Happy Tuesday everyone! Fourteen weeks have gone by since I started the journey, and it has been quite a ride. I will say that despite one or two hurdles, I feel like I am on the right path. Last week I weighed in at 205 pounds. Just one shy of losing a full 25 pounds. So, I tried something.

Our Spotsylvania clinic has a weight vest that can be adjusted in five-pound increments. I borrowed it and wore it to remind me of the almost 25 pounds I lost. It was not fun. I put 10 pounds on the back and 15 on the front. I felt immediately constricted. My breathing seemed to become more labored. My walk became more of a waddle. I could only make it three times up and down the stairs before my knees and legs felt sore and unsteady.

My daughter looked at me and said “Daddy, why are you wearing that?” I told her to follow me downstairs and I would show her. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I took the vest off and handed it to her. Being only eight years old, she had a hard time holding the 25-pound vest. When I told her that was how much weight I had lost since I started my diet, she was amazed.

I was amazed as well. Before I put the vest on, 229 pounds to 205 pounds was just a number. When I quantified that number with an actual weight, I was amazed. I had been carrying that much weight around with me for years and never really considered how much of a toll it was taking on my body. When I had trouble breathing, joint pain and back pain I realized just how unhealthy my weight was.

I felt instant relief when I removed the vest. Going up and down the stairs was much easier. My breathing was normal again. I had more energy. It was a great test to see how much better I was without the extra weight. I like to see results whenever I do something. While watching my weight lower is great, but this experiment took it to a whole new level. It is important to be able to see progress (or in this case losses) when you have a goal to meet.

I want to give credit to something else that has changed in my daily routine since I started this journey. I used to consider meals to be an interruption of my day. As a result, I would often skip breakfast and lunch, snack throughout the day and stuff myself at dinner time. Now, I am eating three meals a day with consistency. Before, my body didn’t have any idea of when it might get food, so it accumulated fat like redditors accumulated Gamestop stock (a little timely comparison, lets see how well this one ages).

My most consistent meal of the day is breakfast. I have a friend name Aimee who has been providing me with fresh laid chicken eggs since I before I began this journey. Anytime I get low, I just send her a message and she will deliver more. Each morning when I prepare breakfast, it is usually the same. 2 scrambled eggs, one Red Delicious apple and peanut butter. If I want to mix it up, I may make a 2-egg omelet with cheese and veggies and some melon on the side.  Or I may opt for an omelet with turkey sausage, cheese and veggies. The main thing though is the eggs.

I love eggs. When Shannon and I were initially discussing my meal plan I was happy to find out that I could still have eggs. While Shannon would prefer I just have egg whites, everyone knows the yolk is where the goodness is. So, we agreed on a two-egg limit.

The fresh laid eggs that Aimee brings me are amazing. They are typically large to extra large size. Anything that we make with them tastes better than store bought. Deviled eggs, hard boiled eggs, egg salad…they are all just egg-cellent! (Sorry for the dad joke) I wanted to share this with you for two reasons.

The first reason is that just because you are on a diet it does not mean you have to give up food that you love. It just means that you need to control the amount of food you eat and when you eat it. While I have given up a lot of food I used to eat in favor of healthier fair, I do not miss a lot of it. It always helps to have food you like in moderation on a diet. Sure, I sometimes get the desire to stop by Publix, pick up a small cake and devour it on the ride home. Who doesn’t?

 When it comes to deserts, I have allowed myself to enjoy some in moderation. Have you ever seen someone use a melon baller to scoop out Ben and Jerry’s? My wife and daughter looked at me like I had lost my mind. It was delicious. Two cookie dough bites are my limit. And not every night. I believe that as long as I follow my meal plan, everything else will fall into place. That is the philosophy I have been following and it seems to work.

The second reason I wanted to share Aimee’s eggs with you is that I always believe in giving credit where credit is due. A journey like this cannot be successful without support. Aimee’s eggs get my day started right and are delicious. If I do get pangs of hunger after dinner (which is happening less and less) I know I have those eggs to look forward to in the morning. A good breakfast can help you to start the day with a positive outlook. So thank you Aimee, for your help and support as I continue to lose weight.

Written by: Craig Repanshek

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