I’ve always been a large human (I like that expression). In the words of the prophet Lady Gaga, I guess I was “born this way”. I think there have been concerted efforts to help me loose weight, but nothing really took. My parents kept me active and I played sports up until High School. My freshman year I played some soccer and baseball, but that was the last. I switched all my focus to playing drums in High School. I was in the marching band, so I guess that was active… at a slow pace.
I’ve had people come into my life to help. Like one of the church members who took me to breakfast at Cracker Barrel once and told me that my weight was hurting my ministry and witness to the world. I could honestly see some truth to that, but It wasn’t all-together helpful. Of Course, I’ve been made fun of for most of my life for being over weight. Mainly by people who didn’t know me and assumed things about me, like I was lazy or couldn’t do things. At different parts of my life I believed I wasn’t able to enjoy life at my size as well. When I am thinking really honestly, I remember loosing out of life because I was scared to put myself out there and enjoy something that was happening around me. I would avoid being noticed, if I could. You see, if I was noticed then people would make fun of me. If people saw me look stupid, then they could hurt me with their words. So, those feelings came to define me and my actions. I missed out on my honeymoon being everything it could have been because I was afraid I would look stupid or people would see me and talk about me and make fun of me. I desperately want to blend in and go unnoticed. But that’s my personal life… work life is different.
My job requires me to be in front of people… a lot. People see me when I’m up front. People judge me and can talk about me when I’m upfront. The way that I get around this little conundrum was to be bigger than life… command an audience and be the character I wish I really was on the inside. Work Jacob is a mask for the guy on the inside. Where my insides are really scared to be noticed and really apprehensive about allowing people to see me, the outside me wants to be seen, heard, and wanted. This inward and outward battle is what has come to define me and create a war against the other for control. Maybe the real me is somewhere in the middle.
Around 2009 I realized that I was trying to kill myself with food. I remember the night, as I was driving home and it dawned on me… If I keep eating like I’m eating, I am going to die sooner than later. I became strangely aware that I was killing myself by my choices. I realized that I needed help. I decided to tell a few close friends that I had to change. I started with a personal trainer and that was a good experience… it was not a realistic one because I couldn’t keep paying for it… it was expensive! Then I set a goal that I wanted to do a triathlons. So, I had a friend who helped me get ready for it and I had a lady at church that said she would help me figure out food. I logged my food and turned it in the her and worked a plan to train for the Tri. Throughout my training, family support, and friend support… my life really changed. I ended up dropping over 100lbs and was able to do my first Tri. What a great experieicne.
In 2010 all of my success began to fall apart. I ended 2010 without a job, gaining weight, burned out completely, hating the church, and feeling like a failure at home. Things can change in the blink of an eye. We all know that story, don’t we.
Over the next few years, I found healing… it was a slow process. Although this blog picks up on January 1, 2017, I will be talking about those missing years. As for now… you are pretty much caught up.
To answer the question that everybody wants to know, but doesn’t know how to ask… my top weight that I ever saw on a scale was 415lbs. I was heavier than this at points but never had access to a scale that went high enough to know. Let the new journey begin…