About a Fat Guy (part one)

I’m a fat guy. Not really that fat, just morbidly obese. I’m labelled that way on the BMI chart. Morbidly obese.

I’ve been a pudgy guy for nearly all my life. There was a ten year period where I ran a lot and was able to keep my weight down. I’m nearly six feet tall and, at the peak of my marathoning days I weighed 139 pounds. That may seem thin to you, but, I felt pudgy at that time. A pudgy 139 pounder. I felt that way because my internal body image was distorted. I felt fluffy. I wasn’t, of course, but that didn’t matter to my self image.

When I stopped running (always a mistake), I began to put on weight. When I reached 160 pounds I told myself I was at a good weight. I probably was. After all, 160 pounds is middleweight boxer territory.Who wouldn’t want to be a middleweight?

I stayed in that 160 range for awhile. Just long enough for me to begin considering that 160 was my regular weight, my best weight. I would gain four or five pounds and then lose them again. Back to 160. My best weight. After awhile I noticed I wasn’t dropping back to 160 as quickly. Eventually, I didn’t get there again. I adjusted to my new plateau of 175. It was my best weight.

I changed jobs and worked at a place where I would do a lot of walking from account to account. My boss told me that a side benefit of this job would be that I would lose a lot of weight with all that walking. I wondered why he would say that. He didn’t seem to realize that I weighed only 185, my best weight.

I didn’t see that weight loss prediction come true. Sure, there was a lot of walking, but it was always by a pizza place or bagel store. Even the outdoor newsstands in NYC sell candy! I was doing all that walking, so certainly I was fit. I just needed to update my wardrobe to accommodate me at my best weight of 200 pounds.

What a shock it was to me one day to go on an appointment that I’d made from a friend’s lead. When the client talked to my buddy about the meeting he referred to me as “the fat guy.” The fat guy? I was only 218 pounds. It was my…

I took a good, hard look at myself in a storefront window. Sure enough, it was true. It had happened when I wasn’t paying attention. I had become a fat guy. Fortunately, I was determined to do something about it. I changed my diet. I gave up soda, bread, pasta, cheese and potatoes. I bought a scale to keep in my office. I was determined. And, it worked.

I actually enjoyed being on a diet. First, it made me feel good to deny myself. I enjoyed the attention in the office when I gave weight loss progress reports. Also, and I know this is not a good trait, I felt morally superior to everyone who could not stay on their diet. I kept on my diet diligently and was able to attend our company’s national sales conference at 185 pounds. I was pretty proud of myself. After all, I had gotten down to my best weight.

Those weight loss battles were twenty years ago. After I got down to my best weight of 170 pounds I stopped being so diligent. I stopped weighing myself. I allowed some “treats”. I was inching back up on the scale. I was doing it without monitoring myself. A few days before this Easter I weighed in at 237 pounds. I told my son that I was too fat. It was the heaviest I’d ever weighed. I was far from my best weight. I would do something about it right after Easter. Right after Easter.

I learned a quick, painful lesson by starting my diet right after Easter. Monday, the day after Easter, I tipped the scales at 246 pounds. I had put on an amazing nine pounds in those final few days of my feeding frenzy. To bring that into focus, it generally days a month to diet away ten pounds. So I’d set myself back more than a month because I put off doing what was necessary. I’m sure there’s a corollary there to other habits in my life.

So, I’m making a declaration today. I’m declaring war on my fat, blubbery self and freeing the fit me from the trap of morbid obesity. I’m doing it publicly because I fear that if I don’t, I will fail. Today it’s “game on.” I’m going to stick with this diet and with this topic until I succeed. I ask all you people who pray to pray for me regarding this. I won’t give you any credit when I succeed but you will privately know you did your part.