Day 39: How has the HealthKwest changed me?

Disclaimer: This post is part of my participation in the Genghis Grill Health Kwest Challenge. #Healthkwest #GenghisGrillAd

Today’s #HealthKwest social media challenge: Write a blog about any physical and emotional changes you have felt during Health Kwest so far. Post it a blog about it along with any photos.


This is a difficult question for me to answer because I’m right in the middle of this epic contest — and I don’t think I’m overstating it at all to call it “epic” because that is the effect it has had on my life.

Day 38 update- 40 pounds of weight lost - 13.2% of body weight
Day 38 update- 40 pounds of weight lost – 13.2% of body weight

I began the contest with high hopes but also a good bit of cynicism about myself and my abilities to see this through. I have a lot of history of negative self-talk but also a lot of bad experiences with dieting that made me convinced that this would likely not end well.

But I also knew that my old lifestyle wasn’t working. Over the previous three years as a newly married man, I had made many changes — I seek to prioritize my family over everything else, even work and the activism causes I hold dear. Yet I hadn’t changed the way I treated my body. I still ate more than I should and I often dealt with the stress of my very busy life by way of emotional eating. And so I decided to enter Health Kwest and to try hard to make the cut for the finals.

I knew that I needed to appear optimistic to have a chance of being picked, so I spoke out on social media about my hopes to compete and my plans to win. I felt foolish saying this out loud, but I decided it was what I had to do to get picked… and then something happened… something wonderful… I started to believe my own spin. I actually started to think I could do this and it changed everything.

Healthkwest Poster
Healthkwest Poster

It hasn’t always been easy but it has been much easier than I thought it would be. Here are some of my happy discoveries/changes:

1. I can eat a restricted calorie diet and not be continually hungry, as long as I load up on healthy fruits and veggies.
2. I can eat at Genghis Grill every day and LOVE it! (I’m already dreading the end of this contest)
3. I can cook good food at home, especially when I embrace the GG approach of lots of veggies and spices, flavorful sauces and a thoughtful use of healthy proteins.
4. When I eliminate most refined sugar from my diet, fruit suddenly becomes as sweet as candy!
5. It is possible to still have a daily glass of wine on a diet if I want one (and have properly allocated my calories throughout the day).
6. My clothes are fitting better. I’m finding old clothes that I had given up on wearing and am looking forward to being able to shop for clothing outside of the “big man” section of the store.
7. Sex is better. Way better. I won’t say much more out of fear of embarrassing my wife, except that I think it is a combination of changes to both my body and my mind.
8. I am type 2 diabetic and took 2 daily meds to control my blood sugar. Since starting this contest, I’ve found my blood sugar levels getting too low. My doctor has already pulled me off one of my meds and I probably will be going off of my other med soon. This is unbelievable yet it is reality.
9. Losing a lot of weight stirs up a lot of emotions, both good and bad. I’m learning (thanks to an awesome counselor) that I can accept that these emotions are being stirred up but then show myself compassion and love.
10. Today I rode 17 miles on my bike, most of it during moderate to heavy rain. The day before I rode an hour on the stationary bike. The day before that… you get the picture. I have never been so consistent in exercising in my life. I think out of 39 days in HealthKwest, I have only missed 1 day of exercise. And for the many of those days, I have exercised for anywhere from 1-3 hours. This is pretty awesome.

Biking on a very rainy day
Biking on a very rainy day

11. My son is proud of me. How cool is that?
12. The uncertainty of this contest is driving me nuts. I wish I knew how my fellow “khantestants” were doing on weight loss and whatnot. But another part of me says that I just need to embrace the uncertainty, to know that this is part of the experience.
13. I am nervous about what happens after the contest. I kinda would like to continue this more aggressive approach to weight loss for awhile longer, but I know at some point I will need to settle into a slower steadier level of loss to get me to my goal (200 pounds or less). Yet I am reminded that I never imagined that I would be able to lose 40 pounds (so far) and that I just have to trust that the next stage of my weight loss journey (after day 60) likely will go much better than I would have otherwise imagined.

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And last but not least, my semi-legenday Lego Movie-themed Genghis Grill dance video…

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