We all have a story to share, and here is my story...
Not everything is as it seems
My Name is Stan Sarty,
Some of you might know me as a volunteer emcee, or have seen me as a runner in one of several events or even just as that high energy, goofy guy. However, most of you would not know the face a battle every day of my life.
Food Addiction is something I face everyday
Let me begin by saying that my battle with food addiction will always be something I have to live with...the moment I get too comfortable is when things seem to get out of control and I find myself being drawn to binge eating and increased sugar cravings.
I continue to work hard and get stronger every day and learn from those around me. I always stay close to people whom I know that I can depend on for support and who help me with my food addictions.
One of the best weapons I have is my love of running/walking. Thankfully, because I have been able to stay active, I have found a balance in my life. I took the time to educate myself on how to eat better and now my life at 45 is better than it ever was in the last 25 years.
Many people ask me what was your “aha moment”? When and how did you decide to lose weight? There are lots of things I can recall feeling over the years as I put on weight, however, I do remember having my “aha moment”.
The moment it all changed
Now I can think back to always wanting to be healthier in my 20’s and 30’s. My jobs had been classic desk jobs where I had sat for 10-13 hrs a day. I found at night, I would just go crazy eating food and I then I would just head to bed, frequently getting little to no exercise. Sadly, this went on for almost 20 years. Fast forward to 2011, I was now weighing 265lbs and absolutely depressed and felt I had reached a really bad place. Next came a business trip in Ontario and while I was waiting for a customer to pick me up for supper, the button on my pants popped open while I was watching TV. At first, I never really thought too much about it, however, I needed a new pair of pants, so I walked across the street to the local Wal-Mart relying strictly on my belt to hold up my pants.
I quickly realized the options for men’s pants were really limited let alone in my size 40. To my shock, I discovered that the only pants that would fit were a size 42 pants that had the elastic stretchy waist on the side. It was at that moment something snapped and I turned to a random stranger holding up the pants and asked her “Do you think I should be a size 42 waist??” Well, needless to say, she got out of there in a hurry and …. So did I 😊
I made a promise to myself that I was going to fix this and fast. When I went for supper that evening, I clearly had a lot on my mind and my customer, who was a dear friend, asked me what was wrong. He pointed out that I hadn’t ordered any alcohol or appetizers and I was having a salad w a grilled chicken breast...he asked if I was ok? We had a great conversation, not about business or work, but about health and wellness for middle-aged men. I was determined once I got home that I was going to correct my eating habits and get active.
Inspired to Take Action
Starting the moment I got back from Ontario, I purged my apartment. Everything that came pre-made in a box or contained sugar, made its way to the dumpster or to my neighbours' doorsteps in the way of a goodie bag lol. Then I got busy with activity. I had decided that exercise was going to be the real key for me and it was something I had the time to do. I was single and only had my children on the weekends so I could work all day and walk in the evenings or early mornings…so it began!!
I did a daily 3km walk in Kentville, rain, snow, sleet or hail, I was walking and if I didn’t get in my 3km walk I was a wreck. I mean, I really came to rely on that walk. Walking, coupled with eating better, and in the first 3 months, I had lost almost 30lbs. I kept the walking up until one day I was determined I was going to run the whole 3km. At first, I couldn’t run more than 400-500 meters without stopping, but I kept at it. Over the course of weeks, then months and then by the spring of 2012 I was doing that 3km run in under 20 mins. Later that year, I accomplished a goal I would never have dreamed was possible, in August 2012 I participated in the Nova Scotia Marathon in Barrington and I completed a marathon. Fast forward to today in 2018 and I have finished 13 Marathons, and average around 2500kms of running each year, that’s about 7kms each day.
2011 versus 2012
I have the luxury of being a bit of a self-starter, so I was able to eventually do this on my own, but I also know that the battle is very real and its easier with support and friends and family to help encourage you on so please, start talking to others and get out there.. its never too late TRUST ME!.
My biggest recommendation is to surround yourselves with people who will inspire you and encourage you to keep moving, keep active and keep pushing.
Wonderful organizations such as Strides for Obesity will put you in close quarters with people like me who are going through the same feelings and things you are. Do your best to stay away from negative people and enablers who may not even know they are doing you harm, such as offering you food, etc. Never be afraid to love yourself and try to love the skin/ body you are in because we are only given one… do I have a lot of loose skin? Yes, does it bother me? I will be honest it does somedays, however, I call it my badge of honour because I now do not let it stop me from running or walking in any event.
Am I the fastest person at a run? NO
Am I the slowest person at a run? NO
Am I the happiest person at a run? YES I AM
Thank you for listening to my story, and if I can ever help any of you in any way…
please contact me at any time at Stan.firstname.lastname@example.org or through social media.
All the Best on your journeys!!