Commit to Fit | Week 1

Author | Commit to Fit 2012 Winner, Karl Mason

My name is Karl Mason and I’m the 2012 Commit To Fit winner, sponsored by DIAKADI and MV Nutrition. I am 43, live in San Francisco, CA, am employed and try to live each day to the fullest as best as I can…or am I…?

Before I answer that, I should probably fill in a few additional tidbits about my past so it can be better understood where I come from and where I will go, as you follow me on this journey of change…for which I am grateful and thank you in advance.

I grew up in the Mid-West in a single parent home with a brother, sister and 2 crazed yippy dogs. Growing up in Indiana, food and eating were always meat centric, involved something fried (and always in bacon grease!) or with gravy or usually was obtained from opening a can. Summer was the only time fresh veggies were available and then usually only corn, green beans and tomatoes (I know it’s a fruit…).  My relationship with food has been tumultuous at best. I want to change that.  I have always been the fat kid as long as I can remember. Being the fat kid has always been painful and embarrassing. I remember shopping for school clothes and only being able to wear “Husky’s” – and everyone at school knew what Husky’s meant – fat boy pants! Laughter echoes in the background.  Even as an adult, rarely do clothes fit so I have to shop at big and tall stores, which has not only drained my wallet but also my self-esteem. You have not experienced embarrassment until you have to ask when the next shipment of size 60 inch waist belts are arriving….or having to ask a flight attendant for a seat belt extender because you are too big to buckle the regular belt all while being painfully aware of the looks of disgust and loathing darting from your seatmate’s eyes. Being fat has always meant being an easy target.

I know I am fat. No one needs to remind me through insulting and/or hateful words or actions. I am my biggest enemy.  I have failed my health and every day I see an unhealthy man staring back at me in the mirror reminding me I am borrowed time if I don’t change the path my life has been travelling down. I have high blood pressure, find it difficult to walk around beautiful San Francisco without getting winded or needing to rest and fear a possible heart attack, stroke or worse. I have been enabling my body’s demise for some years and always told myself “I’ll start Monday…” but that Monday never seemed to come as I tried fad diets, extreme weight loss programs and other frilly gimmicks only to yo-yo in weight but never sustaining true loss…never achieving true health. Recently I bent down to tie my shoe and couldn’t breathe. It was the mental turning point. I asked myself “Are you to living each day to the fullest as best as you can? The answering was a resounding NO.

I looked in the mirror this time and instead of feeling embarrassed or over-whelmed, I felt angry at myself, told myself my life is spiraling out of control and realized what a true mess I am. It was one of the first times I felt the slightest bit of self-empowerment and I thought I deserved to be healthy and happy and realized I needed to take responsibility for myself to change. Only Karl was going to make it happen and all of the excuses had been exhausted. I am tired of living life on the sidelines as a morbidly obese (my true clinical diagnosis from my physician) observer. I want to live, embrace a healthier lifestyle, be strong, change my relationship with food and have the energy to be able to bend down and tie my damn shoelaces!

All of the above thoughts and feelings made me think I should MAYBE apply for the 2012 Commit to Fit program, sponsored by DIAKADI and MV Nutrition. I was hesitant about applying for the program as all of my old demons filled my head. FAT KID! FAT KID! My best friend and bro, CB, is largely responsible for my applying for and winning the 2012 contest. Upon learning about the Commit to Fit program, he not only encouraged me day after day to apply and directed my contest video submission, but he also helped me to realize that I do have the strength and will to be successful at the program, to change my life, to find that healthier Karl that had been lost for so many years. He helped me to remember I am valuable just as I am NOW…fat AND all! That was the hugest of points! I want to take this opportunity to say a very special “Thank You” to CB.

Encouragement and support are very important necessities in life to both give and receive. I am so blessed to have CB – as well as many other important close friends near and far(DC, BP, RSCW, JM, WCB, CS, JC). I value and love You All! Thank you. A special thank you also to everyone at PrSo (esp. SF, TD, DA, FSJ, LDC) that have believed in and supported me no matter what my weight. You all have made me always feel like a real Team member!

I cannot express the excitement and fear that filled me when Mike Clausen, owner of DIAKADI and my trainer, informed me that I had been chosen as the 2012 winner. Thank you to Mike, Sarah, Billy and Dave for believing in me and witnessing my desire to truly change my life, to help and teach me the steps to achieve living each day to the fullest. I believe that the Commit to Fit program will teach me the knowledge to exercise to sustain weight loss and provide the tools to allow me to begin to build a healthier relationship with food. I need the program. I want the program. Participating in the process has confirmed that I do have a true and deep desire to transform my life, to save myself…to finally put that FAT KID out in the yard to play for good!