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Dad Club London just wrapped up our DCL Weight Loss Challenge #5, and it was a massive success, but made me reflect on my own personal struggles I’ve been fighting for years.

Apples sand measuring tape
“Born sinner, the opposite of a winner Remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner.” – Notorious BIG

I HATE excuses

I try to pride myself, of all the things that make up my character, on my strong desire to won my actions, or at least be held accountable for what I do. From raising my son as a single father, going back to school at my age, to even representing this club the best way possible, I pride myself on my determination to be an example for others. The one thing I’m embarrassed about though is my lack of personal fitness, my avoidance of necessary change, and my relentless desire to make excuses for it.

Man in front of Red Sox sign at Fenway

I remember eating sardines for dinner. As well as Kraft dinner, Spam, bags of chips, ice cream, and basically everything else lacking nutritional value. I’ve spent many a breath suggesting it was due to my upbringing, or my financial situation as a young adult, to even that it takes too long to cook a healthy meal. I can’t fathom how many times I’ve caught myself eating, just to eat, and told myself “tomorrow is the day I’ll care”.

About 6 months ago my knees started to hurt to the point I could barely get through a day of work. Chronic pain with no end in sight, and I was too stubborn to face the fact: I needed to lose weight. When I was recently in Boston this May, I was rubbing lotion on my knees to numb the pain after a day of walking around town.

I couldn’t do much anymore. Even playing road hockey with my sons was becoming impossible. I weighed myself the day I came home from Boston and tipped the scales at 302 lbs.

So, when the DCL Weight Loss challenge came up, I knew this was the jump start I needed. I was ridiculously excited to finally get my ass in gear.

As this challenge started started, I got to read a lot of the others’ back stories, the struggles, and the goals. I knew I wasn’t alone in this fight. I finally felt confident this would be the change that I needed. I embraced the opportunity to seize this moment.

Then I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia.

The physician who tended to me ordered me to light duty, and absolutely no lifting of weight. I was devastated as it felt I was back to square one. After a month of waiting to get a consultation in London with a surgeon, to no avail, I went to a hospital in Toronto that specializes in hernia surgery.

“You need to lose 50 lbs before we will operate.”  If there was ever a moment in life that I was ever more devastated, I’ve yet to identify it. I came back to London, and after the reality of this news set in, I promptly went into this challenge to declare my new excuse to not lose weight.

Man after 55 lb weight loss

Fortunately for me, a few of the other participants reached out to me privately and told me to not give up. I sulked for a bit, but moved past it and focused once again on the others who had inspired me prior to my diagnosis. Neil, Jamie, and Nick became my sole focus, as these 3 gentlemen were very forth coming with their struggle, and consistently attacked this with a positive approach. Without them, I may have left the challenge and never looked back.

In the end, this was more than winning first place, or losing the most weight. For me this was a tool to change my habits, my attitudes, my willingness to accept failure so easily. The participants became my support circle, my friends, and my personal coaches. I entered this challenge at a whopping 291 lbs, and exited at 255 lbs. Above all though, I’ve finally proved to myself that excuses are the byproduct of a weak mind, and determination can be one heck of a driving force.

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to my fellow competitors, the ones who struggled and succeeded with me, the ones who used this as a honest attempt to not simply cut weight , but instead change their overall health and mindsets. Thank-you to Ryan Gregory, who organized this entire event, and more importantly, wouldn’t let me quit.

This is just the start, no more excuses, and I’m finally pain free for the first time in a long time. In closing, I’ll let Notorious BIG say it better than I ever could……

“Damn right I like the life I live, ‘Cause I went from negative to positive. And its all……good”

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