By Kenneth Selke
I'm very excited to be posting my first blog entry as a WW Voices contributor on Weight Watchers Living. The adjustment from the Weight Watchers Community to the Weight Watchers Living Pages is bittersweet and I’ll miss reading up on all of the individual journeys out there.
However, I am extremely passionate about the impact this will have on Connect, and how it will drive us all to utilize Connect to continue exchanging our stories, successes, and learning opportunities. I know that I plan to use Connect to share a deeper look into my journey, and keep up with my friends that I’ve made in the Weight Watchers Community.
I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my story, for those of you who may not know who I am or where my journey has led me. I joined Weight Watchers in May of 2013, as a 26-year-old man, who weighed nearly 500 pounds. I was depressed, weak, and had absolutely no drive in life. After my first meeting, and finally seeing that “higher-than-expected” number, I felt worthless and knew that my life depended upon making a change. Here’s an excerpt from my very first blog post, which I wrote the night after that initial weigh-in:
The reality of this situation recently hit home for me, as I was denied life and health insurance by multiple companies. Really? I’m so bad on paper that I’m uninsurable. What a blow. Every day I get out of bed, and my bones pop in my feet and knees. They’re screaming for help….
This is it; this is my battle for my life. If I don’t do this, the consequence is a short, unhappy life. No family, no kids, no wife, no fun, all pain, early death. I want to live life, I have a huge heart and want to share that with a family of my own, and in turn, make the family I have now proud to call me a son and brother.
When I wrote that post, I was the most depressed I had ever been in my life. I made a deal with myself that night, that I would put every ounce of effort into losing a substantial amount of weight, and that if I failed, and went back to my painful, meaningless existence, that there would be no point in continuing my life. I was indeed suicidal.
My journey began right there from rock bottom. That first week was tough, but I stuck to the plan religiously. Eight pounds fell off in one week. Then the next week, another 4 lbs, then 10 lbs, followed by 5 lbs; the weight was literally melting away. My body wasn’t wanting to keep this weight on at all, I had been forcing it to stay on with my lifestyle. Within the first 5 months of being on the Weight Watchers program, I lost my first 100 lbs.
What I gained was even more precious. I had a newfound zest for life! I was able to go for long walks, felt more confident in how I looked, and was a much happier person all together. I was no longer suicidal in any way, in fact, I was (and still am) extremely ashamed for having felt that way, and allowing myself to get so far gone in the first place. Through those months of finding my true self on this journey, I completely reshaped my life. I took more risks, I journaled through my blogs, and wrote down every thought, emotion, and lesson learned every week. The Weight Watchers Community, especially those folks who encouraged me online in the very early days, literally saved my life. I owe everything I have to those people, the Weight Watchers program, and the way I pushed myself to achieve my goals and not let myself, or the Community, down with my failure.
Fast-forward 3 years, now over 150 pounds lost, 3 medications dropped, and now a happily married man to an extremely caring, lovely, and supportive wife, leading an exciting and fulfilling life! If I were able to go back in time, and talk to myself that night while writing that first blog post, I would give that man a gigantic hug, because his decisions that night changed my life forever and took it to places that he would never have dreamed possible.
I hope those of you out there reading this post might take something positive away from my story. I call my blog “The Big Guy’s Big Journey” for a reason; I still have progress to make, goals to achieve, and I’ll never stop trying to become a better man, a healthier man, a happier man. Weight Watchers has changed my life, and I’m now truly LIVING. Welcome to my journey here at my new home on the Living Pages!
Make sure to look for my profile on Connect under my username KDSelke. I’ll see you all online soon!
With much appreciation,
Follow Kenny on Connect @kdselke
Read more from The Big Guy's Big Journey.