As I stood naked on the podium accepting my first-place medal, it dawned on me: This is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Hundreds of naked people applauded, and a camera snapped a picture as I awkwardly stood there in shock on a hot summer day at a nudist ranch. This was real life. My real life. How did I get here?
This story was seven years in the making. If we flashed back to the fateful day in June 2009, you would see a 300-pound me stepping into a gym for the first time in my life. Introverted and filled with self-hatred and shame, I was terrified. But after more than 400 workout sessions in that gym and cleaning up my diet, I lost 150 pounds in 11 months.
Lesson No. 1: EVERYTHING bounces.