One Year Later

One year ago today, weighing in at a whopping 273 pounds, I started the Medifast program and lost a lot of weight and inches.  Here is a look at where I started and where I am today:

  • Weight:  273 lbs. to 147 lbs. (-126 lbs.)
  • Upper Arms:  16″ to 10.5″ (-5.5″)
  • Chest:  50″ to 36.5″ (-13.5″)
  • Waist:  54″ to 34″ (-20″)
  • Hips:  50″ to 35″ (-15″)
  • Thighs:  25″ to 18″ (-7″)

I won’t lie, the numbers are staggering and amazing.  I am amazed that I was able to accomplish something that I have always dreamed of.  However, this morning, my friend Scott Carden asked me a series of difficult questions on Twitter:  “How do you feel about yourself today vs. a year ago?  How much of a different person are you?  Inside and Out?”

These are great questions that have really caused me to reflect upon my internal and external appearances.  I have always been overweight which led me to constantly dream about being thin.  I would often visualize myself residing in a fat suit that at anytime I could unzip, step out of and instantly gain favor, love and acceptance from those around me.

For 20 years I fostered that belief and it created an expectation that if I was skinny, my life would be better.  That I would feel better about myself.  That I would do what I wanted to do with my life, because I wouldn’t have to deal with how I looked anymore.

How do I feel about myself now?  I am now dealing with those false expectations.  My life didn’t change when I weighed in at 147.  My insecurities still exist.  I am still me on the inside.  At times, I look in the mirror and still see the old me.  Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself.

I did notice that how people treated me changed.  When I was heavy, my worth was determined by others based on what I could do for them creatively (website design and development, graphic design, video production and photography).  But as I lost weight, people started to value me because of my physical appearance.  That was really hard for me to accept at first, because I still wanted to be valued based on what I could do.

I can honestly say that I have been successful because in addition to learning how to eat healthy foods, I was also seeing a counselor in order to deal with the emotional issues of why I was eating.  I have always been an emotional eater.  I eat to numb my pain.  I remember as a kid, eating bags of Chips Ahoy cookies in one sitting or downing a whole container of frozen cool whip, just because I was bored and hurting deep inside.  Emotions are a powerful force and food is my addiction.  My drug.  That is the biggest thing I have learned about myself in this whole process and I accept full responsibility for my actions in the past, present and future.

I feel like I am rambling a bit, but the honest truth is that while the exterior has changed tremendously, my interior needs a lot of work.  The exterior was easy compared to the journey that I am now on.

At the end of the day, I am grateful for losing the weight, because it has led me to a place of acceptance and desire to be emotionally healthy, even though the work is a million times harder when dealing with the interior of my life.

Thank you Scott for asking these tough questions.

11 replies on “One Year Later”

Chris, I commend you on your long journey of success. But I also want to add that being “thin” doesn’t always mwan instant “success”. There are many people out there who are thin that are not “happy”.’Happiness comes from within regardless of your outward appearance. Unfortunately society focuses on outside appearances on viewing “success”. The best thing about weight loss is the health benefit & ultimately feeling good physically, which in turn helps you to work on the emotional & mental health. May your journey being you the best of every aspect of life.

Thank you Gayle, I appreciate your words of insight and wisdom. Happiness truly comes from within and that is something that I am daily learning.

I think that’s exactly Chris’ point. For much of his life (if I’m understanding correctly) he bought into the myth that achieving “fill in the blank” will bring some sense of meaning, accomplishment, and worth. It’s a mirage that most of us in life pursue whether it’s weight loss, popularity, owning a nice home, business success, etc. most of us buy into the idea that if we can only attain that quantified measure of success we’ll finally be happy.

Chris, I love that you’ve climbed one of those “mountains” that many people think will bring happiness and now you have the gift of being able to speak into others lives because of your experiences. I pray that more and more people can hear your voice, can learn from what you’re (still) learning, and that we’ll all engage in this journey together of discovering where joy, happiness, and meaning are truly derived.Thanks for your words man!

I admire the transparency and openness Chris. You have done a great job with losing the weight and I hope that you continue to learn about yourself and find healing.

Thank you James, I will definitely keep pursuing myself and healing and keep sharing with everyone.

Life is a journey of constant self-discovery and reinvention, Chris. Be weary of those who never change; they neither acquire your introspection nor realize their potential.

Thanks Russell. Introspection can be draining, but an absolute necessity. Thanks for sharing.

🙂 In a lot of ways Jay, I am still just “Chris” and I do find a lot of peace in that.

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