I quote a lot of articles and posts in my blog. This is because I’m not a doctor, dietitian or fitness expert, although 32 years of intensive martial arts training HAS to count for something. But for the most part, I speak from the heart and try to be as genuine as possible while quoting sites and people that I know will add some credibility to what I say. Last weekend, I was free-falling down the YouTube rabbit one one night, since my wife was out of town and my 5-year old was fast asleep. And I found a video that moved me to tears…
Those who know me well are quite aware that I’m not a man who exudes emotion easily. But this man’s journey did it for me… The man in the video is named Vance Hinds. An assistant DA in Texas, he was living an extremely unhealthy life and weighed in at 475 pounds, which is over 265 pounds heavier than I’m currently sitting. Hinds was ironically first inspired to lose weight by a comedian named Burt Kreischer.
Although I don’t know why a comedian, of all people, would motivate someone to lose weight (I haven’t researched this person), Hinds reached out to a former professional wrestler named Diamond Dallas Page. I’m familiar with Page, having watched him wrestle throughout my 20’s and my early 30’s, and I know that he contributes a significant amount of time to helping other people achieve their weight-loss goals as a motivational coach.
I’m linking the YouTube video below. I don’t claim ownership, nor do I have any rights to this video. As I said, I just happened to land on it while surfing YouTube, one night. The video is only about 5:30 minutes and you can watch Hinds’ journey from 475 pounds to 277 pounds, for a total loss of 198 pounds. It’s pretty inspirational…
This motivates me. Here’s a guy that did it simply for the sake of improving his health and his overall lifestyle. No endorsements, no financially charged motivation; he did it for himself and his family. It brings my own journey into perspective. In 1988-89, I joined karate in order to help me overcome insulin resistance and Diabetes complications that threatened to end my life before my 20’s. I succeeded.
Now, as I move into my 40’s, I’ll admit that my own weight and living habits have fallen to the wayside. I’ve tried a number of different things to overcome these issues. And I believe that it’s important to try as many different things as possible; it allows us to find the path that’s right for us. But seeing Vance’s weight loss journey has made me realize that losing the 20 or 30 pounds I need in order to be healthier is small potatoes in comparison to what this man just went through.
When I attended the police academy in 2009, I weighed in at 185 pounds. By the time I graduated six months later, intensive training, exhaustion and diet brought me down to 165 pounds. It was the lightest I had ever weighed, at that point in my life. I’d like to say I felt great, but the exhaustion was palpable. Within two years of walking away from the academy, I broke the 200-pound threshold and I’ve been fighting to dip below it, ever since.
Obviously, Diabetes plays a significant role in how my metabolism functions and the weight I carry. That being said, I’ve seen Type-1’s who have been in the “skinny” category. Am I trying to be skinny? Fuck, no! I believe in carrying some mass, it’s one of the only way s to maintain strength. But I think that dropping some weight and finding a way to keep it off should be possible. In 2014, I was down in the low 190’s and that simply involved consistent cardio and weight workouts and a “reasonable” diet of three regulated meals a day.
Body image is an important part of who we are. You shouldn’t aspire to be who you see in magazines or on the internet, but rather who you feel you genuinely are. We can all gain inspiration from other people’s journey. The important part is finding a way to make it work for you, and to achieve the goals that you aspire to in order rot be healthy and happy. Hopefully, you all find that path. ☯