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Ever since I was in Vegas, I’ve been thinking about the question of Famous vs. Infamous. As I have lost weight, I have gained some notoriety at work and in the small town I live in. I have people I’ve never met approaching me and questioning me about losing weight. At first, I have to admit it was flattering. Even now, when I am in the right mood, it’s kind of nice. However, sometimes it can be a bit taxing and a bit of a hassle.

I spend a great deal of energy keeping my focus, and it feels like weight loss is all I am thinking about. Most people are very nice and are just interested. I also think it’s part of that need people have to show you that they noticed a change, like when you get a haircut. People all day long will comment that you got your hair cut. It’s as if they are telling you something that you didn’t know! Wait, what?! My hair is different? It’s shorter? I hate those damn gnomes! I try to hide, but they must find me when I am asleep.

I was speaking to someone last week that had gone through a 100 pound weight loss only to gain it back later. She told me that the hard part is that once you are done and the comments stop, you don’t have that positive reinforcement you need to keep going. The attention stops and it’s hard to keep the focus moving forward.

This is not an issue for me. It’s nice that people see the change, but it’s like getting a complaint for stopping a bad habit. Why yes, I have stopped main-lining heroin! Thank you for noticing. I know I am a glass half full kind of guy, but to me, the attention is just shining a light on the fact I needed to lose 365 pounds in the first place.

I guess it would be nice to get some attention for something else that I have done. We are all pretty hung up on physical appearance. I totally understand that wanting to be attractive is hard wired in our minds as human beings. I have a friend that has competed in fitness shows. I went and watched her last summer, and she looks amazing. At the show she was in, people would cheer and carry on when the competitors were out on stage. It was more shouting that any concert or show I have ever seen. I just kept thinking it was a funny thing to actually cheer over because it seems so cosmetic. My friend is an amazing woman, not just beautiful but also very smart, successful, loving and very sweet. She has been my friend through thick and thin…literally. The people cheering for her didn’t know that. I wonder if Jonas Salk ever got that kind of appreciation. Did he walk into a room of people not only clapping but also yelling cheers? Did he get to hold up his hand and say, “Yeah, that’s right. Polio is my bitch!” and then walk offstage? God, I hope so.

I am not going to lie. At times, my ego loves the attention, but it does have a tin feeling to it. I wish I had done something more to earn it. I don’t think I am famous, it’s more that I’m infamous. And, if I am going to be infamous, maybe it’s time to change my name to something more bad-ass. I need to start using my mafia name: Paulie Two Guns. That seems a bit more fitting.

Paulie Two Guns says…ciao.

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