The Courage to Change | A Weight Loss Journey
On September 18, 2011 a visit to the doctor revealed a shocking number when he stepped on the scale: 408 pounds.
Blake Mitchamore had battled his weight the majority of his life, but this was an all-time high. At 5’9″ the extra 200+ pounds he carried was threatening to kill him. He couldn’t stand up for more than 20-30 minutes without his back spazzing and needing to sit down. He was suffering from sleep apnea and most nights only slept between 3-4 hours. It was imperative that he dramatically change his lifestyle or else.
Have you ever hit rock bottom? Do you know what it feels like to look yourself in the mirror and have a what-the-heck-have-I-done-to-myself moment? The fear of knowing you desperately need help and can’t keep going the way you’ve been?
Most people have reached a point where they know change is compulsory. And looked down the road to change and known it wasn’t going to be easy. I’ve been there and it felt like I was standing at the base of Mount Everest. But what do most do in these situations?
BLAME SOMEONE ELSE. “It’s my parents fault.” “It’s my spouses fault.” “It’s my friends fault.” “I wouldn’t be so messed up if ___________ hadn’t done what they’d done.” Or blame life’s circumstances–death, loss, pain, abuse–for the way you cope.
Pain. It’s a little four letter word that can cause all sorts of addictions and struggles. Someone like Blake doesn’t eat himself to 408 pounds without being all too familiar with pain. Blake buried his father at age 23 after a tragic accident. And he used a familiar friend to cope with the loss.
Blake openly talks about his relationship status. He hasn’t had a relationship in 3-4 years–and weight wasn’t the main barrier. Self-hatred and condemnation took over and he said, “how could I open myself up to let someone else love me when I didn’t love myself?” He attended many of his friend’s weddings–and found himself longing for the same committed relationship.
Through a great deal of prayer, research, and after making a commitment to life-long change–Blake had gastric sleeve surgery on November 13th. But surgery wasn’t a quick fix. He accompanied the surgery with serious dieting and exercise. Since his initial doctor’s appointment on September 18, Blake has lost 123 pounds! Through eating right and exercise, he now weighs 285 pounds. He is training for the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. Unbelievable!
Blake was standing at the base of a seemingly insurmountable mountain just four months ago. He could have continued to believe that change was impossible. He could have pointed to all his failed attempts at weight loss and not wanted to even try. He could have continued to believe he was just destined to be a ‘single guy’ and never have a family. He could have blamed his weight on his slow metabolism, his father’s death, or other sources of pain in his life. But he didn’t. He very boldly stated, “It’s no one’s fault other than mine that I am 408 pounds.”
And he knew no one was going to do the hard work for him.
He needed to start by changing his mind about his situation. Every day, he’s making decisions–ones that cause pain (imagining lugging around all that extra weight on a run)– to pursue health and wellness.
Maybe you aren’t overweight, but maybe it’s a secret addiction in your life. Or maybe its a path you’ve been going down for a long time that leads to desperate places. Wherever you were in 2011 doesn’t have to dictate 2012 for you. You can have a fresh start. Will you step out in courage and start climbing? Will you have the courage to change? Change must start with you.
Blake started a blog about his weight loss journey in hopes to help others struggling with weight issues. Check out his blog and come cheer him on at the Nashville Half Marathon this April. He will be the one with his hands in the air crossing the finish line with a big grin across his face. Because he did it. And so can you.
Michael and Blake worked at a Young Life camp in July 2010 when Michael was living in Germany. We encouraged him to run the half marathon, as we know crossing that finish line will be life-changing. I am inspired by his courage! Leave your comments for Blake below.
If you liked this post, you may also like:
- Keep Fighting | Lessons from The Biggest Loser
- Two Choices: A Life With and A Life Without Hope
- Love Where It Hurts
- Running is Redemption