Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Partying at 299

I have to apologize that it has taken me this long to post about the party that my brother Brad planned for me with the assistance of my wife and family.  I was completely shocked, and in fact I did not want to go to the bowling alley at 10:30 pm AT ALL!  I haven't see 10:30 outside of my house in a long time, so yea - they got me good!  I was completely blown away by the people that showed up...all of the people there have touched my life in so many different ways, and it was awesome to get them all in one place.  The party was a birthday party and congrats on losing weight party.  I learned quickly that I was a much better bowler when I was HUGE!  Apparently, when you lose 130+ pounds you also lose the ability to throw the ball straight...I have decided that I am going to blame everything I do poorly on losing a ton of weight.  In all reality, I am happy to lose weight and suck at bowling...I am happier now than I was when I was huge and a decent bowler!

For my brother to think to do this for me was overwhelming in itself.  When you have someone that knows you so well and makes a night all about you it is a special thing!  Brad has been one of my biggest fans in this process because he knows that I have struggled and battled this my whole life...I think its awesome to have someone be proud of you, and I know he is extremely proud of me - and it drives me to continue and push forward.  I am inspired by the support of those that I inspire!  Sounds weird, but it is very true!  Thanks again Brad - the party and support means more to me than I can express.  Its great to have a brother like you!

I was talking to Christine about the "Inspiration" blog after I posted it and I told her something that may sound a bit ambitious to some of you.  The movie "Pay it Forward" comes to mind when I think of what I want to do with the level of inspiring others.  The program I am doing gives my the motivation to spread the message and Pay it Forward to others.  Almost as amazing to me as losing 130+ pounds to this point is that I have helped 17 or so others lose at least 25 pounds!  I want them to get people to do it, and so on, and so on...We can really change some things in this country, and educate more people on the proper way to diet and not be completely controlled by food...

By the way, did you know it's possible to go out to dinner for your birthday and not feel so full that you may explode??  Up to about 6 months ago I did not, but I do now!  I remember going to Fogo De Chao last year with Christine and she said before we went that we could walk around the harbor after dinner....Well, walking back to the car after the carb overload was a huge issue!  This year, I felt full after eating my salmon (HUGE salmon fan now by the way), and also felt like I was going to live through the night!  It was a much better feeling!  And really - if salmon had a fan club I would be President and past President,,,

The scale was yet again my friend this week, but it a much bigger way.  In true Anthony style I am able to fully disclose that I weighed in at 435 pounds on October 24th 2011.  I always said that I would never get to 300 pounds, and then said I'd never get to 400...well I did!    Truth be told, I don't think I would have ever reached 500 pounds, but not because of diet...I don't think I would have lived to see it!  On Monday I got on the scale and it said 299!  Bye Bye to the 400's and 300's forever...in fact 3's and 4's are longer in my vocab....300's, 400's, 3XL, and 4XL can all go to goodwill, and  never come back!  I still have some work to do, but for the first time in a long time I can say I am happy with my health and proud of myself for reaching this huge goal!!

Thanks for being there for me everyone....it's great to have true friends!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Inspires You?

When I was a kid, one of the memories I have from school, as early as 3rd grade, is writing about what inspires you - and who your hero is.  I know I was wound differently than most kids early on, because my answer to these questions were never celebrities, or the local sport hero.  My hero and what inspired me the most was always my dad and mom....Lately, a lot of people have been telling me what an inspiration I am to them because of what I am doing with my weight loss battle.  For me this is an extremely heavy weight that I am honored to carry around with me.  My parents were inspirations to me through hard work and their determination to be there always for my brothers and I.  My answer to those of you who say I am an inspiration is simply, "thanks, now go out and be an inspiration to someone else."  While I am honored to be this inspiration and reason that some of the people in my life have decided to turn their lives around and get healthier, I know that this is all a part of something much bigger. 

My coach (TJ Topper) has been and continues to be a HUGE inspiration in my life, and has told me from Day 1 of this journey that this is much bigger than just he and I....and we were damn big!  I had a conversation tonight with my brothers about how TJ can get me to try mostly anything by just talking to me about it!  Tonight I heard that people are saying the same thing about me.  For the first time in a long time I know that people are looking at what I do each day and are truly proud, and inspired to better their lives.  This is the greatest gift that you can give someone....the power to create change in others simply by your actions.  What we all do on a dilay basis affects and influences people around us, whether positively or negatively.  At work, there are people who are always negative and bring you down to a point where nothing seems to be good enough to make the day worth while.  Or there are people like me that some may want to punch in the face that tells everyone that "I'm living the dream" every time they are asked how its going...Sure it annoys some people, but if just 1 person takes that statement and moves positively ahead in the day because of it, then its worth all the other nasty looks from the Debbie Downers.  I know that I never showed negativity to most of you even when i was north of 400 pounds, but inside I was more pissed off than the guy that hosted American Idol with Seacrest in Season 1 that quit because he thought the show would never take off.....good call buddy!  That"s why your name is "the guy that hosted with Seacrest in Season 1!"  I knew that the life I was living was good at times, but temporary - and I am thankful to TJ for getting me going and giving me not only the gift of a longer life, but this gift to change lives around me!

My point to all this rambling is that change is something that we can all do and something that everyone around you can take notice of and be INSPIRED by.....I have to be honest - -for the first time in my life I didn't think of anyone but myself and my family when I started this in October of 2011...I always used to think about everyone before myself - and i know now that its ok to do things for yourself.  "If I can change, and you can change - ANYONE can change!"  Sure, its a line from Rocky IV, but it really is something that rings true here for this journey and a lot of journeys out there....Whether you are battling weight, alcohol, drugs, reality tv addictions, etc.  you can change - and those around you will take notice of that change and you will be surprised that they credit you for it!  I am sure that I told TJ a million times that he inspired me and thanked him for it - - I know what that feels like and its HEAVY!   A good heavy, but heavy!

For all of you that have called me an inspiration - make it your goal in life for someone to think that about you....you don't have to hear the words, but you can see it happening around you  - - - and its amazing!!  Kevin is going to be 2 in May and and he picked up a tension band the other day and said, "I'm exercising like daddy" - - he didn't say, "I'm going to try and eat a whole pizza like daddy" - - and let me tell you, that is powerful stuff!

Thanks for the high praise, and for the constant support, but please go out and pay it forward

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I felt compelled to blog tonight for a few reasons. One is about fatherhood and the other is about living my life the only way I can; being me. Easter was amazing today...it's funny how being the Easter Bunny for your kid can light up your day and appreciate your own parents as you look back on the years. Kevin woke up this morning and said, "Happy Easter - Bunny bring M&Ms???" haha - I am glad he mentioned the M&Ms last night so Daddy Bunny could go to Walgreens last night. Truth be told, we could have just got him that and the fake grass in the basket and he would have been happy! The look on his face as he came down the steps was priceless. It looked like he was shocked that a bunny hopped all over the place and brought him all these goodies. I am actually glad he looked shocked because the idea is completely ridiculous! What I was most proud of today is the way he reacted when he saw the rest of the family today (Gram, Pop, Uncle Brad, Uncle Michael, Anna, Molly and all the other family). I knew that he felt the same way I did and still do when he saw everyone. He looked at me as if to say, "Dad, this is way better than anything that could have been in my basket!!" Of course he could have meant, "YESSS, Gram is here and now I know I will be getting MORE stuff and BETTER stuff than that bunny brought me!" But, I am banking on the the first feeling...holidays were never about the gifts for me, but for the time I spent with my family, and it truly felt to me that he thought that too - even at 22 months old!

Another reason to write this evening is to respond to many people that have asked me about my weight loss over the last few weeks. By far, the most common question has been: "Why are you making this so public?" For me the reasons are simple. Although this journey seems to be a personal one and one that I need to forge ahead on alone, I feel that I made my struggles with weight in the past extremely public. Everywhere I went, I would not be a healthy person - I would eat whatever I wanted, I would be slow around the bases in my softball games, or drink as much as I wanted at the bar. Looking back - I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and never really kept anything private. I got to my heaviest in front of a lot of people I care deeply about (my parents, my brothers, my family, and even my wife and son). And to me, the "recovery" part of this journey needs to be out there and in front of them too. I'm sure that a lot of you had conversations and feelings about me that worried most of you. For all the pain and worry I put you all through - let me apologize from the bottom of my heart. This may sound weird, but I am battling a lot of inner feelings during this process - but the #1 thing that haunts me is letting myself get to that point in front of everyone, as if I was doing it in front of no one...So, I post these things and post each week about my weight loss not just to get praise and pats on the back, but as an apology and thank you to all of you that cared and worried about me through the years. I am doing this for me, but a large part of this is for each and every one of you that never gave up on me.

Much like the "open book" revealing of my journey, I also posted on facebook that I have registered for a 5k in October. I have got some comments that question why I posted that in such a public way, as if it were biting off a bit more than I can chew. Trust me, after the first week of training for this some of the same feelings entered my mind. But let me tell you this....I WILL finish that 5k....whether I am running, walking, crawling or rolling. To me, it seemed like the one thing I hated to do the most (running) and something I never thought I could do - that's why it must be done!

So, I am just being me by posting all the info about my journey because I feel like I owe it to everyone to overcome these obstacles and to say how much I appreciate all of your kinds words of encouragement.

"I'll never let you down again, I'M BACK...I promise to never go back on that promise" - EMINEM

Happy Easter - I hope you all had a great time with family and friends - they are all that matters in life!
Check the status tomorrow with week 24 results! See you at the finish line!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Conversations

Its funny to me how much conversations change once you have kids. Great topics like the weather and sports are great starters to most friendly encounters. However, once you have kids this definitely changes!! Anything from bowel movements or anything bathroom related, corny and crazy cartoons and kid programming, and deciding exactly how long you will continue to tell people how many months your child is, are all acceptable conversation topics! By the way - Kevin will be 2 in May and not 24 months! People without kids must look at us like we are crazy people when we answer a simple, "how are you" with "Great, Kevin is in big boy undies now!"
It's hard for most parents, myself included, to wrap our heads around the fact that some people don't really care about your kid peeing in a frog potty that is located in the living room because you are training your child to use it! Equally as disturbing to listening to grunts in the living room while eating breakfast is the way we congratulate Kevin each time he successfully achieves his goals of filling up said frog! I have seen Super Bowl celebrations that do not compare to Christine and I as we go crazy celebrating the act of being a "Big Boy!" The confetti is a bit much at times, but I like to think it is helping Kevin! To be honest, I am pretty sure I speak for all parents...I DON'T CARE whether you think its weird that we do what we do! I am happy to say that my weekends, weekdays, and my life revolve around that kid! There is nothing better than seeing that smile as we pour Gatorade on his head when he goes #2! Of course I'm kidding, but i think I just gave Christine some ideas!
I am happy to report that I had another awesome week with the weight loss and life changing program that I am blessed to be a part of. I lost 4 pounds in week 18 for a total of 96 pounds!!!Equal to all my accomplishments is the fact that I am able to help others get on that same path that has literally changed my life! It is easy to help out those you know and care about when you have had such a great journey has been an extremely rewarding and overwhelming experience.
It is important to keep track of what is important in life in all situations. That is one of the many life lessons I have learned in the last 18 weeks. Life is full of temptations, and full of distractions. Keeping your focus on those things that truly mean everything to you is the key to success. There is no Big Mac, loaded fries, or Five Guys Burger that is going to get me lost on my path to a healthier life. Being honest to myself and those crazy and hungry voices in my head is what separates this experience from the others. I know how my weight got out of control, and I accept that - what I wont accept is leaving my son without a father and my wife without a partner. This is not going to happen because I decided not to choose food over them, and did not choose temptations over love! Many of us deal with demons - whether its stress, alcohol abuse, drug addictions, or other obstacles. In all of these situations you need to remember how you got to that point, how to overcome that obstacle, and making sure it doesn't haunt you again! To me, obesity was every bit as addicting and life threatening than any drug out there. I was a ticking time bomb, and I was relying on that Hollywood actor to cut the right wire to defuse it. It turns out that I was the one that needed to cut that wire - and lucky i picked the right one because of the love and support of those around me!
If I told you that the most influential music artist on my journey has been Eminem, I bet a lot of you would be shocked - but its true! The song in general that has really touched me in a strange way is, "I'm Not Afraid." Now, there are some explicit lyrics to this one, but you know what - its 2012, and I can look passed a few F bombs to get to the true meaning behind the song...
"I'm not afraid To take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just lettin you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel like you've been down the same road"
That is some powerful stuff and has really inspired me. Now, it may be ironic that I used to eat M&Ms and now I am using Eminem to inspire me! I never gave M&Ms time to melt in my hand because they weren't there long enough....I challenge you all to find something inspiring and have it melt in you in some way.
As always thanks for reading and thanks for the support!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Been a while....

Let me first apologize for the lack of blogs, but I have been fairly busy!! My last blog was April of 2010, which was right before the birth of our amazing son Kevin, and every time I went to write a new entry there seemed to be a diaper to change, a bottle to wash, or clothes to turn back to their original color! Not complaining one bit, and I never complained about anything to do with my buddy!

Kevin James was born on May 25, 2010 and with that made my dream of becoming a dad a reality. Many people chase dreams for their entire life - I was lucky enough to achieve this at the age of 30. He is seriously the best kid in the world - tells us when he needs to eat, sleep and use the potty...he is a smart one!! The last 21 months have been fabulous as a family, and Christine and I are constantly learning how to be great parents. We have a new appreciation for adult TV, thanks in large part to the Wiggles! I don't know what it is about those 5 crazy dudes from OZ, but Kevin loves them...and that's all the matters! He has truly completed my life, and I love him more and more everyday!

In part with my dream coming true, the next phase of live has been dedicated to that dream not turning into a nightmare. My battle with weight was always a constant, and I knew I needed to begin my journey towards a healthier life. I don't know all the answers to life, but I know a few things...and one of the most important things in life that I have learned is that when you say you are going to do something - DO IT! Luckily for me, in the last 2 years, I have been surrounded by people that follow this mantra. These people will be thanked personally at a later date, and not by blog, but in person where I will probably break down like the emotional wreck that I am. There are definitely people that have helped to prolong my life and my time with my family, and for that I am most appreciative.
The newest phase of my journey started 17 weeks ago and to date I have lost 92 pounds! I have learned how to eat, and how make healthier decisions. The program I am on has also given me an opportunity to help others in their journey, and that is an amazing feeling. If someone told me that one day I would get my health on track, and help others achieve their goals I would have not believed it - - but this is as real as my love for my family, and by now you should all know how real that is! Let me know if I can help you or someone you love get healthy! I recently got rid of 7 Lawn and Leaf trash bags full of clothing that is now too big - - I say "got rid of" because they are gone forever, much like the pounds I have lost! I have lost weight before and FOUND it....but this plan is a game changer forever! I owe it to myself, my wife and my son to be around for a long time! Its hard to be a great dad when you you're not around, and I'm not going anywhere!
I plan to post a blog every week (at least) and continue to document the happenings of fatherhood and my weight loss journey! As always, I hope to make you laugh at times, and cry at others! But most importantly to me, I hope to be able to stress to you all how special each and every step in life is to me, in hopes I can inspire others! Will I inspire others?? Maybe, or maybe not...But you're reading, and that's a start!
Til next time.....