A couple of years ago, I was intrigued and inspired by an article in Bicycling Magazine about a man who lost 320 pounds by cycling and changing his lifestyle.
After topping out at 501 pounds, nearly losing his wife and young daughter, and a failed suicide attempt, Scott Cutshall fell into a pit of hopelessness, depression, and despair.
As his mobility decreased, he left his apartment only two or three times a year. When his wife took their daughter for some sunshine at the park, he was only able to participate through cell phone pictures his wife sent him.
The Day Life Changed
One day, his wife helped him move to a window in his apartment so he could see outside while she was at work. While sitting there, he saw a middle-aged man riding a bicycle in the street, and in that moment Scott’s life changed.
Scott dreamed of riding a bicycle again. He made several attempts to ride, but each attempt ended with a broken bicycle because of his weight. Finally, after purchasing a custom made bicycle that would support his weight, he rode 2 painful miles. Then 3. Then 5. Then 10.
Over a handful of years, Scott went from barely being able to move to riding 20,000 miles in one year and weighing 185 pounds.
What He Gained by Losing
I don’t know Scott Cutshall. I don’t know what emotional and physical pain he suffered and what deep longings finally motivated him. But I sensed that for Scott, “weight loss” was not a final destination. Numbers on a scale didn’t seem to be his goal, his target, or his motivation. Rather, weight loss seemed to be a means to a greater end. A road on a journey leading to his true destination - a place where he would come alive for himself and his family.
For Scott, it wasn’t about how much he could lose. It was about what he could gain… More energy. Better sleep. Feeling great. Friendships. Freedom. Time with his wife and daughter basking in sunshine at the park.
What About You?
What about you? What do you have to gain by losing? What would your life look like if you were more fit, had more energy, slept better, felt better? What effect would such a life have on your relationships or your job?
What would life be like if you went from simply surviving to thriving? For me, and I’m certain for Scott, it was freedom beyond words.
The First Step... Or Pedal Stroke
For most, the road to fitness is not an easy one. I’m sure the road Scott traveled was challenging, with many hills, obstacles, potholes, and storms. There was no easy fix. No miracle diet. No self-help book. But his journey began with a single first step… or pedal stroke as it were.
Here are 3 tips, or lifestye philosophies really, we've found to help make that first step:
- Consider what you will you gain - If your motivation is tied only to numbers on a scale, the harsh reality is that you will likely fail again and again. Instead, consider what you have to gain! Daydream a little here. Cast a vision for yourself. What is your true destination? The road ahead may be difficult, but by keeping that vision before you, you’ll be able to draw strength, and even find joy, on your fitness journey.
- Stay active on a regular basis - Find something fun to do. Something that makes you come alive. Getting fit doesn’t have to involve a gym membership. Fitness is much more fun when it involves activities like geocaching, kite flying, indoor rock walls, fresh air, and bicycles. We have many great ideas here at GoFamz.
- Eat food - Eat nourishing, natural, non-processed food. Great tasting and healthy recipes are abundant these days. You’ll be surprised how good you will feel in a short period of time when you focus on eating tasty, nutrient rich foods.
We love hearing from GoFamz readers. And we would love to hear about your own fitness journey! What are your hopes, your goals, your struggles? What are your successes and failures?
You can also join GoFamz Connect to share your fitness journey with others!