I got back from Virginia around 3PM today. My New Years was an enjoyable one and I got to freak out a bunch of people. I’m originally from Culpeper, Virginia but a good chunk of my friends were from an adjacent town named Madison. They’ve all migrated to Waynesboro, VA now, which is in the mountains near Charlottesville. So that’s where I went. My best friend Josh and I have known each other since were 16 years old and we’re both 30 now. He hadn’t seen me for exactly 2 years. When my wife and I moved to North Carolina, we started a tradition of visiting every New Years. However, we skipped 2011 because at that point, I’d already lost 146 pounds. I hadn’t told Josh that I was even remotely interested in fitness and nutrition yet and he didn’t know I was trying to lose weight. I decided it would be funny to hide it from him until a just a couple days ago.
It felt like a really good idea but as time went on, it got harder and harder for me not to let him in on a change that was slowly enveloping and reshaping my life. I decided that I wanted to make fitness and nutrition a career. I sent an e-mail to Jeff Switalski, who is the lead trainer at the SportsCenter Fitness & Athletic Club in Concord, NC. Jeff is an absolutely amazing person and offered me a ton of help and led me to Dr. Jeff Galvin and his wife Paula at the Vitality Medical Wellness Institute, which just happened to be right above the SportsCenter. Vitality offered a service to help obese people fight their demons and learn to be strong. That’s where I met Vicki and decided what I wanted to do with my life.
But I couldn’t tell Josh yet. All of this was happening and it was killing me that I couldn’t tell him. I’ve stopped playing video games too, which was the core of our friendship for many years. It got to a point that I was obsessing so badly, I had literally nothing else to talk about other than fitness related stuff. He also started working out a couple of months prior to the visit, so that was making it even harder.
As we drove towards Waynesboro, my stomach was in knots. I was nervous and really worried that I’d somehow screw up the recording and lose a special moment on my timeline and that I’d tortured myself and neglected my best friend for nothing. Nope. Got it.
(Pictures in the post when you expand but no video yet. I need to spend some more time on that.)
I asked my wife to let me out down the street after we drove by my best friend’s new house so that I could make sure where it was. We circled around and I got out at the end of the block and walked to his door with my little video camera out. I panicked a little when I got to the door because I didn’t realize it had a glass port. It wasn’t clear glass at least, but I stood to the side of it and rung the bell. I’d decided that because we’d known eachother almost 15 years and most of our communication was over the phone and Internet, he’d recognize my voice. When the door opened, I just stood there with a camera in his face and said nothing for a new moments.
I consider myself fairly talented when it comes to reading people. So when I said, “Hi!” and this face followed, I thought I was about to get decked. You see, my friend Josh is paranoid and not just a little bit. I’ve seen him run at full speed into another room because a fan got some paper in it and he thought his bedroom was on fire. So I quickly said, “JESSE!” so he didn’t break my camera or my face. He also has 2 kids, so I figured I shouldn’t trigger the protection instincts any further.
I have a full video and also an unfortunate 30 minutes of me being completely and utterly hammered while playing BezzerWizzer and waiting for Josh’s brother to arrive later that night. It’s going to be very hard for me to let that see the light of day. I drink once a year, generally always on New Years, and I don’t play around. I may have also tried to drink as much as I could have when I weighed over 500 pounds and it may or may not have gone horribly awry.
DON’T JUDGE ME!
Anyway, this was really special to me and it took a lot to keep it a secret, so I’m going to try and do something cool with the videos, which is why I’m not just posting them outright. I know a lot of people wanted to see it but I’m going to spend a little time making it cooler, so my apologies for the tease.
Last weekend when Josh opened the door, it marked the end of phase 1 of my transformation. I’ve trained my mind and body into a decently stable place. I feel more confident than I ever have. I’ve gotten over my agoraphobia. There’s a little social anxiety leftover but I’ve always been shy so that might just be a part of my base personality, which is fine. I don’t mind me. This phase was about bringing out the athlete’s spirit and phase 2 is going to be about bringing out the athlete’s body. I’ve come a long way but there’s still a long way to go.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading my walls of text and supporting me. I really appreciate it.
P.S. My apologies to Josh’s wife Heather for making 100 Jell-O shots because I had a history of wiping out half of them and also for making me cupcakes. I remember how amazing your cooking was, so I was eating them in my brain. If nothing else, I proved to myself that I could walk through the fires of dieter’s hell. I’m not kidding. She’s the best cook in the world and filled a kitchen with goodies.