I am so excited to introduce to you Wesley! I actually have known his wife Cari for quite some time. Our children attended a local daycare together. Cari helped our son get fitted for his very first cast when he broke his leg a couple of years ago. Such a life saver! I connected with Wesley through Facebook about 6 months ago and began reading all about his journey; his struggles, his wins, his inspiration and I just wanted to share it here! I know this is a “mommy” blog however it’s so incredible to see a daddy go through those same struggles. I always tell my husband that we go through life ups and downs as individuals but we are so much more stronger when we do it together!
I was honored when Becky Hyman, blogger of Clean Food Mom, asked me to share my personal journey of not just weight loss, but a better lifestyle. It amazes me as I sit here and try to reflect on some of the events that have taken place in my life over the past year and a half. Trying to put it all into words on a piece of paper is like trying to take a panoramic view and putting it all into a 4×6 photo. It just doesn’t do justice, but I will do my best to try and share where I was, pieces of the journey, and where I am today. My hope is that this will encourage someone to not give up, no matter what, whether it is in regard to health, finances, relationships, or what not. There is hope in the journey.
I guess I should introduce myself if I have captured you as an audience. My name is Wesley and I live in Greenville, South Carolina. I am originally from Washington State which is where I was raised and graduated from high school, but I have lived here in SC now for 14 years so this is my home. I am married to an amazing woman, her name is Cari, and we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year. Together, we have a stunningly beautiful daughter Ella who is almost six years old. She brings us pure joy and she is a key player in what motivates me to be healthy, not just in my body, but also in my spirit and my mind. I want her to have the best life possible, and for me to help her have that, I have to make sure that I am working toward my best self as well.
That being said, In December of 2014, I was at my heaviest of 196 pounds. I was on the tail end of a drinking career soon to learn that I was an alcoholic and needed professional help. I remember being at work one day, as if it happened overnight, I was unable to climb one flight of stairs without being largely out of breath. I never had that problem before. I had for the most part been pretty active. I ran quite a few 5k races, 10k races, and even a half marathon prior to my drinking taking control, but as time passed, my activity became less, and my drinking increased. I was drinking anywhere from eight to 18 beers daily which helped increase my weight at rapid measure. I had no idea that I was 196 pounds until my boss and another colleague decided to bet on who could lose the most weight in December. Since I work in the food service industry, it shouldn’t surprise you that we all weighed ourselves on a food scale, and I was rather shocked to find myself at almost 200 lbs.
After having an anxiety attack at work in January of 2015, I began my journey of healing and recovery toward becoming a healthier version of me. I worked through depression and addiction with the support of a professional treatment center. I continued my recovery over alcoholism with the support of Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery. As my drinking disappeared, so did 15 pounds of my weight and I already started feeling better in my body. At the same time I was introduced to what many know now as “clean eating.” I participated in a week long challenge of following a specific meal plan that for the most part eliminated sugar, white flour, and processed foods. I lost another five pounds during that week. Although the weight loss was great, I was full of energy and a surprisingly new self-confidence. I found that feeling good made you feel good about yourself and your self-image.
I continued to eat clean after learning new recipes and found that there is no such thing as a diet, but rather a lifestyle. I found quickly that a week of eating perfect was the perfect set up for just another sugar binge, and that it would take some action and practice to get this right. Eventually, you learn that balance is a good thing to live by rather than perfection. I like to follow what is called the 80/20 rule which implies that if I eat great 80 percent of the time, it allows me to enjoy that Butterfinger Blizzard from Dairy Queen on occasion. The great thing about a lifestyle rather than a diet is that there aren’t any rules; rather you just know what to do if you want to feel better!
I also started to workout daily following easy home based programs and have been doing so since my journey began. Currently I am right at 170 pounds, which is a little higher then when I originally lost 30, but I, along with many, am still on this path, trying to figure out what works best for me. I am also in the middle of training for my first marathon which I am registered to run in October. Choosing a better lifestyle for me has not been an easy goal, in fact, it is something that I have to choose to do daily, over and over again. And when I mess it up, rather than succumbing to defeat of the progress made, I get up, back on my feet and try again. The only way we really fail, is by not trying that one more time. Always fail forward! To health and beyond!
Thank you Clean Food Mom for giving me the opportunity to share. I hope this will help encourage and motivate others to become their best self possible!
You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wesley.matson for more motivation and support!