Today I woke up at 5am. I did not need to wake up that early. I was off work today. No one was up in my house…..

I turned 35 today.

35 is a weird age. I am not young anymore, yet I am not old.

I remember hearing about the “World Wide Web” when I was in college, and calling people from my home phone, when someone else was not using it. I remember pagers, when Ice T was a rapper, and using a Commodore 64 for school. I remember Reagan as president, and when MTV played videos.

But I am not old. I am not 40 yet. Or 50. Or 60. I do not have kids grown up. I did not walk 14 miles to school in the snow.

Today is different. I wake up to birthday wishes on Facebook and Twitter. I use my iPhone for everything. I have a couple of computers now.

My wife asked me why I was up so early via text. I was already at the gym…….

I remember when I was 18. Losing 80 pounds. I thought I knew everything. I was the smartest person in the world. I thought I would be a millionaire at 35. Why not? I was smart, funny, and I was a weight loss success. Weight loss was easy, all you had to do was eat less. Why couldn’t people do it? I was probably better than most.

I finished my workout. It was a good one. I drove home………

I remember when I was 25. I gained the weight back. I knew I could lose the weight like I did in the past, but not sure what was holding me back. I just met my wife. I was around 280 pounds. I thought I would have a great family at 35. Weight loss was easy, but I could not figure it out? Why could other people do it. They were probably better than me.

When I got home, I had a few cards and a nice “The Anti-Jared” hoodie………..

I remember when I was 30. Over 400 pounds. I was too far gone. I could not lose weight. Every bit of self-esteem and pride was gone. Why not, I was a failure. The saddest part was I did not think I would make it to 35. Weight loss was not easy. I was sick of the a**holes telling me it was. The 18 year old in me who was so conceded. He was gone. It was just a 30 year old man who wondered if today would be his last day.

My wife asked me what else I wanted for my birthday. I laughed. I truly only wanted one gift.

To work out twice today……..

Today I am 35. I am not young, yet I am not old. There is a part of me that understands why people say weight loss is easy. Yet, there is a huge part of me that knows how hard it truly is. How 23 1/2 hours of a day can be perfect, only to be ruined by a half hour of eating. I know how easy it is to skip the gym, or eat a ton of calories of “whole grain” type food.

Yet, at 35, I am not done. I work very hard at this. We all do. We all put forth a lot of effort. I know that during my struggles, I have lost 200 pounds. I have proven to myself it can be done. I never say this, but I am proud of myself. I gave myself a name “The Anti-Jared” and did it. I said I could lose 200 pounds without subs, and I did. Gaining muscle came later. That is when I knew I would be around for a while. It is not a quick process, like in all of the P90X ads. But one I can do.

I am not a millionaire, but I am very fortunate to have people listen to me every day. To have over 1500 people read my blog, listen to my Tweets, and answer a question on Facebook. I never thought that so many people would want to hear what I had to say. Yet, there was a part of me that knew I could not be the only one who felt the way I do.

I have a great family and a wonderful son. I have a wife who supports me in everything I do, and a cool job.

At 35 I am happy.

And maybe deep down, it is the best thing.

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