Let me introduce myself. My name is Anthony. I’m 34 years old. My wife’s name is Erin and we will celebrate our 10th anniversary on June 25. We have four beautiful children that keep us very busy. I was born in New Jersey to immigrant parents from Argentina. I lived there until the age of 13, when we moved down to Charlotte, NC.
From the time that I was a young child, I was always overweight. I ate nothing but cheeseburgers and junk food. Even when we went over to peoples houses, I would refuse to eat their food. I’d wait until we left and my parents would hit a drive-thru and buy me a burger. Even as a child in elementary school, my meal at a fast food burger place would consist of a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, nuggets, fries and a coke. My excuse was that I could not decide what I wanted, so I would order all of it. By the time I was in second grade, I weighed 100 lbs. Fruits and vegetables never came anywhere near my plate when it came time to eat. By the eighth grade I was 180 lbs. Two years after I got married, my weight topped out at 272 lbs.
Being a big kid made it hard for me in school. I would get picked on by other kids all the time. The kids on my seventh grade soccer team picked on me so much that I dreaded going to practice. Much to my dad’s disappointment, I quit the team just a few weeks into the season. That was the last time I played any sort of organized sport.
Fast forward to March 2012. My wife and I were in Florida with our kids and my mother-in-law visiting Disney World. One of the kids caught the stomach bug. Needless to say, we all got sick that week. Remembering that dairy upsets the stomach even more when someone has the stomach bug, I cut it out for a couple days. Once I thought I was better, I’d reintroduce it into my diet but I got sick again. I tried several more times to reintroduce dairy into my diet and kept getting sick. Not even Lactaid pills were helping. So I cut out dairy from my diet completely.
At the time of our Disney trip, I weighed in at 260 lbs. I managed to drop about 30-40 lbs within the first six months of going dairy free. I thought that 220 lbs would be an ideal weight for me. Other than taking the dog out on one to two mile walks, I was not doing anything special. It was when I went to a kid’s birthday I got inspired to do something different, something I had never thought of doing. I was out in the front yard watching the kids play and I look in the garage and I see a picture frame of the birthday boy’s father and he was competing in a triathlon. I didn’t even know that normal everyday people competed in triathlons. When we got the kids loaded in the car and on our way, I look over at Erin and told her “I think I want to do a triathlon.” She said “That’s good. I think you can do it.”
At first, I did not want to tell anyone of my plans. I felt like I did not have one athletic bone in my body. The last time I tried to run, I couldn’t run longer than 60 seconds. I felt like I could deal with the swim and the bike but the running is what scared me the most. I went out and became a member at the aquatic center. I didn’t have a bike so I started my bike training on the stationary bikes at the gym. The first time I went out for a run, I wanted to see if I could get down to the corner without stopping. And I did. Not only that. I didn’t stop there, I ran back home. I had just run a whole mile for the first time in my life. I was so excited! Three weeks later, I ran my first 5K race.
Since that first 5k, I have run many 5ks, one 10k, 3 half marathons and one triathlon. I won my age group in the last 5k I ran. Something I never thought I’d be able to do. My next race is Tri Latta. It’s a sprint triathlon (750 meter swim, 17 mile bike, 3.1 mile run). I’m currently training for a half iron distance triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). I have my eyes set on running the Beach to Battleship race in October.
Since my weight loss journey started, I have gotten down to 158 lbs. I feel like this is where my body is most comfortable at. My pant size is down from a 42 to a 30. My cholesterol numbers have been almost cut in half. A few months back, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I’m just now getting used to a gluten free diet along with being lactose intolerant. It makes it hard to eat out but I feel so good when my diet is right.
This blog is going to be a little bit of everything. Anything from training, training schedule, diet and family. I couldn’t do this without the support from my family. Blogging is a first for me but I look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences with you.