I think it was that decision and the action I took based on it that cracked me open and let me really connect and participate for the remainder of the time at Fit Camp.
Once I returned home, I started blogging, logging my food in MyFitnessPal and trying to figure out a workable gym schedule. By the second week I had installed a stand up desk at work, I was taking a break and walking a mile every morning at 10am, and hitting the gym at lunch every day. My employer has been amazingly supportive through this, allowing me to take a 90 minute lunch so that I can get in a good workout, and then staying 30 minutes late to make up the time. Now my entire work day is centered around health and wellness. I have put a system in place that will continue indefinitely which allows me to get all of my work AND my workouts done by 4pm every day. That works out perfectly, because I always have a ton of stuff to do after work, which is why trying to maintain a workout a schedule has been difficult in the past.
I began preparing meals twice a week so that I would never be presented with a situation where I was stuck choosing between bad and worse meal choices. The advice about eating a bigger breakfast really helped with my late night cravings… so much so that I really can’t remember the last time I felt the compulsion to eat something inappropriate late at night. You have NO idea how huge that is for me. In the past it was like I let a tiger into my house every evening around 6pm, and it was my job not to let it get me between 5 and bedtime. That is not a fight you can win every single day. So to have the problem removed… just GONE… is truly a gift. Thanks Keily. That may be the single biggest factor in my ongoing success.
So now the diet, logging my food, working out, knowing when to hit it hard and when I need a rest day… all of these have become just a part of how I live my life. No struggle. No desire to stop. Hell, my only frustration these days it’s that it’s taking longer than I would like to lose the weight,. This in spite of the fact that I am actually AHEAD of schedule. That’s what we call “High class problems” around here. Please God, let me continue to face the problems that I have.
I have lost 30 pounds so far. 8 inches around my belly and 7 around my waist. The only “before” picture I could find is from November 2013, and unfortunately it is shirtless… I think I took it in an attempt to shame myself into action.. cause THAT works… I took matching shots this afternoon. Progress has been made and there is still a ways to go before I hit my goal. The cool thing is, I actually believe that I will get there this time.
I am eternally grateful to all the folks at HEB for letting me be a part of this, and I hope I can come back next year to help the 2015 contestants with their journey. The finale is Saturday, April 12th at the Hyatt Grand in San Antonio and it is open to the public. Here is the flyer for it. If you are thinking about coming drop me an email or send me a message on Facebook. I may have a couple of extra VIP tickets…
Lastly, I want to thank all of you guys for all the support. Your comments have helped me through some rocky spots along the way, and they remind me that I am part of a great community of people who all want me to succeed. I forget that sometimes, and all of your support has really brought it home.
See you in the funny papers!