The One

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Me and the love of my life!

Me and the love of my life!

Some people spend their days searching. Some think they’ve found, but truly haven’t. And then there are those such as myself who are lucky, privileged, blessed enough to have undoubtedly, unquestionably, undeniably found the one. Found the one who will laugh at your bad jokes. Found the one who will sit through sporting events that hold no interest for them. Found the one who will put down everything at a moments notice and bring you lunch when you get stuck at work unexpectedly.

When you’ve found the one you know. It strikes you in the heart and washes over you like a hot shower. It makes you feel the need to be a better person because you know the one deserves that even though they think you are perfect just the way they found you.

You know that whenever your eyes catch a glimpse of the one your heart will skip a beat as it leaps into the air just to flutter back into your chest. When the one smiles it washes away all the bad that could have happened throughout the say. When you’re together all you want is for it t never end. When you’re apart all you can do is count the moments til you’re together again.

I will never be able to thank God enough for making me one of those lucky few. Courtney Crozier, I love you with everything that I am. I love you to infinity and beyond.

It’s Been Three Years Already!?

 

My attempt at The People's Eyebrow (a really bad hair day) and the beautifully sparkly Courtney

My attempt at The People’s Eyebrow (a really bad hair day) and the beautifully sparkly Courtney

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and i’ll tell you what…it could not be more true! Three years ago today I found myself on a plane headed out to Los Angeles, California for finals week of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous as all get out. We were all picked up on a charter bus and little did I know, but the last one to step on to the bus was this loud, happy, and exceptionally sparkly girl who would become the love of my life. The first couple of days I stayed to myself and unbeknownst to be the others stayed away because of my “do not disturb” sign on the door (which was only for the hotel staff). Courtney was busy being the social coordinator so when I decided to find out what the rest of the finalists were doing I called her room and asked if I could come hang out (oh my how times have changed).

Y’all know the rest of the tale, but aside from finding my future love what I found were people who were battling the EXACT same thing I was. I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb like I did back home. These individuals knew exactly what I was going through and what life was like being “super obese.” For the first time in a decade I took my shirt off in front of other people (at the pool) because I felt comfortable that I was not going to be judged. There was a level of acceptance unparalleled and the beauty of it all is that we were all trying to change our lives for the better in being there. We had all become fed up with our current life situations and were taking control of them. Those 16 people had a profound impact on my life in one way or another since I have known them.

The first finalists of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

The first finalists of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

This week was also the first time I got to meet Chris and the moment I met him he endeared himself to me just by knowing who I was. Chris Powell was my saving grace and I couldn’t even begin to thank him for all he has done for me. Three years have passed since that week and I can’t even believe it.

Obviously a lot has changed since that day three years ago and I must thank God that they did. I thank God for bringing Courtney and Chris into my life. They have both had a big had in helping me become a better me. I didn’t know it then, but as time progressed I realized that Courtney is my one and only. Thanks to Courtney I have love and thanks to Chris I have life.

Here’s to great memories and hoping the next three are just as great!

Me, CP, and Court

Me, CP, and Court

Life: An Unexpected Journey

Life is full of various twists and turns that we generally don’t see coming. There are pretty much two options when we get to those twists and turns: 1) go with the flow 2) swerve off the path into who knows what. Over the past few years my life has taken a number of twists and turns that I would never have even imagined possible. Three years ago I never thought that losing weigh was a possibility. I thought I was forever destined to be 459 pounds. Then came Chris Powell, Extreme Makeover, and hope. He showed me what I was capable of and gave me the knowledge and the tools to make it happen. Over the course of the next year, and with the help of an AMAZING support system, I lost 216 pounds. I was given a whole new lease on life!

Then came love. I finally loved myself and in doing so I was able to open my eyes and my heart to a woman who had been one of my very best friends throughout my journey. Courtney Crozier stole my heart and for the first year of our relationship we did the long distance thing. She came to Georgia on numerous occasions and I went to Indiana a time or two. Being away from her for weeks at a time was terrible, but we made it work. However, she was opening her own frozen yogurt shop, YoAmazing, in Indiana which meant that we were destined to be apart much more. I wasn’t alright with that and that meant another twist in my life was right around the corner.

So, one year ago today, after an INCREDIBLE Christmas in which Courtney surprised me on Christmas Eve with help from my dear friends Alison and Ardy, I picked up and moved to Indiana. I never thought I would live in Indiana…EVER! Love does funny things to you though. I knew it was the only way I would get to see the love of my life so it had to be done. Had I stayed in Georgia I know my heart would be longing to be with Courtney, but I didn’t and my heart could not be any more happy.

I also couldn’t be any more happy or thankful about the people who have welcomed me into their lives. Kevin, Marci, and Casey Crozier are fantastic people with big hearts who made my transition so easy. Their hospitality and humor are unrivaled and I am blessed to call them family. Thank you for all you have done!

I’d also like to say thank you to the Arroyo’s, Teresa, John, Joe, and Nick. Always welcoming and with delicious food (hello skirt steak). Even when my family came to visit for Spring Break they had us over for a feast. Thank you!

I can’t believe I have been in Indiana for a whole year. The one thing I will say about the state is that the winter’s do not play around! Being from the south does not prepare you for this kind of cold.

Here’s to the next twist and turn!

Weekend

Another Monday is here! That probably isn’t too exciting to most especially all the kids who had to go back to school today i.e. my little brothers, but you can’t hide from Monday’s so let’s all make the best of it!

I would like to take this opportunity to share with everyone the weekend I had. Saturday morning Courtney and I went to the Hard Rock in downtown Atlanta for the Biggest Loser Season 13 casting call. There were a bunch of people there! I would say it had to be upwards of a thousand peeps. We got to meet and talk to many of them and they couldn’t have been more sweet! Joel, Brian, Bert, Ciara, and Robin are just a few of the really cool peeps we got to talk to you. We actually had a few very special visitors come down to meet us who weren’t even trying out for the show. A very special shout out goes to Mary Hamilton, Dot Reilley, Kathy Lee, and her daughter Sarah for coming to say hey.

BL13 Casting Call with the ADORABLE Sarah

One thing everyone who tried out for it should know and remember is that it isn’t about a show. I know that is easy for me to say since I was on one, but not everyone who tries out can be picked so they MUST begin their journey at home. Don’t wait around for a show to pick you. CHOOSE to make the change for yourself and make it today! Your life is far too important to just let it slip away when the want to change is clearly there. Don’t wait until tomorrow…start TODAY!

Sunday morning I was invited to share my story at Crossroads Church in Douglasville, GA. It was such a great experience! I plan on posting the video when I get it, but in the meantime I can tell you what happened. Crossroads is clearly a 21st century church. They are very technological and I love it! My man Chris Thomas put together a video intro for me to come out to and then I got to chat with the pastor. They started a new series called “I Quit” and I went to share how I quit making excuses about losing weight and how I finally followed through and became a healthy me. It was such a cool experience and I thank them for having me. After each service I got to meet a bunch of the people in the congregation and they could not have been more kind! That is the way to start a Sunday! Courtney and I had lunch with our new friend Chris and Lauren Thomas afterwards and they are really great people. I just want to thank Chris, Lauren, Brian Preston, Travis Williams, Justin Owens, Pastor Greg and all the peeps at Crossroads for having me!

Fun Times at Crossroads

A-Train

Haters Welcome

“People only try to bring you down because you’re up so high they can’t see you.” – Rev. Run

No matter what you do in life you are going to have your detractors or, as I like to call them, haters. Why, you ask? Well, as far as I can tell that is just the way some people are. They say misery loves company and those miserable souls out there seem to not like it when someone is happy and trying to spread some positivity in the world. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Example 1:

Say you’re overweight and you go to the gym. You are clearly going there to better yourself and to become a healthier you, but the people in the gym stare and comment amongst themselves. That, for years, kept me away from the gym, but I finally realized one day that it doesn’t matter what they think or say because I am there to right my ship.

Example 2:

We’ve seen it in the movies a number of times…the dumb bully knocks the books out of a smart kids hands. It happens, but it shouldn’t. That kid has those books because he is trying to make something of himself. Just because you don’t want to study and don’t want to better yourself doesn’t mean that you have been given the right to make those that do suffer.

Example 3:

This is just a blog. I don’t claim to be a fitness expert or anything. I am simply a man who, through hard work and determination, lost 216 pounds in 1 year. All I want to do is to provide motivation and inspiration for those out there who need to lose weight like I did. I aim to share the knowledge I gained from Chris Powell and if I help one person then that knowledge was not passed on in vain. That’s all I am trying to do. I am no expert. I am just a man who went through the weight loss journey successfully and now it’s my turn to help others do the same.

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson

Recently I have acquired a new hater or two of my very own. This person, who is choosing to remain anonymous, is calling me a fraud. Their accusations are three-fold. They say that I starved myself all year, dehydrated myself all year, and that I am only dating Courtney because she is now skinny and famous. These accusations could not be farther from the truth. Let me take them one by one:

A) Starvation: During the year I ate five meals a day, one every three hours. Sometimes I even had to force myself to eat because I wasn’t hungry. I say that is far from starvation. I ate healthier this past year then I have in my entire life and I have the results to prove it.

B) Dehydration: I did not dehydrate myself. I drank two gallons of water a day. Even with as much working out as I was doing I would say that is more than enough water to stay hydrated.

C) Courtney: We have been great friends since the beginning of 2010 and now we are taking it to another level with dating. We both like one another very much and, to be perfectly honest, that is all that matters. Also, I know that I have had many questions regarding our relationship and that she has as well, but for the time being I think we will keep it just between the two of us. I am sure we will let the masses in on our private party in due time, but until that time…stay tuned.

I know I shouldn’t give these messages the time of day, but I read them and I think that it really is sad that someone feels it’s necessary to take time out of their life to TRY and bring someone down. I emphasize try because you’re not succeeding.

I’m flying too high for you to reach me.

A-Train