Today is extraordinary. I’m getting a Red Jacket at Structure House because I’ve lost 100 lbs. So here I am gathering my thoughts about how I did it … how I lost 122 lbs. (& counting). Extraordinary. Actually, it was just the opposite: I did it very ordinarily, one day at a time, and without looking back at the painful void I was stepping out of.
That moment began last summer on a visit to my grandson, Jack, with whom I play every weekend. This particular weekend I saw that my daughter watched me struggle to get down on the floor to build Legos — a task I used to love to do with her when she was a little girl. Her chin began to quiver … “Dad, I want you to be around to see Jack grow up. Look at you — you’re killing yourself.” I went home in a daze that day. What had I done to myself?
That’s when I came to Structure House and began to get my life back. I resolved to swim more and walk NYC. For me, the release of endorphins first thing in the morning sets the table for the rest of the day. I try to leave earlier and walk to meetings now instead of taking the subway. I try to take my dog, Zoe, for an hour-long walk in the middle of the day in Central Park — it clears my head and keeps her young. I was already seeing a therapist who specializes in addiction / recovery and reached out to her to add group therapy to my regimen. My home therapist and I have been keeping in touch with Dr. Rickel, who has remained a critical bridge to Structure House for me.
- I look better & everyone says “healthier”
- My body feels much more flexible
- My schedule has filled up with work and social activity where there was once a void
- I go shopping for clothes and can’t find anything at the Big & Tall Store anymore
- Happiness and joy have crept back into my life
My son owns a resort in Nicaragua that sits atop a huge cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and requires a rugged walk down to the beach. I typically ask for a ride down in order to avoid the steep climb back up. I’m now looking forward to visiting him and this time to NOT having to ask for the Jeep to get up to the lodge. I’m going to climb back up that rutted monster of a hill and sing like a Von Trapp all the way!
Hands down, however, the winning benefit in all of this is being able to get down on the floor and play with 2-year-old Jack and to run around with him and not get winded. Even better, to truly believe it when I think to myself that I’ll be around to dance at his Bar Mitzvah.
And then to turn around and see my pregnant daughter smile at me again.