When I started to lose weight in February of 2008, no one except my wife knew about it. Sure, people at the Weight Watchers meeting knew, but they were not my friends. They just saw an enormous man coming in week after week to weigh in and listen on weight loss tips.
I did not want anyone to know. Honestly it is not because I thought I was going to fail. I knew this time I was not going to. I was determined and made sure that I would fine a way to lose weight even if it got tough. Did I think I would lose 221 pounds in a year? Well, no. But I did know I would weigh less than the 420 pounds I started with.
I wanted to document my weight loss but did not really know how. My brother had a blog and I have always been inspired by the way he wrote. So I decided to start one as well.
When I went on Blogger they asked for a title of the blog. Now I was going to use my real name but I really did not want people to know I was losing weight. I did not want my family to find out because of all the failed times before. I also did not want a name with “Fat” or “Fit” or “Journey” in it. So, I came up with The Anti-Jared.
Jared Fogle is the man who lost over 200 pounds while eating Subway subs. I have always had a hatred for Subway because of the treatment they gave me 15 years ago. Yet, Jared Fogle is the only person I know who is famous for their weight loss. Most people are famous, then they lose weight. He was one who consistently ate subs and lost well over 200 pounds.
I knew if I was going to lose weight…….I would have to do it differently. And I did. I joined Weight Watchers and started to count points. When counting points did not work I leaned towards a more “South Beach” eating approach. That approach turned into unprocessed foods and then I combined all of it while incorporating cardio and free weight workouts. When someone asks me how I lost weight I say it is like having four pitchers throw a no hitter. There was not one exact way I lost the weight.
And I did lose the weight. 52 weeks and 221 pounds. In that time I only gained a pound one of the weeks. I never starved myself, I worked out everyday and I did not get frustrated. It was an amazing streak! People did not recognize me. I would look in the mirror and not recognize myself. I got my health back and honestly felt great!
And I also build some confidence in my writing. After losing 100 pounds and writing around 20 blog posts I decided to tell my family about the blog. I was nervous because my family is known to be a little critical about trying new things. I was never a writer. that was my brother. The joke was that my brother wrote books and I wrote a book report on Iggie’s House by Judy Blume. Still a classic.
But telling my story, the way I told it, helped me. When someone would comment “I agree” or “I thought I was the only one” that truly helped me. It took a while to realize that people will not agree with everything I write. In fact, I should not expect it. I write with passion so there will be grammatical errors…..ALL THE TIME! When you write with passion, others respond with passion as well.
I would always look at the name of my blog. The name of my character on the Internet. The Anti-Jared. I think once you have a name you should not change it. Most bloggers have cute names. Mine made perfect sense in 2008 when Jared Fogle was everywhere. Now, with so many athletes on Subway commercials and their claim that their food is far more healthier than anything else, Jared is an afterthought. He is the guy at the end of the commercial who says “Eat Fresh!”
I have now been writing and blogging for over four years now. I have tried so many things with it and happy with the results. I have kept off over 180 pounds now for four years. My writing is much better than it was four years ago. My blog is not as popular as my Facebook page which I love updating. My blog posts are also not as popular as the posts I write for Attune Foods and Anytime Fitness. Four years ago I never thought I would be writing or considered a writer or even thought I would have Facebook.
My story has changed a lot as well. After losing the weight I found out a lot about myself which I share on the more current posts. I think today I am happier than I have ever been. I am not a slave to the scale yet I am conscious of it. I watch what I eat because, well, I have to. This is a lifetime journey for me. It will never get boring. I know how to lose weight. Now I just have to learn to enjoy weight loss.
I do think good things will come my way with all of this if I keep working at it. I have inspired many including the man in the mirror.
But I am very proud to tell you something now….
My name is not Jared…… It is Tony.