I’m Andy. Here’s some of my story….
At the end of 2012 I was going through one of the toughest points of my life. The longest relationship I have ever been in was ending, horribly I might add. I was heavier than I had ever been (242lbs) and I absolutely hated my career in music at the time. I had worked a full decade in a very unhealthy environment. 12-16 hour days, 6-7 days a week for the most part. Always ordering take out. Little to no respect, encouragement or credit. Music budgets were getting slashed and so were our rates. I had started a SCUBA diving company and realized that in order to really make a stable living at it I would have to go into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt and open a retail store. As much as I LOVED teaching people to dive, I wasn’t ready to let another business or industry take over my life and had already accrued a sizeable amount of debt for the business. I had been doing both jobs at that point and was literally working everyday. Everything felt out of control. I had a complete meltdown one night and pretty much stressed myself out to the point of exhaustion and crashed.
Luckily, I woke up to the look of unconditional love from my two dogs the next morning. I got up and took each one of them for a 30 minute walk. I realized ‘that’ time was mine (and theirs) and at the very least I had control of that single hour. I started waking up earlier to make sure we got our full walks in. 6:30 every day we were up and out the door. I was still stressed-the-hell-out but it was a small win and it was my time that nobody could take. No phone calls, no emails, no expenses, just me, the dogs and our time.
I had no idea how much that would change my life. It gave me time to think, to be outside and as simple of a workout as it sounds, that was my start to exercising. I began questioning things. Why was I putting up with x, y or z? I’m already at the bottom so why would I not take a risk? Some of those decisions were incredibly difficult for me. I HATE not completing my goals. I start something, it gets finished. I put my all into it and I wanted that dive business to succeed more than anything. I felt like a failure and a quitter. That actually took some time to come to grips with. I also had to face my weight and be honest about how I looked and felt. The walks had helped my to start losing some of the weight but I knew I wasn’t eating very healthy either so I started to monitor my food intake. I can’t remember for the life of me where I found the myfitnesspal app but it was a god send. I kept track of everything I was eating and realized quickly how terrible I was. “Oh, I’ll just grab something quick from Del Taco. HOLY SHIT IT’S HOW MANY CALORIES???” Fuck it. I’ll snag a salad from Trader Joes or something. Once I had some small victories and stared seeing results, I wanted more. I started working out, eating healthier, transitioned jobs into a new side of the music industry with a team of people I actually enjoy working with and it’s continued from there.
I haven’t figured everything out. (No one has btw) but I’ve become a much happier and healthier person by implementing some small changes.
I’ve gone from 242 lbs to 172.
Completed 5Ks, 10Ks, 2x Sprint Triathlons, a rugged maniac race and last year got my Spartan Trifecta (sprint, super and beast)
I started working for a company that shows respect for their people. Both personally and monetarily.
I’m continually pushing myself to improve and trying to surround myself with a core group of people that do that same.
I FULLY realize how fortunate I have been. My “darkest” days are nothing compared to a lot of folks. I’ve never been divorced, had to worry about having a roof over my head, going hungry. Although there were a lot of rice, water and ramen days that came from emptying the change jar. I don’t have crippling school or medical debt and I’ve never struggled with clinical depression or anxiety. I live in the richest country in the world and completely understand how much we take for granted on a daily basis. We’re all dealt the hand we are dealt but what matters is how we play it. Sometimes you get behind and need to get propped back up. My hope is that this site is a source for people to find some small victories, a place to try new things, grow as humans and to build a community of people that strive for better. Not just for themselves but for everyone. I want you to win and for us all to do better.
Enough of my rambling……go try some new things and challenge yourself!!