April 9, 2015

I Lost 50 Pounds. Thanks, Alanis Morissette.

A lot of things in my life have been accidental.

I doubt my mother sat my father down in the summer of 1988 and said, "let's have a baby out of wedlock and see what happens!"

They claim I was planned, but some nights, I wonder if my bastard status inspired me to lead a life of homosexuality?

Just kidding. The thug life chose me, bro.

Last October, my relationship of almost a year came to an end. I spent the next day listening to music from the 1990's and feeling bad for myself, which is expected.

One can only listen to Alanis Morissette so many times before you wish you were the man at 1:12 in the song "Ironic."

I figured I might as well listen to songs while I was running, so I grabbed my gym bag and walked to New York Sports Club in Park Slope.

For an expensive and desirable neighborhood in Brooklyn, the locker room of this location is atrocious. I thought a demon was going to claw its way out of the shower drain and drag me to the deepest pit of Hell. Needless to say, I'm happy to run in Prospect Park once the weather improves.

Over the past few months, I've made changes that added up; running five to six days per week, compared to once or twice; swapping out (rare) sugary beverages for water or club soda; ordering food when I was hungry, rather than if it "looked good."

Six months ago, I was pushing 210 pounds. As an athlete for 13 years, I suppose I was able to carry it somewhat well; probably appearing around 185 pounds.

As a former high school wrestler in one of the higher weight classes, I never really felt the need to be super fit and toned. I had been comfortable with myself, and assumed I was leading a healthy life over the past few years. After I began to run consistently, I realized what a transformation it could be -- and not only for my weight.

My anxiety (and obsessive-compulsive disorder) went down drastically, my skin looked more clear, I was more productive and focused at work and ironically, I had more energy, even after running six or seven miles a day. I feel more creative and spontaneous.

As cliché as it sounds, I started to run because one day of feeling bad about yourself is more than enough.

I understand there is a lot of debate regarding access to healthy food and the cost of a gym membership, but if you're looking to make a change, please consider this:

Parks are free, moderation is free and water is typically free.

So, I'd like to thank a 90's diva (by my standards) for forcing me to leave my bedroom that day. 'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket and the other one is holding a one-liter Schweppes club soda.

And Ms. Morissette, you better believe it's sodium free.