I started with the title “The road to O2ea” but you don’t throw something like O2EA that no one really knows what it means in a title, right? Especially when I’m not getting into O2ea just yet, that’s down the road. That is of course if this post doesn’t go like so many others where it meanders off in a different direction than I originally intended. No promises.
The road started when my doc sat me down and asked, “have you ever thought about weight loss surgery?”
Pffffft. Yeah right. That’s only for people who can’t do it on their own. And doggone it I did it on my own. Once. Sort of. I had gone from 384 pounds to 301… never could break into the 200’s, but still, that’s pretty good right? And I held it there. For maybe a year. Kind of. It slowly drifted back up. Then not so slowly. When she first met me I was around 393 pounds. For all I knew I may have been over 400 at some point. And hey, I lost 40 of it. But then I gained 20 back.. I’d probably lost a good 400 pounds in a few years time. We don’t need to talk about the fact I also gained a good 380+ in that same time frame.
So how’s that doing it yourself working for you anyway? She didn’t exactly say it that way. But she did point out a dirty little secret, that hardly anyone does it themselves. Or what happens is they’re like me, they can have some pretty incredible success. And that’s where all the weight loss companies get their pictures in their ads. Their ads never show the pictures of Kirsti Alley after she gained her weight back, do they? This is by no means a knock on Kirsti Alley because I’ve been her. Okay, I was never a hot looking Vulcan officer on Star Trek in my younger years, and my weight loss was not nearly as successful as hers, but Iv’e gained it all back like her, and lost it and gained it. And hey, I’d have my before and after pictures showing how well I did. And we always see the before and after pictures on facebook. We just never see the after after pictures. That’s because once we’ve gained our weight back we really don’t want you to see the pictures of us being back to (or above) our before status. At least not until we’ve lost it again, then you get the after after after picture.
Anyway, she got me to at least agree to go to a seminar. And yes, it was quite the marketing thing, and it was pretty slick. And the slickness of it made me a bit skeptical. But, the doc was saying some things that really made some sense. He was pointing out it wasn’t the easy way out, it would be more work than anything you’ve ever done on a diet. That caught my attention a bit, was he trying to talk me out of it? He had a panel of guests there, people who had gone through the surgery, and they all told the pros and cons of their surgeries. Some went through some real struggles, but would do it again in a heartbeat because they got their lives back. One guy’s story caught my attention, he’d just completed a half marathon and was working on a full marathon.
Years ago I was a runner. Never organized, but… I ran a lot. Now because of my weight, I’d gone through having some terrible knee problems. They got better. The previous Christmas I’d been given a gift certificate and I decided to get a running book and shoes, and start some run walk attempts at getting back to running again. My right knee figured it would never forgive me for that one – it had me limping for a couple months after that attempt. So here’s a guy who was where I was and now was doing this endurance athlete stuff…
Long story longer (because really, at this point to say to make a long story short by adding more about the story really is a lie, isn’t it? If I’m not going back and cutting out the story ahead (also known as editing) then I really am not making a long story short, am I?) I had lapband surgery. I’ve been through some of this before – the lapband at some point decided to try to strangle my stomach and cut me off any food or water so it had to be removed, then last November I had the vertical sleeve.
I still got a ways to go, thus the still fat part. But one thing that’s really made a huge difference is getting to the point where I can start running. In my attempts to run in the past all I could manage was a shuffle, to truly run was out of the question. Today, my long runs are slow, my fast runs are slow but the thing I love is that I CAN run fast slowly. I can do more than a shuffle, and sustain it for more than 5 seconds. That’s a pretty incredible feeling. And being able to even consider doing a half marathon class like I did was a huge bit of progress for me.
The interesting thing is, there is this guy who was helping with the long runs named Richard Kalasky. It turns out he was the guy who spoke at the seminar. Now he’s doing ironman triathlons and all this crazy endurance athlete stuff. And he has this training thing called O2EA. Yeah, that’s the O2EA that I was going to put in the title. Overweight 2 Endurance Athlete. Of course I’ve been so wrapped up in the training for the half marathon that I hadn’t checked his program out yet. But he just posted something yesterday about putting together a race team and if you’ve lost a lot of weight and are doing races now… and I’m thinking hmmmmmm.
And as I write this I’m still thinking and still hmmmmmmming. It could be interesting. There is this voice that says yes, I have the Overweight part down, and I’m in the middle of the 2 part but I’m not at the Endurance Athlete part.
But then… dammit I just did a half marathon. Maybe it’s time to tell that voice to shut up.