One day, I took my 325 pound couch potato self to Disneyland for a vacation. It was around Christmas time in 2009 and I wanted to show the family a good time. Then, the unthinkable happened. My world came crashing down as I was kicked off of a ride in front of everyone because I was too big to fit in the seat. It was humiliating, embarrassing and unexpected. But, it changed my life.

I realized that my life needed to change. I also realized that I have missed out on so much in my own life because I never took control of my health. I missed out on serving in the military because I was too big, I missed becoming a police officer because I was too out of shape, and I missed achieving some of the dreams in my life.

Not any more. I threw away the fear of failure and dared to do something impossible. In one year, I lost over 100 pounds and did something that I never thought I could do – I ran a marathon. I achieved the impossible and it was the most amazing thing ever.

The next year, I traveled the country, seeing new cities 26.2 miles at a time on a marathon tour, all while training for the impossible - the title of IRONMAN!

On June 24, 2012, I crossed the Ironman finish line in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, listening to Mike Reilly announce me as an Ironman, after a long day and 140.6 miles.

I am continuing on my journey, getting through the ups and downs of maintaining a new, fit lifestyle. Life is good, and I want to live it to the fullest.

This blog celebrates our ability to achieve things that seem impossible.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stuck on a plateau

Well, my weight is still stuck in the high 230's.  This is starting to get really frustrating.  I have been bouncing around the high 230's for over three wees now and can't seem to get off of this plateau.  At first, I was taking it in stride as just another plateau that would eventually pass.  However, as I am closing in on the month mark on the plateau, I am starting to really get worried.

The scale really pissed me off this morning.  Despite being diligent with meals and not snacking, the weight jumped up to 238.4.  I'm getting really sick of being stuck here.  It is times like this that make it hard to keep going.  When progress is not visible, it makes you want to quit.

But, motivation to keep going is all around.  There is a running discussion thread I follow called the "200+ Pound Club!" that people who are overweight like me post to about their efforts to get in shape with the "Couch to 5K" or "C25K" program.  There was a post on there this morning from someone who was starting up again after at least a year away.  This person said they were now completely out of shape.  That made me think back to a couple of my past failed attempts to get in shape:

Failed attempt #1:

In the fall of 2002 I was really sick for about 2 months with an illness that the doctors could not identify.  When it passed, after about a month, I had lost 40 pounds from being sick.  I decided I was going to get in shape after that because I already started to loose weight, but I did nothing.  Just gave up because I was in law school and "I didn't have time to work, go to school, and workout."  The 40 pounds came back very quickly.

Failed attempt #2:

In December of 2003, I joined a gym.  I was in my third and final year of law school and things were going well.  I had two jobs, one as a bartender and a legal job, and I was going to school full time.  I went to the gym religiously every morning at around 5 a.m., ate planned out healthy meals, and ended up loosing about 50 pounds by March.  However,  I took a weekend off to go to Europe (yes, that's right, a weekend!  I was able to get really cheap airfare as a student and since my school days were drawing to a close I decided to just go.  I had a total of 46 hours on the ground in which I visited London, took the train to Paris, spent 8 hours there, and then came home.)  I came back from the trip and two weeks after that I was going on a cruise with my wife (girlfriend then).  I took the two weeks in between off and said "I'll pick this back up when I get back from the cruise."  Well, I never did and the weight came back.

Failed attempts #3 - 5

Between late 2004 and 2008, I had three attempts to get in shape that were entirely unremarkable and didn't see more than 10 pounds lost.  Each time telling myself I was "too busy" to do it.

Failed attempt #6

The most recent failed attempt started in early 2009.  I joined a gym (the same gym I go to now) and started working out.  I lasted about 4 months and lost about 25 pounds, but my wife and I were buying a house last year and I made another excuse and told myself that things were too busy to get in shape now so I would stop working out and pick it back up soon.  Well, I didn't and we all see the picture of where I was in December of 2009, weighing 325 pounds.

So, why talk about all these failed attempts?  For a couple of reasons.  First, history is destined to repeat itself if you don't remember it.  That is why I constantly look at the old 325 pound me, to remember where I was and where I never want to be again.  Second, I know I am only succeeding now because I have failed before many times.  Every time I failed, I learned a little more about myself and how to change my life to be a health person.  I have constantly adjusted how I eat and workout and have found something that works for me.  Third, since I am at a very frustrating point right now, it would be easy to quit or to "take some time off."  Well, remembering the times I did that before helps me stay on track here.  Lastly, I want everyone out there who is reading my blog to know that I have failed many times.  I am not perfect and am a normal person just like all of you.  I want you all to see that you can do what I am doing now and it is possible.

So, I am going on with my new lifestyle today including a trip to the gym and healthy meals.  I know this plateau will eventually fall and the weight will eventually drop.  Thank you for all of your supportive comments and helping me get through the tough times.  Without this blog and being accountable to those who are reading it, I might have quit long ago.  Instead, I have gone far enough to change my lifestyle.

I am still running.  Still eating healthy.  Still very happy at what I have done and where I am now compared to where I was in January.

Life is good.


  1. Hang in there, brother. It is really easy to get focused on -- even obsessed with -- the goal. After all, that is why you have had all the success you have had over the last 38 weeks. But what is more important is the process.

    Keep Fighting the Good Fight. Finish the Course. Keep the Faith.

  2. Hi, Travis!

    I found your blog from c25k 200+ thread and have gone back through and read it all. It is very inspiring! It might even inspire you! :)

    Anyway, I wanted to shoot you an encouraging word or two -- you've been doing great! Don't drop the ball now! :)

    In the long run, we all know that if we want to keep our success in losing weight, we have to make permanent changes. So, in effect, there is no "taking time off." Of course, you have dessert occasionally and miss a work out here and there (no one is perfect), but if most of what you are doing is pushing in the right direction, then things will eventually move that way.

    It's discouraging to see no movement in the scale, but take some time to look back on what you've accomplished and also think of this as a chance to practice maintenance. Once you reach goal weight, this is how it will be all the time!

    And now, I just have to ask... isn't it boring to run for over 2 hours? How do you keep yourself interested? I think about running for that long, and I don't worry about being able to build up the physical stamina, just the mental!

    I look forward to reading your posts every day.


  3. Hang in there Travis, and I know you will. The actions you're taking each day(eating healthy and exercising) will cause you to lose excess fat, which WILL reduce your body weight. Period. On a day-to-day basis, our bodies fluctuate weight due to hydration levels, what we eat, and whether or not we're carrying food and fluids in our bodies or we've passed it. Our body weight is only one measurement of our efforts. Our weight is comprised of Fat, lean tissue (bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons, etc.) and water. Your real goal is to shed excess FAT--only one component of your body weight. If you really start to feel frustrated about your weight not fluctuating, you could have your body fat percentage checked or you could estimate it yourself using a scale with electronic impedance or a free online tool using your weight and measurements, etc. Depending upon your height, 238 might not be that bad--especially based upon your running ability. Are you sure that 225 is a good weight for you? Another reason why you may have plataued and why focusing more on body fat percentage is good is because you've added a lot of muscle in the past several months. You've actually probably already lost nearly 100 pounds of fat, but have offset some of that with muscle--probably 5-10 pounds, depending upon your exercise routine. I know you're doing a lot of running, and you mentioned doing some resistance training in the gym. You'll probably drop more weight, but the last 5-10 or so is the hardest to shed. Make sure you SHOULD shed it before you do. If you're well over 6 feet tall, then 225 might be a bit thin--depending on your muscle mass. Another thing to consider is to not weigh-in daily--there is no good reason to do that. I understand why you do it, and i've done it too; but the daily gains and losses are less real than the weekly gains and losses, which are less real than the monthly gains and losses, etc.