Chris's weight loss skin surgery

I’ve heard that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single journey started with a different number in mind....412. 412 pounds is all that my 6 foot frame could handle. 412 pounds is all my mind could handle. Four hundred and twelve...

My journey to 412 started much like everyone else suffering with weight gain, a diet filled with just one more, one more pop, one more slice of pizza, one more piece of cake, weight loss shakes, endless attempts at dieting. If it tasted good, then I felt good and I was happy. Until, I became unhappy.

In 2005 I was almost a man. Having graduated High School, I was faced with my future. I was also facing other life altering events. My Uncle, a man I hold in the highest of regard, was dying of cancer. The healthiest, most physically fit mentor in my life was a gymnast, an athlete and a smoker. I was met face to face with my own mortality, albeit a different means to my end, what he sought in tobacco, I found in food. This was my 1st attempt to change. A gym membership was purchased, diet plans established, results were made, but I was still me. My Uncle was proud of my hard work and dedication. I was on my way to making my change. He died, knowing I was changing my body, but I didn’t change my mentality.

It’s all back on and more. Making every excuse for myself, it was all back. My Dad was now diagnosed with cancer. I made efforts to make him proud, all met with failure. It’s still upsetting to me knowing that he was proud of me for my efforts to change. He too died amidst my personal failures to live a healthier lifestyle. With the death of my close family members, I experienced a decade of physical decline until….

Fatherhood was my next catalyst for change; I had hit my rock bottom physically, but my highest high emotionally. My son was born in April 2013. I suddenly realized that I was no longer living a life of my choosing, it had to be a new life of selflessness, mentoring, parenting....Fatherhood. The rest of my life would be devoted to this young man.

There is no way to prepare oneself for this life changing event. No way to prepare your body and your mind for the physical and emotional peaks and valleys of early Parenthood. I was physically drained at the end of every day, but this was nothing new to me....walking to my mail box was exhausting, putting on socks was exhausting, Parenthood was exhausting.

A lot goes through your mind during your sleepless nights; thoughts about sleep take up most of that time, but also thoughts of your future, thoughts of what could be, thoughts of what should be. As with most of the 1st year of Parenthood, life is a blur. I can’t remember the exact date or even month, but I decided that I want to be at my Sons’ moments, 1st day of school, Little League Playoffs, 1st Girlfriend, Graduation, Marriage and his 1st Born. I wanted all of this for me, but more importantly, I wanted this for him. do I get there? They say that Life is a Marathon, but for my 1st 27 years, I was sprinting towards my Death. No way am I giving up my food, so I didn’t. I’ve made sacrifices TO my health, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, now it’s time to make sacrifices FOR my health. I started with research, how does my body work? What should I eat? When should I eat it? I asked

healthier co-workers for help… What did people do 30 years ago? 40? 50? 100? 1000? Why were there no fat cavemen? Palaeolithic? More research was needed. Paleo? Sugar? What is sugar? Who doesn’t eat sugar? How can I eliminate sugars? Just do it, so I did. I eliminated all processed foods.

Paleo..Five weeks of torturous Hell. Each day was worse than the last. Headaches, anger, frustration and cravings were just a fraction of my pains. Push through. You are your worst enemy. All manner of self talk was required. My motivation was easy, my execution was not. Then there was clarity. My body hit a reset button. I had rid my body of its dependence on processed foods. Only single ingredient foods will do now. Dairy, gone, only baby Cows need Cow’s milk. Grains and starches, gone, our body does not know what to do with this type of food and turns it into storage (fat). Legumes, gone, it irritates your stomach and prevents nutrient absorption. Water, Proteins, Fibres and a tiny bit of Carbohydrates, repeat. The weight practically fell off 7 shirt sizes and 10 pant sizes in a few months. Not an ounce of iron was pumped, not a step of cardio was needed. My body said Thank You.

I decided after 8 months of my new Lifestyle, I would reward my body with some maximum exertion in rapid intervals. CrossFit seemed like a good idea. I started slow so as to not get discouraged. I had a massive push from my Coach Trainer. Onramp? No problem, a little sweat, a little muscle pain, no big deal. I was all in, I had energy, focus and desire. What once was hard is easier each day. In less than 2 years I had transformed from an unhealthy, 412 pound man into a 220 pound fit man. CrossFit is now my new normal, eating healthy is now my new normal.

With a drastic body change, come some side effects. I have developed inches of loose skin on every area of my body. Doctors have been consulted, measurements checked. Chafing, blisters and discomfort. Every day starts with a compression shirt... For my new body to match my new mind, it will cost the same as a fully loaded Sedan. Skin surgery will cost Twenty Eight Thousand Dollars....$28,000. This seems daunting!!

Not a sip of Soda since the beginning, not a cheat day, not a slip. I will abstain. Not for me, but for my young family of now 4. I have a daughter. A daughter I will see graduate, I will see broken hearts, I will see my girl become a woman and I will walk her down the aisle. I can see that now, but I couldn’t see it before. I’ve accomplished so much in a short amount of time. So many goals have been set and broken.

Please Help and please help share this story to inspire others travelling a similar path.

This journey could not have been completed without the well wishes of many, the compliments of a few and the help of even fewer. First of all, my Coach, Gary McLeod, diet plans, information and motivation was instrumental in my start and maintenance. CrossFit Winnipeg – my Home away from Home, surround yourself with great people and great things will happen. My Family, I know it hasn’t been an easy road, but it is so worthwhile. To those that whisper compliments in the hallways of my work, to those that I’ve inspired to change. Thank you, you are all my motivation.

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Chris Gair
Winnipeg, MB

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