Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Personal Triumph

This is not a post about decorating, or design. It's a personal post, one I hope you'll read. 

Many of you know that I've been on a journey to health for the last few months. I said I would share photos and more of the story at some point, and I figured that now was as good a time as any. This week I started working with a personal trainer. I'm sore, and angry. Thankfully though, I knew to expect this, and am actually rather excited that this journey I've been on since February has come to this point; the end of the road, you might say.

You see, in February, I had a health scare, and realized at the Dr.'s office that I was tipping the scale at 281.4 pounds. It wasn't my finest moment. While I knew that I was getting heavy, I always thought I dressed it well, and no one ever threw any comments about my weight out there - so I figured I was fine. Sitting on the table in her office, she asked: "Artie, how much do you weigh?" I thought about it for a moment, wondering if I should tell her that I hadn't been on a scale in more than 2-years. I answered "245 pounds". She gave me this head half tilted look, and said, let's go get on the scale.

The scale was ominous, this giant square on the floor, big enough for a wheelchair, and above it, a little digital screen with burning red numbers. I stepped on, hoping, praying I was less than 245 pounds. Then, there it was. Like demon eyes glowing in the dark night, the terrifying numbers 2, 8, 1, and 4, clearly NOT in the order I had wanted them to be.

At that point, I was so embarrassed I immediately began apologizing to the doctor, and after leaving her office, I vowed that I would go on a diet. Fourteen days later, and probably a lot heavier, I started on the Paleo diet, which I would stick to without cheating from February 4 - May 10. In that time period, I lost 69 pounds. The diet, paired with exercise worked wonderfully for me, and there are so many forums and blogs about the Paleo diet, I felt like I was consistently able to find inspiration, recipes, and stories of success when I felt like quitting.

Now, 3-months later, I've lost 96.2 pounds from my once 281.4 pound frame, and I'm moving on to the muscle building and sculpting phase of this journey. I have to admit, it's not easy. Although I have been running 5-7 miles a day for the last few months, the work-outs that I get when working with my trainer really push me to my limits, and work muscles I never knew existed.

For the next 6-weeks, I'll be on a super strict diet, much more strict than Paleo, working out twice a week with the trainer, with cardio on my own, and one lifting day on my own. Sounds like fun, right? Like I said in the disclaimer, this isn't a post about decorating. What it is, however, is me sharing with all of you, who have become friends over this long blogging career, a little more about me. I also hope, that you'll understand why blog posts have been short, and nothing of CDLV has been shown. I have focused my efforts to work, and achieving my fitness goals ... and unfortunately, that has meant that the blog has suffered some level of neglect.

I will however, be posting again soon. Including news about the secretary, which is actually coming along quite well, and looks beautiful - and my new chinoiserie wallpaper panels in the bedroom.

Until then, however, I'll leave you with some photos of my journey. I hope they inspire you to start a healthy journey of your own, if you need it, and to continue on your healthy journey - if you've already began.

Here I am, with Linda - a talented florist, at a tour of kitchens I did 3 years ago. I loved this little patio dining room. Too bad it rained the entire tour!
And here I am, sitting in a ridiculously oversized chair outside of Philadelphia, middle of July 2014.
Here I am, inside of Biscotti's (my favorite restaurant in Jacksonville, FL) in July 2013.
And here I am with my best friend Allison, at the end of July 2014.
A really blurry photo of me after winning Best in Show at the Lewiston Tour of Homes 2012
And a photo of me and some of the guys from the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus after our last concert of the Spring Semester, 2014. (I'm fifth from the left.)
I started doing side by side photos to help me see how far I've come. When you've been living it for months, it's hard to remember what you looked like when you started. So on days that I feel "fat" I just put together a side by side like this ... and realize, I'm not.
Left: me at Christmas 2013; Right: me in late June 2014
Me, in January 2014 outside of Sardi's in New York City after seeing Kinky Boots.
And lastly, a photo I had taken about a week ago, before I started training with the personal trainer.
So there you have it. The evolution of losing probably more than 96.2 pounds, and the reason why I've been so quiet. I've been spending all that time I used to spend researching and typing, running and preparing healthy meals. So if you hop on the blog from time to time, and wonder what I'm doing... well, I'm working hard at getting to my goal. I haven't forgotten you - and I'll be back soon!
All my love,