“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
–2 Chronicles 15:7
This is Tanner Jay’s story of how and why he lost 100 pounds. I just want to give him aHUGE congratulations for making this happen. I also wanna share a little story about how I met Tanner real quick. Tanner and I were in the same bible study at Ball State, one night our leader asked if anyone had anything to pray about. Tanner spoke up and asked for prayers because he had plateaued at 60 pounds lost and couldn’t seem to make any more progress. Now this was exactly the time I was beginning to start reaching out to people about helping with fitness, but it was still outside of my comfort zone to put myself out there like that. However, by God’s great timing, I messaged Tanner that night and the rest is history. CONGRATS TANNER!!
How Long Does It Take to Count to 100?
It’s Senior year. I am trying to take in every moment possible but at the same time want this last year to fly by. It is such a bitter sweet feeling knowing that you get to head off to college and be done with high school although the most anticipated year is going way too fast. I had to begin to think about what classes I might take, who I had to be rooming with, trying to get scholarships and I had one thing that was not my mind at all. This thing was my weight. I had grown up being a bigger kid and I began to get used to it. Ever since 2nd grade I had noticed I have very strong legs and broad shoulders and that was just my body type. With that being said it was very easy for me to put on weight as I told myself that I was a bigger kid and that’s how things went. I played sports my entire life and my eating didn’t catch up to me for a while. I was able to use my weight as in advantage in some situations. Whether that being able to pitch with more velocity on the mound or being able to be dominant in the paint when playing basketball. But it did finally catch up to me.
My horrible eating choices along with my unhealthy love of pop combined for a very dangerous result. It became a very normal thing to have 5 or 6 pieces of pizza along with 3 cans of the pop of my choice that night for dinner. I knew this wasn’t an intelligent decision but at the time I did not care whether or not it was. Some of you know the feeling of being obese while others cannot even imagine. With that being said, I will do my best to help explain. Imagine you are the king of the school senior and you run upstairs to go a joke of class but are out of breath after one flight. Imagine having to be in constant fear of someone bringing up the elephant of the room and talk about your weight. Imagine going to a store and buying T-shirts off of whether they fit not whether you liked the design. This was my life senior year. I honestly did not even begin to think about losing weight until the end of my Senior year. The thought of going to college and having a completely fresh start was so refreshing and inspiring to me.
As I stepped on the scale, I was frightened by the sight. I hopped back on the scale to see if the number was right. I weighed in at 345 pounds. I knew it would be bad but I did not know it was going to be this bad. Although I knew this was going to be a huge journey I knew I was capable of doing with the right help. Depending on the situation I have a quality that is great or awful. I am extremely stubborn when it comes to goals and how I want things to go. If I put a goal in my head, I am going keep fighting till it goes to plan. I knew I was going to do this journey but really found some motivation in the next couple weeks. My mom had signed the entire family up for a gym membership and she began to lose a lot of weight. This was very inspiring but there was one moment that really made me want to start my process. My family as usual went to Saturday evening church service. The message was about how we are given these bodies by God and that we should take care of them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was pretty obvious there and then that I must begin my journey.
The hardest part of any goal is the beginning. I decided I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me I couldn’t reach my goals. A lot of people would be nervous to walk into a gym at my weight but I remembered everyone there is trying to better themselves. I was just another normal person at the gym. I began going to the gym at the beginning of June and was able to lose 33 pounds before even setting foot on Ball State’s campus. I was nervous about college and eating but quickly realized this place was going to be an advantage more than anything. My dorm was steps away from the recreation center and dieting was a lot easier than expected. Ball State actually has a nutritionist waiting at the dining halls who can answer any of your questions. With all of this being said, these were not the biggest benefits to my journey. I was blessed with amazing friends and workout buddies who kept me accountable. I am not going to say that I never had a piece of pizza or went out for ice cream but I always found a way to get back on track. Having a good support group was the only way I was able to accomplish this goal. When it comes to friends and be supported I was truly blessed this year.
The hardest part of this journey is the scale. There are moments I loved it and then there was the 99% of time I hated it. I would wake up every day hoping for good news and most of the time I would be disappointed. Obviously that’s not the case every day because I got to my goal but I certainly remembered the bad days more than the good days. Losing weight and the battle of the scale is awful. I had this idea of everyday losing weight but that is not possible. Your body fluctuates so much it is unrealistic to have this mindset and that is still something I struggle with today. There are times you will stall. I stalled for a month and a half at 60 pounds and thought that was the end of my run. I broke through though with the support of friends and new dieting. Once I accomplished this I was able to get to 75 pounds by the end of my Freshman year. Coming home I had to adjust a lot. Like I previously mentioned there are so many advantages to being on campus. I stalled for the entire month of May and lost 5 pounds total which really made me question whether or not I would make it to my goal. But once again, I called among my support group and changed my dieting. My 3rd and final stall in my weight was the most frustrating. I was stuck at 98 and 99 pounds for almost a week and a half. Talk about being frustrated and confused on why I was not getting there. But I believe everything happens for a reason and let me tell you, when I lost the 100th pound I appreciated it so much more!
Losing 100 pounds in 14 months is something I believed I could do. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life and I hope to never have to do it again but I believed I could. If you believe you can do something you will be able to do it. I believed and anytime I didn’t I had people to believe for me and inspire me. If someone asked me for any advice on any fitness goal or just a goal in general, I would just tell you to believe in yourself and have faith that it will all workout. I needed people to have faith in me and now I have faith in anyone. I try my best to have confidence in ours because so many had faith in me. This has been an amazing journey that has helped me grow so much as a person. It helped me so much and I hope it inspires or motivates at least person to accomplish a goal.
-Written by the man himself, Tanner Jay.