The Story: Chapter 1

Chapter 1: A New Day
Dates Covered: Oct 25 2001-Dec 2001

I put down my tray and walked out of the dinning hall, went back to my dorm room and began to think about the task before hand. The rest of my life was before me. I was determined that tomorrow was going to be another day, a different day. I was going to eat better and after class I was going to workout. Fortunately for me my dorm had a small mini gym in the basement. Nothing too big, maybe around 500 SQ. It had 2 bikes, 3 legs machine, 2 arm machines, and a bench etc. This would be my stepping stone, before making my way to the real gym on campus.

I’ll be honest, when I first started in the gym, I was scared and timid. I was 18 and had never really lifted weights before.  I didn’ want people laughing at me while I struggled to lift the weight. I knew I couldn’t bench press or curl any real weight, so I started where, and with something I felt comfortable with; Working my Legs, the area where most guys neglect, and where I found my beginning. The leg machines worked as a protective covering for my lack of upper body strength. I was able to build the mentality “I”m working out, which is better than nothing, and better most”

For nearly a month, the only exercises I preformed where the Leg Extension, Lying Leg Press, and I cycled on the bike. All of these legs machines, worked my poor body to death, I mean I sweated like a “Whore in Church on Sunday”. I also made a promise to myself that I would no longer take the bus around campus, that I would walk everywhere. With the walking around campus, lugging those heavy books, and did I mention I lived on the 4th floor, with no elevator I began to shed a few pounds. The funny thing is I didn’t know I was losing weight. I didn’t have a scale. I couldn’t feel a bit of difference in my size 50 jeans, but at 350lbs, I couldn’t SEE or FEEL the difference, even if change was occurring.

Simultaneously while all of this is going on, my diet changed drastically. Today I would consider the new foods, I changed to be a bad way to eat, but it was a move forward. I stopped eating fast food, no more McDonald’s, Burger King etc. I gave up regular soda and changed to diet. I stopped eating candy and fried & battered foods, above all french fries. I didn’t go cold turkey, but the changes came quick and they came fast. Hey I was paying for a Meal Plan, so I decided use it to it’s optimal potential. With no stove or kitchen in my dorm, it was going to take a combined effort of campus food, and groceries for me to start eating better. So what did I eat, you’re wondering by now, right?

Going Shopping I would buy:
Bagels, Jello-fruit cups, rice cakes, fat-free chocolate pudding, bottle water, Baked Lays, Bananas, yogurt, Hawaiian Punch. I stayed away from the common college meals: The Easy-Mac, Ra-men Noodles, Hot Pockets, Pop-tarts etc.
Campus: Largly Dependent on the Dinning Hall

Breakfast -Meat+ Egg&Cheese biscuit, plus Juice or Breakfast Bar + Juice
Lunch: Turkey on wheat with Lettuce, cheese, no spread, cucumbers, salads-no dressing, A veggie of some sort, and some cookies. Would also get turkey or veggie burgers once in a while.
Dinner: If the entree involved things like Salisbury steak,  meatloaf, fish, I’d go for that, along with veggies, salads, if not, then it was turkey on wheat again
Brunch on the weekends: Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, cucumbers, chicken nuggets and yogurt.
Me and my friends would go out to eat at a restaurant once week, and I would try my best just to eat good.

During this time, I was still very insecure with my body and very very self conscious about it. I was so ashamed my body that I would be drag all of my clothes to the community showers and get dressed in the stall. Even though I had a robe, I didn’t want to walk down the hall, and I didn’t want to change in front of my room mate, whom I had grown up with since we were like 8 years old. Sometimes being so sleepy with having all 8 o’clock classes I would forget my clothes and have to come back to the room after the shower and change. My roommate would still be sleeping, but I would stay as quiet as possible, and get dressed nearly in the dark, with hopes of him not waking up and seeing me. I didn’t even like the way I looked in my workout clothes, which were just sweats and an old tee.

Class time was interesting, the Nerd inside of me, caused me to sit third row center from the front. Even though we had stadium seating, my people casually joke, “Justin I can’t see the screen”, even though they two large projection screens were on the sides of the lecture hall. I know what you’re thinking, those aren’t very nice, but in all seriousness, they didn’t really pick on me at all. We all studied together and it was just their personalities. One of the guys would be my roommate in 3 years, and the other one would become a really close friend. They both, still deny saying those things, and say with a guilty grin ” I just don’t remember you being that big, honestly”. We still laugh about it today.

Coupled with the fact that by now the semester was ending, I was SOOOO STRESSED. I was too worried about my first set of Final Exams as a college freshman. Normally I would have stressed out and ate more than usually, but I was so stressed I couldn’t really keep anything down. Besides the intake of more sodas than usual, I don’t remember eating too bad. I was just ready for it to be all over and just wanted to go home. By the time exams has ended(it was a long two weeks), I saw the first signs of my my efforts, one of my shirts(3XL-4XL) didn’t feel as snug as it did before…

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Explore posts in the same categories: Advice, Life, Nutrition, Self-Image, The Story, Weight Loss

One Comment on “The Story: Chapter 1”

  1. Lori Says:

    You know, I love the leg press where you lie down. It’s one of my favorites.

    Justin, try changing into a swimsuit with a bunch of little bitty girls or little bitty children. I said at WW tonight that doing this all this summer has burned off any embarrassment I might have about how I look in a swimsuit. Don’t get me wrong, I still look bad in a suit and wished I looked better but eh, I don’t worry that much anymore.

    You know, you were toning up and losing inches. This is great.


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