Eric Dickey – Big Man In Training

Me in 2011. I was at 380+.

Me in 2011, around 380+

Me in mid 2012. Down to 270.

Me in mid 2012.  Down to 270.

2013..Me at my lowest. 218

2013..Me at my lowest. 218

Me in 2015. Back up to 260.

Me in 2015.  Back up to 260.

Gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight…it’s a vicious cycle that plagues many people, including me.  I wasn’t always fat, and yes, I say fat.  Not overweight, not obese, but plain and simply fat.  At my heaviest, I was 420 pounds and absolutely miserable;  I was 21.  For a while I was able to start losing weight with diet and lots of exercise and was able to get down to 250.  I still wasn’t that trim and slim man I always dreamed of being, but it was a start.  At that point I was 23.

As things go, life wasn’t too bad for me at 250, but then Murphy’s Law showed up and I suffered a work injury that injured not one, but both of my arms.  I was out of commission for five weeks and as such, got out of the habit of exercising.  Couple that with not cutting back on the calories, and voila!  I started gaining weight, and the vicious cycle started up once more.  Thin, fat, thin, getting fat…there were times when I hated life…hated myself for being weak.  So at 25 I was back to 350+.  I honestly don’t know how heavy I became as I avoided the scale completely.

Life went on and after a long while I lost weight again, this time getting down to 235.  Most people who knew me thought I was sick or dying.  I had not been that thin since childhood.  It was during this time I met my wife, got married and started life.  And life was good.  I had finished college and was working in my chosen field of software development.  Of course as a software developer, almost all of my work involved sitting on my butt for very long periods of time, typing away on a computer.  Not much movement there, and was very stressful.  So stressful in fact that I started smoking, slowly working up to two packs a day.  Something I had chided my family members for as a teenager.

Fast forward to to 2011.  I am again absolutely miserable and very close to 400 pounds.  My wife grew very worried over my heath and after discussing it with me, both of us had weight loss surgery.  Before I could have the surgery though, I had to lose weight down to something a little more manageable.  And I did, getting down to 350.  In June of 2012, I had my surgery, and my weight began to plummet.  By November of that year I was down to 280 pounds and by 2013 I had started running.  Yes, actually running.  Something I hated throughout my life, something I thought I would never do.  For several months I kept losing weight, becoming a gym rat, spending up to two hours a day, five days a week, in addition to running up to 15 or more miles a week.  In 2013 I got down to the lowest weight I had been in my adult life: 214 pounds.  It was a good time.

I would like to say I’m still at that weight right now, but I have gained back some of the weight and am back in training again.  In December of 2014 I tore both menisci in my left knee and had surgery in February of 2015.  The surgeon was able to repair one, but not the other, cutting away the torn part.  The worst news was that the surgeon found that I had a quarter sized hole in the cartilage of my knee.  Something that cannot be surgically repaired, or grown back on its own.  What I was told was that due to the weight I had been at for the vast majority of my life took it’s toll and did its damage to my knee.  To make matters worse, I was told that running again would make it worse.  Something I really enjoyed was now off limits.  Not officially , but he strongly advised it, unless my weight was lowered even more.  Not being able to run, or really exercise, coupled with depression that set in, and not really caring what or how much I ate took its toll and now I find myself back at 330 pounds.

But, screw that.  I’m not going to let weight define my life like it once did.  I am going to get back to where I was before the knee surgery and more.

I have a few reasons for having this Big Man in Training blog and publishing the Big Man in Training podcasts.  One, is that this will help me fight the good fight and stay on track and target for becoming fit and healthy.  This is my way of staying transparent and honest with myself, my family, and with you, my listeners.  The second is that I know there are others like me out there struggling with their weight and wanting desperately to lose weight and become healthy.  I want to be able to share information with these brothers and sisters out there who struggle, encouraging them in their own journeys, helping them when they fall, and celebrating their victories with them.  Lastly, I believe that there is information that can help everyone in their journey to better health and fitness, and I want to be a voice to that information.

So that’s it.  Fat, thin, fat, thin, back to fat and now once and for all, on the journey back to getting fit and healthy and then staying that way.  I encourage you to follow Big Man in Training’s blog posts and podcasts, and join me on this journey.