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Marc Chase weight loss

This before and after photo shows Times Executive Editor Marc Chase at 255 pounds in December 2018 versus at 155 pounds in January 2020. His year-long weight-loss and fitness journey has culminated in 100 pounds shed.

Stop. Give up. Cut it short. You're exhausted. You're hungry. Throw in the towel.

Such waves of self limitations often course through my brain at 6 a.m. or 7 p.m. each day — the two general times nearly every day during which I dive into 30-minute cardio and strength-building workouts.

You should stop now. You're too thin. Now you're scrawny. Just cut loose and eat that fat-laden cake/chocolate/doughnut.

These are very real things I've heard from family, friends and colleagues leading up to where I stand today in a personal journey of weight loss.

I first wrote to you in September about my quest to lose weight, just so I could breathe more easily and tie my shoes or play with my little ones without literally seeing stars.

In that column, I noted a 70-pound weight loss over nine months by cutting most carbs from my diet and focusing almost solely on smaller portions of meat and vegetables for all meals and snacks.

About three months later, I now stand at exactly 100 pounds of weight loss within a little over 12 months.

Where one of my sons told me in September that I looked like I had been cut in half, now I quite nearly have been.

I've lost almost a whole person, and it all started with a sort of New Year's resolution hatched in December 2018 as that year came to a close.

I write to you all today, hoping to encourage you all to honor yourselves by sticking to your New Year's resolutions, whatever they may be and whenever voices within or outside your head may prompt you to surrender.

New Year's resolutions often are the most fragile promises we concoct as humans, and that's saying something.

These should be unbreakable bonds with oneself. Don't give up.

I've been tempted to at times along various steps of this weight-loss journey.

Some of the weakness is in my own head.

Early in the process, it was so often painful to watch family members chowing down on all the things I used to eat — candy, cake, pie, fast food, pizza, fried chicken, French fries. 

Ignoring the voices that told me to uncontrollably scarf up that forbidden fruit rather than the lean turkey, fruit and vegetables in front of me was so very hard.

But I drew the line and did it.

And then a crazy thing happened some six months into the journey. I began to crave the healthier food instead.

Sometimes even now, my muscles scream at me to stop well short of my goal during workouts on the elliptical machine — a sort of stair-climbing, skiing gym contraption that presents an incredibly challenging cardio workout.

When I first started on the elliptical, it truly felt like an unnatural, medieval torture device — like my knees would fall off and my heart would beat out of my chest.

But it's become so much easier, as has my ability to tell the voices in my head, pleading with me to stop early or cut it short, to "shut the hell up!"

Whenever you're focused on doing something important, and then begin to see real results, it's not unusual to hear from outside detractors, either.

Any number of people have tried to tell me I should give up, stop or put on a few pounds.

Some of this has been good-natured, but not all of it.

When you resolve to do something for yourself, you must follow through, other voices notwithstanding.

In the end, it's only noise. Though I do realize it's time, in general, to add more muscle rather than lose fat.

I didn't set out to lose 100 pounds in December 2018, when I looked in the mirror at a 255-pound likeness of myself — the heaviest I had ever carried on my 6-foot-1-inch frame.

More importantly, it was the most unhealthy I had ever felt.

I merely set out to live a healthier life — to not fail in my resolution to feel better and forge a more comfortable existence.

On Saturday morning, the scale read 155 pounds on the nose.

Whether my journey stops and stabilizes there, or whether it ends with a little more or a little less weight, is beside the point.

I'm at a healthy level now. It took a lot of work to get there.

I resolve that the work will not be undone.

And I ask you all to do the same for yourselves, whether we're talking about weight loss or other self-driven enrichment.

You can't succeed for anyone or anything else in this world — spouses, children, other family members or your career or place of business — until you succeed for yourself.

And when you stick to and follow through upon resolutions that keep you healthier and happier, you'll be there in a much more effective way for the people you love and care about.

Hit it hard in 2020. Resolve to follow through on your promises to yourself. 

An important person is counting on you. If you must ask who, then you weren't paying attention.

30 bygone Region institutions

Executive Editor Marc Chase can be reached at 219-933-3327 or marc.chase@nwi.com. Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marc.chase.9 or Twitter @nwi_MarcChase. The opinions are the writer's.

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