Finding Your Way

by DavalosMcCormack on November 13, 2007

One of the hardest things to do is to find what works for you. There is so much advice out there, so many diet books, exercise books, lifestyle books, that sometimes it can be overwhelming. So we thought the best way to help you was to let you hear from people who put aside the “expert” advice, and found their own way.
We start with one of the most inspiring stories I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s told in a painfully, beautifully honest way. This is Steve’s story.

Steve’s Story

Hello,
My Name is Steve Vaught, (born Stephen James Liller in Youngstown, Ohio). I am a 39 year old, happily married father of two great kids and I have a pretty good life here in Southern California. You would think that I would be happy because of these things, but I am not. I am not happy because I am fat and being fat makes every day unhappy.
I did not make this website to complain about it however, instead I am doing something about it and this site was made to chronicle my story.
I am going to walk across the United states from San Diego to NYC to lose weight and regain my life!
The rest of the story is that I have not always been fat. I have been many things in my life from a lanky teenager to a muscular Marine and now I am fat. This latest incarnation is without a doubt the worst.
Being fat is physically and emotionally painful. It diminishes the quality of the good things in life and it will ultimately bring about an early demise. So being overweight darkens every good thing that you achieve in your life and even prevents some things from happening at all.
For the last 15 years I have been slowly gaining weight and it seems that whatever I do, it just spirals ever upward.
Socially being fat is hard to deal with because I feel that am looked down upon by people even when they are not doing so maliciously. It may be human nature. You know, “survival of the fittest”. Also, I feel as though I am being taken advantage of by companies and people that want fat people to buy their latest “miracle pill” or prepackaged food that will help me lose the weight.
We, as a society, are growing larger and have become a big market for high dollar fast fixes. We are not getting the fix because it is an illusion. Don’t get me wrong, if I were given the option I would trade just about anything to be trim and fit again. I have the same excuses, desires and dreams as many others in my position. I know though, that there is no other option but physical exertion to truly get back into shape.
So, after consulting the family and getting their blessing I have made the decision to stop this merry go round and dedicate myself to losing the extra weight. I have an addiction and there needs to be dedication and sacrifice to cure addictions. If I had a drug or alcohol addiction I would go to rehab. Well, what I have in mind is rehab for the fat guy.
I am going to take six months out of my life and walk across the United States from San Diego to NYC.
My main purpose in undertaking this journey is losing weight. More importantly though, I need to change the behaviors that have allowed me to be in this situation in the first place. I know that to permanently lose this weight I must learn to be more responsible to myself.
Nuts you say? Well, maybe.
But how nutty is spending a fortune on miracle weight loss drugs or fad diets that never seem to have lasting results or dangerous surgeries that cost about the same as a luxury car?
Living your life without health insurance because you are considered too high risk.
What about the fact that only 3% of weight loss attempts are permanently successful?
What about the anxiety, depression and pain involved in everyday activities when you are fat?
I don’t want to miss out on birthdays, graduation, marriages and grandkids because I chose not to take my life back.
That, to me, is nuts.
I am going to sacrifice some time out of my regular life to gain 30- 40 years of a better, leaner, healthier and happier life.
So considering all of that, I would be nuts not to do this.
Losing the weight will be the easy part. I plan to keep the weight off in the future by maintaining a proper diet and level of activity needed, as well as remembering how easy it is to gain weight and difficult to lose it.
I hope my story and actions serve to encourage others to take their lives back – to get up and do something about it today.
We have become conditioned to believe that there is an answer in a pill or cream or drink or machine that will fix it for us. We lost sight of the fact that we are the most incredible machine ever built, capable of great heroism, ingenuity and strength.
The human race has achieved great feats solely on the efforts of the individual. Building pyramids, settling frontiers and walking on the moon are a few examples.
I hope to remind people like me, that we each have the strength and ability to do anything we want. Losing weight is a choice the same as continuing to exist in this terrible condition is a choice. I have decided to live! It really is a simple decision when you think about it.
If you want to keep up with the journey and my progress please come back often to check out the journal page. With details from the road both good and bad, I will talk about the walk, people I have met, my physical condition, and a weekly weigh in when possible.
This effort is not going to be without sacrifice, my family and I know and accept that. I will probably see my wife and kids only once or twice during this time. I am not in the best condition financially to go six months without income and have resigned myself to the fact that I will lose my car and property. Those things however, pale in significance when reckoned with the consequences of doing nothing.
I can get another car or another property but not another life. That which is most precious is the one thing that cannot be bought for any price…life.
So on April 10th, I started walking from Oceanside, CA headed out on the journey of and for my life.

If you would like to learn more about Steve’s journey go to his website at wwww.thefatmanwalking.com

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