For the past 12 weeks I have been on the journey of a lifetime.
Watching our local news last year I saw a story about a local journalist that was going into his finale of a weight loss competition put on by HEB called the Slim Down Showdown. I found my curiosity getting the best of me so I took to the internet to research this competition. At the time I read the info on the HEB website I had one week to decide if I should apply to participate before the deadline. I discussed things with my wife and I decided I had nothing to lose but weight. I filled out the application and made a 3 minute video of myself (3 minutes is hard) and mailed it off 2 days before the deadline.
Fast forward about a month later…
I am at the local university participating in a program called Fit Life for work. This is out annual stress test for work and assessment. I walked out feeling disappointed I had not met the goals I set for myself the previous year. As I got back into my truck I noticed a voicemail so I listen as Ms Melissa V-W left me a message saying she was with HEB and wanted to set up an interview for the contest. I immediately returned the call but then I had to leave a message for her. The next 24 hours were the longest of my life as I didn’t hear back from her. The next day I called again and I fnally got a hold of her. I had to apologize for my anxiety but I didn’t want to blow this opportunity. She scheduled my interview and the following week I found myself driving to Houston to interview with a panel of what seemed like 100 people. The interview was very personal for me and I still won’t share that aspect of things but I will say I did have to use some of the tissues. I finished the interview and was lead out and told I would hear by 2 weeks if I made it. I left it in my faith’s hands.
Two weeks later I got home from work and realized it was almost 5 o’clock and I had not heard from anyone from HEB. I told my wife that I guess I didn’t make it. She asked if I was sad and I said no, but in my heart I was sad. Then 5 minutes later I got a call from a little firecracker…Suzanne Parker – the HEB health and wellness coach. She informed me I was selected to take part in the HEB Slim Down Showdown 2013!! I couldn’t believe it.
I have told you all about Fit Camp and you have all read about my progress throughout these last few weeks. I had fear going through this journey and I only felt like quiting just one time. On the way home from Fit Camp I spent those 3 hours by myself in my truck thinking I wasn’t going to be able to do this on my own. I didn’t think I would ever find motivation to workout as much as I needed to. I walked into my house and saw my handsome son Diego and my very pregnant wife Joy and found the motivation. Then Diego said, “see momma he still has a belly”. I knew I had to do this.
I have learned so much about myself during this journey and apparently have motivated some people along the way. I love hearing compliments but I still get embarrassed when I hear them. I am stronger, more fit, and off some expensive meds by eating right and getting off my rear and excercising. In other words, everything doctors and health class taught me years ago, when actually applied – works. Working out surprised me. I never thought I would look forward to working out…never. Let me tell you this – it hurts when you start, but be strong and don’t stop. Before you know it you will not even notice that the pain is gone and the soreness you feel lasts much shorter than when you start. You will have so much energy you will be amazed. Before this competition I was an 8-12 cup of coffee a day guy. Now, if I do drink coffee it’s because I genuinely love the taste, but it is very rare if I drink even 1 cup.
I have a much different outlook on life now. Work isn’t important to me. I mean I know it is a must but it will not define me and be my priority. Live hard play hard and work a little in between….that’s what I do now.
I have said it before and I mean it…when you feel pain…MAKE THAT PAIN YOURS!!!!! You and only you are in control of your life so make the change to an active lifestyle!!!!
I will miss you all so much! Find me on social network sites if I not your friend already. Thank you for taking this journey with me. To that special group of young men and women from Mrs Arevalo’s journalism class…thank you all so much! You are bright and intelligent individuals that will go so far in life. Study hard and keep in your heard straight…more importantly…listen to your teacher!!!!!
Thank you to all of my wonderful family for the love and support you have given me – the bond between us all is closer than ever and I love it! To all of the great people at the HEB Bryan #3 – thanks for the love and support. I am forever greatful for the support your store showed me. Rich you have an awesome staff and Sarah you are very talented person that is going far in your career…thank you both! Thank you to the men and women of the College Station Police Department and the Bryan Police Departments for the support! Thanks to the HEB staff – they have forever changed my life and countless others – for that you are all saints in my life! Thank you to the Cooper Institute – especially Kathy Thal – I love you so much and cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me! Zumba Rita – you rock!!!!!! Thanks to Dole for the support and for putting me on a coupon (how many of you can tell your kids you were on a coupon once)! Thanks to Gold’s Gym, Fleet Feet, Hilton HIll Country Resort, Avocado from Mexico, watermelon.org, Brita, Uncle Sam, and especially the wonderful people at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital. My SDSD brothers and sisters couldn’t have done this without all of you. Julie with Tresletree – I am going to miss our talks so much. Thank you for listening to me!
Last but not least…I want to thank my wonderful wife Joy. You have been my biggest fan throughout this journey. I hope I haven’t been too bad. You are a wonderful, beautiful, wife and mom that is the strongest woman I know. I love you so much and I thank you for being patient with me as I adjust to my new lifestyle. I can’t wait for you to join me on my runs and workouts.
Diego and Gabe…I know you are both very young but I do this for you. I have to do my part to ensure I am around as long as possible to watch you grow up to become men and start families of your own. My promise to you is that I will do everything in my power to make sure you succeed in all aspects of life – especially with a healthy lifestyle. Now I know what I am doing so I will give the greatest gift anyone can ever give – education.
I love you all! My journey doesn’t end here – I am just getting warmed up!!!!!