Archive for the News Category

The struggle is real…

Posted in Family, Health, News, Personal | 13 Comments

10499578_10152323027690914_3382381482950991756_oAnd don’t let anyone tell you differently when it comes to your personal struggle for losing weight (or anything for that matter). I know (as this recent article shows) I’m doing really very well in my pursuit to lose weight but it wasn’t always this easy; scratch that it’s not this easy in fact. The struggle is real y’all.

I recently had a conversation with someone who has never been overweight their entire life. Unlike me they were genetically blessed with a metabolism that didn’t run at a snails pace (I have a hypo-thyroid if you recall) and while I won’t sit here and say none of my weight issues were my fault I thought what I would do is try and articulate as best I possibly can as to why exactly I got where I was when this journey to lose weight started back in 2012.

I’m going to start with the simple truth that this isn’t my first go around the weight loss merry-go-round. In fact I have tried (semi-successfully) to lose a significant amount of weight on two previous occasions before I was diagnosed with my hypo-thyroid. The first time was back in late 2003 (December) and at the time I had ballooned up to a, for the time, staggering 415 pounds.

throwbackstephI, and my roommate at the time decided to read Dr. Atkins book and go on his diet program. He had previous experience with the diet and for the 8 months we we’re both doing the diet supporting each other I lost around 100 pounds and for the first time in years at that point my weight was about to start with a 2 and not a 3 or a 4.

But as happens with life sometimes in July of 2004 my support system failed me in the form of changing jobs and cities and he and I both back slid horribly and I rather quickly gained all my weight back. As I approached that 400 pound mark again (around mid 2006) I decided I really needed to make an effort and for a short time I had some mild success using the Nutrisystem program, but that too failed because in the end the food was terrible and more importantly I had not implemented the much needed support system around me.

895588_10151392429902424_581355376_o (1)So flash forward to 2012 where my journey started again and for what I know is the last time. You met me here at a debilitating 555 pounds and by this point I had completely just passed over the fact I was so large in my mind. I suffered from several physical aliments but the one non-physical one I’ve really not talked about until now is the one that partly caused me to not notice my sometimes slow but mostly fact paced decent into my own demise. And that particular aliment is depression. Something I didn’t even know I really suffered from (most don’t) for years but once I was diagnosed and medicated I slowly began to see myself, for the first time in my life, as who I actually was in a physical sense. My depression didn’t alter too much of my self worth, or so I thought… truth is it did that every single day and still does some days.

Even today for example when I grab a pair of jeans that are size 40 I look at them and still can’t believe I’ll even be able to get one leg in there let alone both plus my butt, let alone need to use a belt. Some days when I look at myself in the mirror I still see that 555 pound guy who can’t walk 100 feet, that guy who needs 90mg of Morphine just to manage my pain, that guy who has little or actually no self worth, that guy who had all but given up on life. And the truth is that struggle I expect may never go away, but I’m okay with that. Because now I know that even when I feel down I have a support system, and not just the amazing folks at Vanderbilt Surgical Weight Loss,  but the people in the support group there, the support groups elsewhere, my facebook page, my friends, both locally and abroad who constantly remind me how proud they are and my family who every day knows all well the struggle I’ve faced.

So the struggle is real friends, and you need a support system to get through it. And you have one, we all have one; sometimes we need to find it and sometimes it needs to find us, but it’s there. Don’t let haters who don’t understand your pain tell you that you’re not worthy, and don’t let yourself be dulled by the what is a seemingly insurmountable amount of weight to lose because trust me, it isn’t. It isn’t ever too much until it’s too late. In 2012 I was given a year to live by my doctor and between that comment, and my best friend in the world not accepting my excuses to get treatment sparked my journey to where I am today. 

facebooktatrtooSo my struggle was to not even notice my world crumbling down around me, my struggle was to ignore in some cases and honestly just not even see the very fact I was killing myself, and not that slowly either. My struggle was to not put my life in my own hands and chose to live, chose to breathe, chose to lose weight.

Well “life is a choice” and with the help of my friends, my family and sometimes perfect strangers I chose to live it. The struggle may remain, but my will to overcome it is strengthened each and every day. I won’t lie and say it’s easy, nor will I say it’s always hard; my journey is my own, and your journey is your own, but we all share in the struggle. So if you’re reading this and are thinking about a weight loss program that does or does not involve surgery and have a question or want to share your journey with me please comment below or send me a message on my facebook page.

Don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you it’s not possible, don’t let anyone discourage you form sharing your journey, your success or your struggle. Relish in the victories and learn from the defeats.

~rev (275 pounds)

10443023_10152306497675914_9070754894006883492_o

GoFundMe Campaign for Skin Removal…

Posted in Health, News, Personal, vlog | No Comments

So my insurance has denied my claim of about $8500 to have some extra skin removed and as this is the first of 3 surgeries it is obvious they will deny the other 2 as well which in the end will all cost around $25,000 (USD) Watch the video below and check out my campaign. Anything helps.

Thanks Internet!

~rev (280 Pounds)

revforweb

Support for NEDA Walk in Nashville, TN (March 22)

Posted in Health, News, Personal | 3 Comments

Hey All,

I’m competing in a 5K in Nashville on Saturday March 22 to support the Local Chapter of the National Eating Disorders Association. So I’d like to ask for your help. I’ve named my team “I NEDA Break” and If you are close to Nashville or want to join my team please do, but if you can’t make the event you can still help by making a contribution to my personal page or my team’s page. As most, if not all of you know I’ve been on a mission to finding my lean and do so as healthily as possible. So far I’ve dropped 247 pounds over the last 17 months and am still moving forward, and now that I’m able to do these types of events I will be doing as many as I can find time for. As someone who has personally struggled with food  my whole life this particular cause is for obvious reason close to my heart and if you are not able to attend or help I completely understand and ask simply that you share this with as many people as you can.

As many as 24 million Americans struggle with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and EDNOS – eating disorder not other specified). In spite of the unprecedented growth in the past two decades, eating disorders research continues to be under-funded, insurance coverage for treatment is inadequate, and societal pressures to be thin remain rampant.  So I’m writing to ask you to support the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) in a NEDA Walk in our community. I hope that you will join me and other walkers to raise awareness about eating disorders and funding for NEDA, the leading organization in the United States working to fight eating disorders promote early intervention and treatment.

Your participation and support goes a long way!

· $30 pays for 30 minutes on the NEDA Helpline.

· $50 provides NEDA Toolkits on CD-ROM to 33 parents, teachers , coaches and volunteers.

· $100 assists 23 people who call the NEDA Helpline to seek recovery for themselves or a loved one.

· $250 pays for one day of our Proud2Bme.org teen website, including hosting the site, graphic and content updates and managing volunteer moderators of the forums. (We need 365 contributors at this level to host the website for an entire year.)

· $500 provides resources to students and community volunteers during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

· $1,000 allows us to add a new computer, and phone line for a Helpline Volunteer

http://neda.nationaleatingdisorders.org/goto/stephenrea

 

I do have a real post to write soon about my recent weight plateau so look for that soon, but for now I really hope you can support me in Nashville or better yet join my team and do the 5K with me!

 

~rev (307 pounds)

1266483_10151811448645914_1950419154_o

Happy New Year….

Posted in Health, News, Personal, vlog, Weigh-In | 2 Comments

I talk about my weight loss over Christmas, my New Year’s Resolutions, and more. Sorry about the rambled tangent.

~rev (311 pounds)

image

230 lbs 40 inches and some personal reflection…

Posted in Health, News, Personal, Weigh-In | 2 Comments

Yes I said 40. So I’m down to a size 48 and at the rate I’m moving again after a small plateau I’m very likely to see 44 or even 42 by the end of January but I don’t want to get ahead of myself I do however want to push a small update about the last couple weeks as I likely wont post here again until after the new year. So here goes…

1461409_10151956768540914_947493076_nI’m down to 220 pounds so while I’ve only lost a couple pounds since my December 3rd update I’ve lost as many inches from my waist, actually more perhaps. I’m down an astonishing 36 inches  since this journey began…and even this morning as I put on my now size 48 pants I held them in front of me and simply could not believe I’d get then on let alone button and zip them up..but the truth is I’m a loose 48 and can put on a size 46 though they are too tight to wear at the moment. And I just can’t believe it. I bought these jeans at a thrift store as I’ve either been buying them at goodwill or thrift shops for a while now because I can’t wear them for too long. (6 weeks is the longest so far) and I have 3 pair of size 54’s to either take to goodwill or at some point when I’m near Nashville again I can drop them off at Vanderbilt @ 100 Oaks for the clothing drive for other pre or post surgery candidates who might need them.

I mentioned already I’m working out 3 days a week, well I’ve recently started adding some Yoga to the mix though I’d hardly call what I’m doing yoga I have been doing the plank challenge and so far I’m up to about 30 seconds. Each day I honestly feel better than the last and my heart rate when doing cardio is staying around 145bpm which for me is pretty fantastic. But my journey isn’t over, it’s only just getting started.

So shifting focus from health and weigh-ins to something more personal. I’ve been quite social again over the last few months (increasingly so as time goes on) but I recently started dating..and while I’m not really in a point in my life for anything serious it has been quite nice to just go out, be social and be…well me again I guess. I’ve also launched a podcast network and we shot our first podcast last weekend (the episode is live so go check it out) though I must warn you it’s not entirely safe for work as my co-host and I dropped one or two f-bombs. The podcast we started is around geek culture and I’m working to launch a political podcast as well to pick up where one of my old blogs left off years ago as well as many others. I’m really working to build an entire network of podcasts, some of which will hopefully last. and while it took much longer than I wanted it to thatstupidpodcast.com is finally launched and under way.

On a more personal note and I’ve really not been very personal lately I wanted to just ramble on about a few things so bare with me… I recently turned 36 (or as many of my girl type friends might call it 29) and for the first time in about 8 years or so I feel blessed. Coming from someone who suffers form depression my weight has always been somewhere in my thoughts, either up front and obvious or hidden pushed away and repressed, but always there. For the (honestly) first time in my entire life that I can remember my weight is in the front of my mind but not in a negative connotation, No instead I’m feeling liberated and confident about who I am and how I look. Am I still over 300 pounds? Sure but it doesn’t bother me anymore because I know it’s moving in the right direction and I feel great and I don’t even care about the actual number. While I’m using it as a way to pave milestones in my journey, and I’ve said this in the past, the end game if you will…that “final magical weight” loss number is completely irrelevant to me. I’m already happy and I’m already in a good place and sure I know I’ll need surgery again, this time to get rid of all the extra fleshy fun bits hanging under my arms legs and stomach it doesn’t matter because those are good problems to have (my 48 is more likely a 44 already if you removed the sagging skin).

I’ve also pretty much decided to just go with the flow for a while. I’m just excited to see where life takes me on this roller coaster of a journey and as I turn the page I welcome the next chapters of my life with an open mind and enthusiastic optimism. That said my life does have very little room for what the kids simply refer to as “drama” have added that to my very small list of things I will not spend any of my short precious time on this earth tolerating. And when I say my list is small I mean it…

The things I will not tolerate are:

  • infidelity
  • that thing the kids call “drama”
  • domestic violence
  • bigotry of any sort

And before you smirk, yes I’m well aware not tolerating bigotry is itself a paradoxical irony that cannot be undone, but it is what it is. And in the end I am who I am after all. This reminds me of a friend’s recent facebook status which simply asked a question about flaws in how they relate to how you relate and that really got me thinking. And as I sat for a moment trying to work up my usually off the cuff quip I discovered something about myself or rediscovered something I should say. I remembered for the first time in quite a few years I simply have no flaws….and that’s not to say I’m flawless (far from it) but this one innocent facebook status reminded me of an old blog serious I wrote (on greymatter if that tells you how long ago this was) titled “Back to the Basics.” It was a short mini blog series I wrote about on along defunct blog where I talked about my simple philosophies for life and while people to change over time, myself included, these simple philosophes have not. Below is that facebook status…

image 

Maybe someday I’ll rewrite those “Back to the Basics” blog entries that deal with my views on everything from regret to soul mates to basic human equality, but for now I really must bid this already rather lengthy entry adieu.

rev (320 pounds)

image

A new Car (almost) a 3K Walk Race and Braces?

Posted in Health, News, Personal | 1 Comment

On September 22nd I was in a rather nasty accident. A woman blew through her red light and hit me full speed on the passenger side of my truck. The damage was sever enough to total my 2006 Dodge Durango and while I’m fine I do have some stiffness still around my from being tossed about.  The only physical issue this brought on was my need to take some pain killers again for the first time in several weeks, which is a bit of a bummer, but on the bright side no one was seriously injured (beyond the vehicles). Also hopefully tomorrow I’ll be picking up my new ride and get out of this awful rental car and into my new (to me) 2011 Audi Q5S.

 

Luckily I was recovered enough from the accident to enter in the 3K walk at this year’s Apple Festival in Erwin, TN. And much to my surprise I came in 3rd place in my age group (30-39 yr.) and even have a tiny little trophy to prove it. This was my first official event and I have to say I enjoyed it thoroughly and plan to do more of these in the future as well as my 5K goal in March of next year.

finally this update doesn’t include any real weight loss (I’ve dropped a pound since last week), in fact I put on a few ounces this morning in the form of a full set of metal braces (uppers and lowers). That’s right I’m 35 years old and I got braces for the first time in my life…and it’s okay to laugh…I did. But it was something I had to do as my cross bite and over bite are starting to cause more trouble as I get older so I figured it was time to get that fixed.

 

~rev (347 pounds)

image

201 Pounds down….and a sneak peek at Halloween.

Posted in Health, News, Personal, Weigh-In | 1 Comment

So you will see below my picture isn’t the normal one…it’s a hint at what I’m doing for Halloween, though I may very likely need to get some help with my makeup. Pictures will come in October I promise but no hints before hand.

Oh and in other news I’ve officially lost more than 200 pounds! And the timing is perfect since my 6 month follow-up in Nashville as this Thursday. Now I’ve not lost 200 pounds in 6 months I’ve lost that in just under one year though. Since my surgery in April I’ve lost just shy of 130 pounds which is completely amazing. I know I have a long road of weigh loss ahead…especially as the loss slows down but I’m am confident in my diligence to keep it up.

So while this isn’t a big update in terms of the volume of news at hand it most certainly is a big update BIG update in terms of weight gone!

~rev (354 pounds)