As of today, I've lost 100 pounds. I still have 23 to go before I hit my target weight, but it sure feels good to have made it this far. Some friends have expressed admiration that I've managed to do this alone. The truth is that this has been far from a solitary effort. True, I don't work with a personal trainer or dietician. I'm not a member of a gym, and I haven't joined Weight Watchers or any other weight loss support groups, but I haven't done this alone. In a way, my friends have been with me every step of the way. I've received nothing but support and encouragement from my friends in Atlanta as well as my online Facebook friends, most of whom I haven't even met in person. Regularly reporting my progress on Facebook helps keep me accountable, and the words of encouragement I've received have helped me stay motivated.
Sometimes there's nothing more annoying than the newly converted, but at the risk of sounding preachy, let me say this: If I can do it, you can do it. Aside from my four years in the Air Force, I've been overweight most of my adult life. I shudder to think at the total gallons of Ben and Jerry's I've eaten, and you could probably build a large, delicious hill with the chips and burgers I've consumed. In spite of all that, I've lost 100 pounds in six months, and I've progressed from a 30-minute walk to a regular 3.5 mile run. Recently I signed up for a half marathon. I can't even run 10 miles yet, but I guarantee I'll be able to run 13.1 miles in another 5 months.
So if this former couch potato can get off his large ass and turn it around, I know you can, too. You need to find your motivation, set your goals, plan your diet, and plan your exercise. Finally, find or create a support group. It could be a formal program, a personal trainer, a workout partner, or an informal support group like the one I created for myself on Facebook. I couldn't have made it this far without my Facebook peeps!
It's not going to be easy, that's for sure, but it's doable. If there's any way I can help, please let me know. I'd be happy to be in your cheering section!
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.