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A couple months ago I went into the doctor after hurting my knee and I had 170/110 blood pressure and my doctor demanded that I start taking blood pressure medication.  I'm only 39 years old and I don't drink or smoke, but over the course of the last 8 years I gained a lot of weight from eating a lot of fast food and drinking a lot of soda.  A hundred pounds actually.  

I have always been thin my whole life.  But then, in my mid 30s I started working too much, which meant eating a lot of take out and doing less exercise.  Plus I was working a lot of nights, so, I was drinking a lot of soda to stay awake.  I kind of knew that I was gaining weight, but I didn't realize how much until a few years ago when I went to the doctor and weighed a hundred pounds more than I did when I married my wife in 2000.  

When you spend most of your life effortlessly thin and you grow up in a hard labor working family, nobody tells you that reaching your 30s and working 60, 70, 80 hours a week at a desk can make you gain weight.  So, I learned it the hard way and over the last few years I have tried really hard to eat less and exercise to lose the weight.  But I just couldn't break past losing about 5 pounds.

Until the end of this summer, when I learned that it's not just about eating less, but it's about what you eat.  And it's not just about exercise, but it's about becoming a overall active person.  In the last few months, I have lost about a pound a week and as of this last week, I have officially lost 15 pounds.  

And for the first time in years, I took a few pictures of myself with my iphone and posted them on my Facebook page for my friends and family who live far away to see.

I need to shave, but already I am more happy with how I look than I have been in a very long time.  I have so far to go, but each one pound step that I take a week gets me closer.  

It's funny.  I have done a lot of cool things in my life that I am really proud of myself for because of how much work they took, but I think that losing this weight is probably the proudest I have ever been, because taking things slow and steady is not my strength.

But I don't want to die early or have to take blood pressure medication for the next 50 years.  I didn't get high blood pressure until I got really overweight, so, my doctor says that there's a pretty good chance that losing this weight will lower it down to the point I won't need the medication anymore.  As it is, I don't need much.

You know, I have written here over the last year about finally looking for my birth family and I have met some of them by phone and facebook and today was the first time they will see what I look like now.  I've been looking at pictures of them and old pictures of my grandparents and aunts and uncles and everyone is so thin... so I'm really embarrassed that I let this happen to myself.  I don't even feel like I look.  I feel like who I am inside.  I want them to see that me.  I want them to get to know that me.  Not to judge me because I am overweight.  But, maybe getting to know me means getting to know my weaknesses too, so, maybe it's okay if I don't look as thin as they all do.  

But I will in a year and a half or two!  

Speaking of seeing photos of my birth family.  Check out this picture of my mom as a little girl(in the center) and my grandfather as a young man leaning on his car.  Both taken in New York.  She is so adorable and he is kind of bad ass looking.  I'd think he was kind of cool and severe if my cousin Nikki hadn't told me about what a sweet heart he was.  He died about a decade ago.  She told me that his dying words were for his family to be put back together.  His kids had lost touch with each other.  I guess his dying wish is finally coming true.  Anyway.  Wow.  I looked so much like my mom when I was her age.  I was just a little boy version of her.  :)

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