I'm 'Doing Whatever It Takes'

By , SparkPeople Member FANGLE
My motto: "Doing whatever it takes."
When the dailySpark asked me to write a guest blog I was completed humbled and honoured. What better way to help inspire people then getting to share my story, where I have been, where I am and where I am going.
On to the title of my blog, "doing whatever it takes." When I started to lose weight in May 2009, I had hit rock bottom with my self-esteem, was very close to the heaviest I had ever been, at close to 320 pounds. My athletic abilities were completely gone and I knew that it was a time for a change.
I had contemplated losing weight for years. In my second year of university, I had a huge drug problem and when I eventually stopped doing drugs (it has been over 4 years) I gave myself 3 goals all with equal importance to me.

Gerry, before, at 320 pounds

  1. Stay clean. I knew that I would not be able to do anything productive with my life if I was a drug addict. I have always been a very ambitious person and the drugs really stunted that.
  1. Lose weight. Even though goal number 1 is never really going to be complete, it will have to be something that I work at for the rest of my life, after about two years of contemplating losing weight I finally said to myself enough is enough and I was ready to do whatever was necessary, whatever it took to get fit.
  1. Start dating again. At 320 pounds, I knew that I would never find someone. How could anyone love me if I hated myself? I knew that if goals 1 and 2 were accomplished, then goal number 3 would happen in time.
I have talked about this last goal in previous blogs so I am just going to mention them and not go into detail with number 3 at this time.
Ok, focus, back to the title of my blog.
Regardless of anything you read, anything you hear, any advice you get from people who have done it before you, you will NOT succeed unless you are willing to do whatever it takes to lose weight and keep it off. I always heard people say you need to do this, or you need to do that, but nothing was going to change unless I was willing to change it. It is that simple.
So, what does "doing whatever it takes" mean? Well that is not an easy answer because for me, what it takes for me is constantly changing and evolving.
When I started losing weight, whatever it took was healthy eating, portion control and regular exercise. I began lifting weights, which is something I had never done before and I started to run on the elliptical a few times per week.
A light bulb went off and I literally went from being the most useless human being on the planet to working out 5 times per week in a matter of seconds. Another big part of doing whatever it took at the beginning was I had to say goodbye to a few of my old food groups: bacon, Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches, Chinese food and beer. For 7 months, I did not have a drop of alcohol. To this day I have not had Chinese food once but, well, bacon is back in my diet but more on that later.
After I lost about 60 pounds or so, doing whatever it took to lose more weight changed. I knew that I had to make some compromises in my diet and in my lifestyle so that I would be able to make this a long term change. So, I started having a beer on occasion and allowed myself to have some of the things I enjoy in moderation. I lost the next 40 pounds slower than I had lost the first 60, but I was still losing weight, eating things I enjoyed and loving life.
In April 2010, "doing whatever it takes" evolved again. I realized that for me, there is no point in working out unless I am working as hard as I can. So, I decided that I was going to sign up for a triathlon in July and I was going to train hard for it. I began working out between 1-2 hours per day for 6 days per week. I worked out very hard and this has become part of my self-concept today. I love to work hard and get kind of a sick enjoyment out of seeing myself drenched in sweat.
In July 2010 I completed my first triathlon. It was so much fun and there is nothing that can compare to the feeling you get when you are getting to the finish line and everyone is cheering for you. After that point, "doing whatever it takes" took on a new face once again. I was going to become the best triathlete that I could be. What does that mean exactly? Well, my diet is solid, my workouts are consistent and mentally I think I am stronger than ever.
What does "doing whatever it takes" mean to me now? I am currently "doing whatever it takes" to complete an Olympic distance triathlon on August 7, 2011, and I want to complete a half-ironman triathlon next summer: 1.9 km swim, 90km bike and 21.2 km run. A daunting task and one thing that I know for certain is that I am going to do whatever it takes to not only complete that triathlon, but I am going to do whatever it takes to do the best job I can. Lastly, "doing whatever it takes" to make this a lifelong journey means I need to eat bacon because a life without bacon just isn’t worth it.

What does "doing whatever it takes" mean to you?

Gerry after, during his triathlon!

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NASFKAB 6/26/2019
Impressive & inspiring Report
RYCGIRL 1/18/2019
thanks Report
Impressive! Report
Wow! So completely awe inspiring! Thank you for sharing a window into your life and adventure!!! Love this! Report
Congrats on your success! Report
Thank you for your inspiring blog! You are exactly right--if you really want something, you do whatever it takes to get it. It sounds simple, but you will never be successful without that determination and commitment to your goal. Report
Inspiring! Report
As my mom says "Bacon- is the best ingredient!" I have given up bacon for the short term right now. All of pork actually but someday I will be able to enjoy it in moderation again.
You look great! Thank you for your blog! Report
Gerry, I'm so glad I found your blog. Thank you for sharing your inspiration. I have to agree that you can't do it until YOU want to. I finally want to succeed. Negative thinking is beginning leave me. Thanks again for writing. Report
what an inspiration!!! Report
congrads Report
Wonderful story and it is a huge motivational piece.

That knocking you hear at your front door is Readers Digest calling. Report
Congratulations Gerry!!! That spirit means you don't try to complete a task, or need to complete a task, you just DO it. It is such a fantastic mantra to any life goal but specifically a weight loss journey. Thanks for sharing your adventure in becoming ALL you can be with us sparkers!!! Report
Thanks for sharing your story, and congratulations on all you've achieved. .It's truly inspiring. Report
Good luck on August 7th! You are truly a Blessing and an inspiration to all of us! Report
wow!!!! thank you so much for sharing, i needed that today. Congrats on sticking to your goals and best wishes on your future endeavors. Report
Best of luck to you in the triathlon and congratulations for keeping motivated and sticking to your goals...ever evolving!!!!

take care
barbara Report
WOW! Thank you for this! Report
Congratulations! It must have really taken a lot of hard work and will power to accomplish your first 2 goals. You look Great!! I'm sure you are already starting Goal #3. Good luck on the triathlon. D Report
will be thinking of you on August 7th! Report
Inspiring! Report
Great job Gerry!! Keep up the good work and good luck in August!! Angie Report
Wow! Congratulations on doing what it takes. Keep on goin'! Report
Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your journey! You are an inspirational man Gerry...all the best to you during your Olympic distance triathlon in August...GO GET 'EM TIGER!!! YAHOOOOO!!! Report
I willing to stay on a "diet" every day of my life from here on out. Judith Beck, PhD says in her wonderful book "The BECK Diet Solution" that we just need to make up our minds that we will always be "dieting" if we want to stay slim and healthy. She's done it for over 20 years. Report
Way to go!!!!!! Report
Fro me, doing whatever it takes means giving up my 1/2 hour lunch to the Gazelle. It is a HUGE step for me - when I first started I could barely last 5 minutes! I eat my lunch at my desk and use the "time off" for my workout. Report
A true inspiration! Good job and keep doing whatever it takes. You look fantastic :) Report
Just what I needed to hear today - thank you!! Report
CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing journey! Thank you for sharing it! :) Report
Way to go Guy!!
Sometimes the littlest things in life
can make your whole life change.
'Whatever it takes' keep on track.
Keep fit, keep healthy. Report
Thank you for sharing your story...I need to remember I am not alone in this journey. I may have to do whatever it takes but I don't have to do it alone....
You are amazing! Thanks for sharing your story. Keep up the GREAT work! Report
Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. You are a true inspiration! Report
A great motivating story. CONGRATULATIONS!! Report
Glad your my Spark friend and that you were honored in this way. A great message for all of us! Report
Awesome Gerry! Congrats to you on everything! Report
Great blog - you write good stuff and you write it well, which is why I follow your blogs.. you are truly an inspiration! Thanks for sharing Report
Very inspiring!! Congratulations on your accomplishments. "Whatever it takes" is a wonderful motto and personal mantra!! Thanks for sharing this journey of yours with us. Report
Thanks for sharing your story!
That was a fantastic blog and inspiration. Congratulations for "doing whatever it takes" and sticking to it. Report
Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on your huge accomplishments and good luck in your races and future achievements! So inspirational for all of us! Report
great blog, great job! Very inspirational! You are so right that "whatever it takes" evolves as we do. I have been having a hard time doing "whatever it takes" recently, but not because I don't know what it takes, just because no matter what I say, clearly my actions show I'm not ready to do it. I'm waiting for my lightbulb to click!! It has in the past, and oh what a great feeling when it does! Wish I could bottle the switch that makes it click!! Thanks for the inspiration! Report
Guest Speaker.....you can SPEAK TO ME ANYTIME! You, stated so many things that we all NEED TO HEAR! Me, being one of them! To make LIFESTYLE CHANGES, THAT HAVE TO BE READJUSTED to continue on that journey! Loved the BLOG! Thank you for sharing and showing so much ATTITUDE that is ALWAYS A WELCOME! Thanks again. Report
Awesome...great job!! Report
WOW!! You're story is very inspiring. Congrats to you Gerry for doing "whatever it takes" to get you to where you are today. What an incredible journey and encouraging story. I cannot wait to hear more from you on your accomplishments and how things go for you in August...keep on sparkin'!! Report
Wow - good for you - what hard work to get you where you are and where you are going. And so worth the effort. Good luck in all you do. Report
Very inspiring! You look amazing. Report
'Doing Whatever It Takes' I also think it's a great motto. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. Report
This is the best success story I have read to date! "Whatever it takes" to reach your goals! I love that. It's so true that unless one is willing to make a change, nothing will change. And I love even more that as your goals changed, you changed your approach to reach them. "Whatever it takes", you did it. Amazing! And now it's making me reevaluate the track I'm on. :) Report