Two years ago today, I was sitting in my doctor’s office for my annual. Always a fun time, right? Fasting, due for a prostate check, poking and prodding, in various states of undress. It was also my 45th birthday, and I was not looking forward to the day. I weighed in at 323 that day, the heaviest I’d ever been, and had my first serious conversation about losing weight with my doc.
As we get older, birthdays become less significant. I mean, there was a time I always took my birthday off work (and often the next day for recovery…). Now I’m a husband, a father, a professional – it’s really just another day. That particular day, though, is a special birthday; as a great friend told me recently, it was really my RE-birthday.
We all face change every day. Some of those changes are tectonic shifts, others are minor. Often we don’t recognize how big the ripples are until much later. The three biggest RE-birthdays of my adult life are my wedding day, the birth of our son, and that day at the doctor. The first two I knew were coming, the third just kind of happened – but it was a long time coming! Before that day, I had a good life. There was my beautiful and brilliant wife, blessed with the patience of a saint. Our wonderful son – smart, funny, kind, and athletic. Good job, working with good people. Most of the way through a degree completion program. I had no real complaints in life. I also wasn’t particularly happy with myself.
I wasn’t the husband, father, or person I wanted to be. I was bored with my job, going through the motions and with no passion for life. Perpetually tired and lacking energy, I couldn’t mow the lawn or play catch or do, well, anything without pausing for a rest afterwards. I’ve been somewhere along the pudgy/chunky/obese spectrum my whole life, and it was trending the wrong direction.
On that day, I decided it was time to change. The doc opened the door, telling me to let him know if I wanted to have a serious discussion about losing weight. Stepping through that door, I had my RE-birth; and the last two years have been an amazing roller coaster ride. I lost 95 pounds in the first year, and have held the weight steady since then. Now leaner and stronger than I’ve ever been, I just completed my first half marathon on Saturday. Last year, the Spartan trifecta was the crazy goal my friends and I set – and achieved! This year we will do it again, along with anything else we put our minds to.
The other big change from that RE-birthday is looking outside of my own life. It’s not just about me getting fit and healthy, or even my family. Going beyond that, it’s realizing that I can help other people do the same. That passion and drive I was missing is there when I’m helping other people achieve their goals. We created 1DOS, a group of like-minded people who wanted to find a better way, find their path forward. The extension of that is 1DOS Foundation, the nonprofit we are launching to help people meet the costs of health and wellness and change their lives for the better.
Today is the anniversary of my birth, and my RE-birth. Maybe it’s a first day for you at something, too. Or maybe you have been thinking about a change for a while now. Life is about adapting to change. I’ve come to realize that there are things I can do, and things I haven’t done yet… like write post #2 for this site. Time to get moving!