The only thing that I had going for me in my twenties was that weight was not much of an issue. Thank God, I had that going for me. I can break up those years into three sections. The first section was my college education. I went to school at St. Petersburg Jr. College for two years, then I moved on to University of South Florida where I finished my Bachelor in Science degree In Biology/Pre-Med and worked on two Master degrees which I did not finish. A second portion revolved around work. I worked in retail for the vast majority of those 10 years working nights on the grocery stock crews. The work was back-breaking, thankless and you derived little financial compensation doing it. The other third was training and participation in Triathlons. This was the only portion that I benefited both physically and mentally from.
In the first section I received an education that formed the bulding block of my knowledge base. A base that would facilitate my nursing career fifteen years later. In the second part or work part, while it served as my financial sustainer, provided me with social interaction skills that would also help in my nursing career. The triathlon section was the only thing that really only provided for immediate gain, but provided little long term benefit. It helped me maintain my weight and physical conditioning for my early adult life. It also helped me recover from a back injury which I suffered while at work. Unfortunately once I stopped training for my races, I gained weight. It was my plan to stay in triathlons for many years to come but the level I had attained was too demanding to allow for any kind of social life. When I finished my Iron Man race I was training over twenty hours a week. With my 45 hours of work a week, that left little time for anything else. During this time I dated casually but I never devoted any real time towards maintaining a lasting relationship. A word to the wise, while I was training for my endurance events, I was consuming up to 10,000 calories a day. This costs a lot of money and it takes time to prepare all the food. One other side effect from eating so many healthy calories is that you may become quite flatulent. My flatus became incredibly malodorous. To give you an example, if you ever watched the Looney Tunes Cartoon PePe Le Pew, you will get an idea.
During my 20’s, my weight was pretty stable at 190 to 195 pounds. Unfortunately during my 29th year, life took a change for the worse, I became involved with a woman that I affectionately named “Psycho Bitch”. I ended up losing 50 pounds of muscle mass and I gained it all back plus an additional 30 pounds in fat which I carried through most of my 30’s. It was during this time that my body started to change in other ways as well. I became less tolerant of healthy fruits and vegetables. My diet revolved more around carbohydrates and some limited proteins. My wife eventually graduated from nursing school and after working as a nurse for a couple of years her schedulae radically changed which required me to make a career change as well. I chose to follow her in nursing. I was now 35 years old. She had warned me that I would gain weight in nursing school, so I went on my first diet . I dropped over 30 pounds and went back down to my 195 pound fighting weight. I lost the weight fairly easily since I was still young. During my 2.5 years in nursing school, I gained the weight back mainly because I was not very active physically. I might add that pretty much my whole 10 years of my thirty’s my lifetsyle was fairly sedentary.
I was 38 years of age when I became a nurse in Florida. My first wife and I moved to Las Vegas in the summer of 2002. While I did not lose any additional weight. I started lifting weights and converted some of that new fat back into muscle. I have to admit that I was never this strong before. However, my cardiovascular conditioning did not really improve much. By 2010, I started losing weight again. I went from 255 down to 225 pounds. I maintained this weight till I became legally separated from my second wife in 2007. At this time, I lost another 20 pounds which brought me to a low of 205 pounds. I maintained that weight till a year after I married my third wife. Unfortunately as happened in my first two marriages I started gaining weight again. This time I did not stop at my previous high of 255 pounds I went all the way up till I reached a new high of 308 pounds.
Each time I lost weight I did so for an established goal. One time I lost weight so I would be in better shape for my scuba diving. Another time I lost weight before I went to visit a female friend of mine who lived in Thailand. It seemed that each time I reached my short term goal, I would eventually regain the weight. I have learned some valuable goals form these successes. First of all, you need to find a sustainable way to lose weight. If you base it on some extreme diet or physical activity you will never be able to maintain the weight lose. Second of all, you need to have a long term reason for losing the weight. Just like my short term goals, a lot of people especially women lose weight every year so that they can wear their summer bathing suits. So once the summer is over, their weight bounces back up. This type of activity is not healthy. In the long run it only serves to feed their vanity.
Each time I lost weight it became a little more difficult to do so. One time I only had to stop drinking soda and I lost weight. The last time it took over a year to lose 20 pounds but only six months to regain the 20 plus another 80 pounds.