This page is going to be very hard to write, but the how of my over weight is more important than the how of my weight loss. You will have to check back on this page from time to time as the longer I write the more I discover about myself. The more I discover that more I have to say on this page.
Lets start from the beginning.
Second grade was the first time I took notice that I was bigger than everyone else. By third grade I had picked up a horrible name that other kids called me to make fun of me. That name I think will forever be stuck in the back of my head. They called me Jonafat, instead of Jonathon. But don't take those last few sentences the wrong way, I was a happy child for the most part. I didn't feel depressed, and was generally pleased with myself. I really didn't see anything wrong with the way I looked or the way I was.
I switched schools at the start of the 6th grade. I went from a small private school, to what felt like a huge public school. My friend that switched from private to public at the same time as me was not even in the same classroom as I was, so I found myself mostly with no friends. I got into a fight (and lost badly) and got isolated even more. I tried so hard to fit in, but never could. I was seen not as another kid, but as a fat kid. Going into 7th grade I stopped trying to fit in. I wore sweat pants to school every day and did not have good hygiene. But, I was good at something and there was a place I felt good. And that was at the pool. Going into the summer before 8th grade my town started a swim team. I was the kid who couldn't shoot a basketball, was too slow to play football, but I was a good swimmer. So I swam, and I started my first ever real diet plan. I lost 40 or so pounds and got into good shape. I swam nearly 3 hours a day. That year I won events, got awards and people took notice of me for something other than being fat. It was great. But it didn't last. When turned 14 I could get a job. I needed to work because my family didn't have much money. The odd thing was I started working to help pay for all the swimming I was doing, but working kept me out of the pool, so eventually I was just working. Oh, and I worked at maybe the worst place a kid who doesn't understand what they should or should not eat was; I worked fast food. By my sophomore year in high school all of the weight was back plus a bunch more.
Thankfully I had gained confidence in myself because of my previous success in swimming. I had groups of friends and again was a happy person. I made sure I was always the first person to make a joke about my weight in order to take the sting out of it if some one else did. College came and I gained the Freshman 50 (15 is for skinny girls). I floundered around a bit in college after my chosen field of computers really turned out to be not what I wanted to do. After two different colleges I dropped out. I didn't know what to do with myself and knew what I was doing what not what I should be doing, so at 330 pounds I decided to join the military. They wouldn't take me. I was too fat.
I again started to lose weight. I was able to really dedicate myself to it since all I was doing was working a crappy job at a gas station and was living at home. My mom purchased a gym membership for me, and a drinking buddy of mine owned a karate school let me take classes for free. And I swam, every day. It took me nearly a year and I had to cheat by sucking in my stomach as hard as I could, but I enlisted in the United States Coast Guard at a weight of 279 pounds. I was by far the biggest person in my boot camp company. But I graduated, and graduated on time. I finished book camp at a weight around 255 pounds. I was in great shape. But that didn't last.
Just a few months after boot camp I was out of regulation weight. I tried multiple times to lose weight again, but without being able to dedicate myself to it like I had in the past nothing worked. I had a bunch of false starts and a bunch of failures.
Thankfully it was during this time that I met the women who would become my wife. If I had not met her and left the Coast Guard over weight, I really do not know where I would be today. Certainly depressed. Even with her help and seeing her pain I continued to gain weight. I don't know what my max weight was, but the max I ever recorded was around 355 pounds.
So why do I gain weight? I guess it is a bunch of things all wrapped together. I am an emotional eater. I eat when I am bored. I have even eaten in secret to avoid others finding out. I never really get the "full" message from my stomach. I eat fast. I used to drink about a gallon of Mt. Dew a day. I then switched to Diet Mt. Dew and still drank at least a gallon a day. I had a physical activity level of 0, and back pain to go with it.I just ate and ate and ate. Even as far into this program as I am when writing this right now I still fight the urges to eat and eat and eat.
So why do I think VLCD is going to work? It won't work, not by itself. Sure I will lose the weight, I am good at that. But shortly after the program I would go right back at the food like I used to. So I knew I couldn't just do the program to lose weight. I am using the program as a way to break my relationship with food. Each day I write about the feelings I have on this blog. I examine my cravings and think about what I would do if I wasn't on the shakes and bars right now. I have found out what hunger feels like. I have found out what fullness feels like. I found out that I really do have the will power to not eat treats when they are available. In short I think this is going to work in the long run because I am putting the work into myself that needs to done for this to work.