So I’m into fitness, Wedding Project Days 52-55: Thanks to my dad on Father’s Day

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My father, Ernie Jr., and I at a Royals game. Dad helped me set the foundation as I began my fitness journey. I've lost 123 pounds in the three years since we started.

My father, Ernie Jr., and I at a Royals game. Dad helped me set the foundation as I began my fitness journey. I’ve lost 123 pounds in the three years since we started.

Losing weight is hard, no doubt about it. But losing weight without support is impossible.

I’m reminded of that on Father’s Day, as one of the biggest supporters in my journey from 315 pounds to 192 pounds has been my dad.

When I moved back home in 2010, he took me in rent- and bill-free. I’d just left my career, partly to be closer to family and partly because I saw the writing on the wall in the newspaper business.

Dad only had one rule when I moved in: That I had to work out and try to be healthy.

After working nearly full-time as a free-lance reporter for the first three weeks after I’d moved back, I finally started a routine in June 2010.

Dad and I played one-on-one basketball most of the summer, walking/running several days a week and lifting weights every other day. Keep in mind this was a 65-year-old man.

He also did most of the cooking, which meant I was eating a ton of fresh vegetables out of our garden.

I lived with dad for about four months before I moved into my own apartment in Topeka. Those were not easy times, to say the least. I was in a terrible relationship that consumed my life. Combined with the stress of working 30 hours a week as a contract employee and having no clue of what I was going to do for a living, times were trying.

But I had my father and family, and that really gave me hope. I lost about 50 to 60 pounds in the first five or six months after I’d moved back to Kansas. I couldn’t have done that without my father, who often says the rigorous workout routine likely added several years to his life (he’s 68 going on 50 now).

More importantly, the support I had from family and friends, notably my dad, helped me get my life back. In the three years since I moved back home, I’ve lost 123 pounds, settled into a new, rewarding career at Washburn University, will be starting graduate school in August and met my soulmate (we’re a week away from the wedding!).

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you. And happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, biological and non-biological. As I’ve discovered during the last two years, the latter can be every bit as important as the former.

As far as my fitness project over the last four days, I’ve averaged burning more than 1,000 calories and have been under my calorie goal. I tried on my wedding pants (the motivation for these blogs), and they fit great today.

You can read my fitness diary at My Fitness Pal.

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