I love food. The way it looks, tastes, and makes me feel when I'm eating it. It's not the "good" food that got me in trouble -- it was the junk. I delivered bread at midnight for 12 years. When I woke up, my body told me it was my "morning," and I should eat breakfast.
The problem was that at 1 a.m. the only place I could get breakfast was at fast food restaurants. I would rotate between McDonalds, Taco Bell, Checkers, and various gas stations. I would eat everything that wasn't healthy for my body, and I ate it in substantial quantities. It didn't take long for the pounds to start piling on.
As I gained weight, I felt less confident. I suddenly wanted to turn the lights off during sex because I didn't want my love to see the rolls. Over the years, I got up to 370 pounds. My energy and confidence disappeared. What once was a healthy sex life turned into a leap year event.
When sex became infrequent because of how I felt, I turned to porn. I figured it was easier to masturbate than expose my body to my wife and "risk" her leaving me when she realized what I had become. Porn was my escape and felt good for a little while. I settled into a fantasy world that felt so much better than my life.
Porn ruined me in ways I still am trying to heal from. Every time I would watch it and masturbate, I would emerge an angry man. Looking back at it now, it was probably because I was upset the fantasy was gone. The few times I did have sex with my wife, I would think about the porn stars and lose my erection. My wife was patient when me, but the porn was too much. As a result of the weight, our financial problems, the porn, and the jerk I had become, we separated.
It took losing her for me wake up. I called her every day begging her to come back, but she said NO. She wanted to see proof I was changing, not my empty words. I realized if something was going to change, it had to be me, and it started with taking action. I had talked enough. I went to work on myself (my mind, body, and my soul) and haven't looked back.
My wife was gracious and tried to help me, but I was battling myself and couldn't break free from the prison I had created. It took two years, but I was able to lose 170 pounds. As I worked on myself, I realized my crappy job had to go -- I quit at the end of 2012. I paid off all our debt and reconciled with my love.
I know there are guys reading this that can relate. Your weight is an issue and maybe one that has gotten out of control. First, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's not going to be easy, but you can lose weight and gain confidence in every other area of your life.
Second, if you're going to overcome where you currently are, you have to take action. For me, I knew I wasn't the kind of person who could stick to a diet. Instead, I ate portion-controlled meals and cut out the junk food. No more eating at the places that were simply to get me through a crappy job.
I also started to run. Running is hard on the body and not something everyone should attempt. But, you have to find some form of exercise that works for you and you have to do it consistently. The equation is: eat less, move more. As you do this over time, the weight will come off.
Today, our sex life is better than when we were in the honeymoon stage of our marriage. We have sex daily, and the quality is fabulous. I don't look at porn anymore -- that's not a judgment on anyone who does, just a personal decision for ME. I'm not angry, and I'm completely consumed with my love.
With the weight gone, I have more confidence, energy, and courage to face the hardest challenges life throws at me. My wife and I are closer and choose love every day. It took years, but it was worth the struggle to have freedom in my work, health, and relationships. This can be your story, too. If you're not living the kind of life you want to live, let today be the day you do something about it.
This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project.
Photo: Flickr/ mynameisrage