Over the last year-and-half, I’ve lost about 115 pounds. I really needed to lose the weight – I was at risk for all the typical diseases that go along with obesity (yeah, I was OBESE): diabetes, heart disease, suicide (underrated as a risk, but believe me, it’s there). I was at a point in my life where I just didn’t care how fat I was, although I attribute most of my weight gain to one consistent factor in my life at the time:
I’m going to assume that it’s OK for me, as a former fat person, to joke about being fat, as long as I keep the joke-a-pult pointed in my own direction. My favorite joke when I was at the peak of my meatiness was to walk(?) around quoting Jabba the Hutt. I have the very unfortunate genetic tendency to carry 90% of my weight in my face, which made Jabba impressions particularly funny for my kids. My second favorite joke was to unexpectedly fall through any weak part of the floor. OK, a slight exaggeration. I broke my leg in my son’s room saying goodnight to him, simply by twisting on my foot, losing my balance, and snapping it on the way down. Spiral fractures are not delicious.
My beautiful wife loved me in spite of my weight. She claimed it didn’t matter what I looked like. In fact, she liked me bigger because there was more to hold onto, maybe more to love. But I hated being fat. Everything was harder. Just getting off the floor after playing ‘Climb Daddy Like a Mountain’ was almost impossible. I hated getting out of breath walking up stairs. I hated ruing my jeans through the wear of my thighs rubbing together just walking around. My legs got so fat I lost one of my ankles.
For the first few months, my weight loss was accidental, fueled by my decision to not drink alcohol. Later in that same year, I stopped losing weight. I had decided to lose weight, since it was coming off all by itself, and stopping while I was still over the ’still look really fat’ mark wasn’t an option. I became the Jared of Starbucks: I just stopped eating. I reasoned that if you don’t put it into your mouth, it can’t make you fat. I cut my meals down to one a day, and sometimes that meal was very light. I became (predictably) obsessed with my weight – if I didn’t lose at least 1 pound in a day, I would resolve to not eat again until that pound was GONE. It turned into weightloss fueled by rage, only instead of big and green when I got mad, I turned thin and even paler than when I started out. Hulk in reverse.
I still have a roll of fat over my lower abs (my wife calls it ‘loose skin’), and I still look in the mirror, expecting fat to explode back onto my body like the end scene of the ‘Nutty Professor.’ My weight fluctuates in a nine-pound range. I eat more, gain a little weight, stop eating again and lose it. I know this is NOT perfect weight loss maintenance, but I can’t seem to do it any other way.
I have not drunk any alcohol.
Am I happier? Yes. Would I recommend my weight loss strategy to anyone? Probably not. It worked for me, but I’m not the most balanced person in the world, if you know what I mean. But if someone WERE to try losing weight like I did, I would offer the following 2 step program:
Don’t drink any alcohol. Ever.
Skip meals and don’t snack. If you feel really hungry, you’re doing it right. Repeat.
I have to remember to stop for gas.
I’m going to work this morning! I’ll be sharing the road with other Commuters, going to their Jobs. I spent all last night updating my corporate vocabulary (‘downsize’ is now ‘uptick’, ‘leverage’ is ‘offshore’, and the phrase ‘work smarter not harder’ has been reduced to just ‘work harder’). I also spent a considerable amount of time in the last week reciting the Astronaut’s Prayer.
I’m hoping to find a ride share after a week or two. My commute is going to be pretty long, and I won’t be able to take a train like I could when I worked in Seattle. Getting into a carpool would be ideal – even reducing number of times I drive by 2 days a week would be awesome.
Last night, I told the girls I wouldn’t see them this morning. It didn’t register right away, that this is the day that I’m going to be at work. But then Panda hugged my neck hard from her bunk bed and said ‘have fun at work, Papa!’
I’m taking the hug with me.
It’s off to work I go…