I have been a photographer for all of my life, I have taken easily MILLIONS of photos over my career, but my one pet peeve is having a photo taken of me. I might chalk this up to being a big guy all of my life and an even bigger guy in the past few years. Fifteen years ago or so I was big like I was last year and lost a great deal of weight and got down to 250 pounds, yes down to 250.
Over the last fifteen years I have crept back up to my BIG self again. I have always been called "Big Guy", or "Big Al, or Big A" or whatever. To go way back, I weighed 80 pounds in kintergarden, and was hauled into the principals office when in first grade for taking on a sixth grader who called me fatty, I had him on the ground and was sitting on him ready to strike when Mr. Schneider pulled me off and directed me to the office. I got off without too much punisment since it was in "Self Defence".
As I grew up my size became an advantage, I was much taller than most of the kids in my class, bigger and pretty smart. I became sought after for the football team and on the track team, I threw shot-put and discus and was the anchor on the tug-of-war team, (we never lost). I blew a knee while screwing around jumping hurdles my Junior year in High School and had to sit out my senior year of football, pretty much forefiting any scholarship possibilities I had for after I graduated. I decided to wrestle my senior year and in the heavyweight class I weighed between 300-20, I won 40 matches by pins and lost just two.
I credit my love of photography to come out of the loss of a football career in college, so I decided to do something I love instead of playing sports.
Throughout my photography career, my size has been an advantage and a curse. I have used my size to stand my ground in many hairy situations and it has helped me survive many riot-type situations while shooting. But, the weight has held me back and made it hard for me to have the stamina to keep up a 100% pace while shooting something that required alot of physical activity and walking. I sometimes had to give up on shooting some things just because I was physically too big, or it would really hurt my knee. I has an operation in 1996 that removed all of the cartlidge in my right knee.
So since then, I have been less active, gained weight, and the weight gain, made my knee hurt worse, it was a vicious cycle. That kinda brings me to the beginning of this year. What made it click in my brain that I had to loose weight, I have no idea. I was out of breath all of the time, had sleep apnea, would sit on the couch and make my son go get things for me because it was so dificult for me to get up. My vicious cycle was coming to an end quickly if I did not do something, and fast. One night I was on the computer chatting with my friend Chris Howell, who told me he had been dieting and had lost 10 pounds, he was doing great. I told him I would like to join him and began my diet the first of the year (2011). I found an app for my iPhone 4 called Lose It! I started using the app on January 5th, 2011, and have not missed loggong my food one day since then. That was 105 pounds ago! This app has a support website at www.loseit.com and it is free, (the app and website), you can use both or either the app, or the website.
So as I go into my weigh-in tomorrow, I present you and the world with a photo of me, taken by my lovely wife Mary Bower. I am holding two 50 pound bags of dog food. Their weight just shy of my total weight loss since Jan. 5th. I will be honest with you, I just don't know how I did it. I carried just one bag in and had trouble getting up the back steps, let alone two. Let alone carrying these two bags on our nightly, mile walk. The last few times, I have been jogging the first 1/4 mile of our walk. I am amazed at the energy and stamina I now have just compared to the first of the year. I have lost over 10 inches off my waist and all of my shirts are baggy on me now. With the Lose It! app, I am simply logging all the calories I eat, and the exercise I do. When I first began this process I could not believe the number of calories I WAS eating. This app makes you take a good hard look at the reality of food and how to get the most bang for your buck. You can eat anything you want, but just a certain amount.
My app says I will reach my goal of loosing 125 more pounds next October, so until then, he is to eating healthy...
Me and two 50 Pound bags of dog food, equaling my weight loss total...