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Monthly Archives: May 2010

I believe in goals. I really believe in defined goals. However, I wish I had more vision. I know I can meet my current goal of getting to a weight of 225. I am about 7 pounds away from that number, and I know it’s only a matter of time until I reach it.

Two things are bothering me. First, I had a goal of just wanting to look better. I have no doubt that I look different, and I have improved for the better. However, when I look in the mirror, I still have issues with how I look, and I am unable to visualize how I will look when I am done losing weight. I still see a fat guy looking back at me. I hear so much discussion about being able to visualize your goals. With the Winter Olympics in full swing, I have even heard gold medal winners talking about how they visualized stepping up on the podium and accepting the award. Maybe my left-brain thinking is what gets in my way. I do not have an artist’s imagination. I have a very difficult time with abstract concepts. I think it might be due to 40 years of people always telling me,  “If you lost some weight, you would be attractive.” It’s really hard to believe it when people tell me now that they think I am attractive.

The second thing I have a problem with is seeing my current size. I have an impression of what I look like, and that image is hard to shake. I have actually been surprised when I catch my reflection. I know I am not the only one. When my parents last visited, my mom told me that the last time my dad and I were in a casino, he was looking for me on the floor and walked right past me without recognizing me. I think this goes to show that he has the same impression I do of how I look. I have started to compare myself size-wise to other guys. It’s hard to get a good comparison. I see guys that are bigger framed, but I have no idea what size they really are. With most blue jeans, the size of the pants is located on the label, and I have actually caught myself trying to see what the size is. Thankfully, I haven’t been caught trying to look. Having to explain why I was staring at some guy’s ass is not something I really want to do.

Changing that impression of my looks is going to take some time. I have had impressions of people I know change over time in the past. I have met women that I thought were okay in the looks department, and as I grew to know them and spend time with them, I came to believe that my first assessment of them was wrong and saw them as very attractive. At the same time, I have met people that I thought were very attractive and the more I spent time getting to know them, the more I looked back and thought, “what the hell was I thinking?” My mom always says beauty is only skin deep and ugly goes clear to the bone. If someone has an ugly soul, it doesn’t matter if they look like a supermodel—they are an ugly person.

People tell me all the time that I am “looking good” and I half jokingly tell them I am trying to make the jump to “good looking”. I hate that this even matters to me. Even as I write this, I know how shallow it seems, but I think everyone wants to look their best. I don’t think that is wrong as long as it doesn’t become an obsession.

I have concluded that I am never going to feel comfortable with my looks. I don’t think it’s any secret as to why I am not comfortable. When you are over 250lbs in middle school, you hear the word “Fatso” about 100,000 times. Somewhere along the way, I went from being a little fat kid into a big fat guy. I was able to make it work for me. I had girlfriends (thank god for the charity in the hearts of women) and I made friends. But, in the back of my head, I fear that I will always be that fat kid being called names. The good news is, from all that torment, I was able to develop a thick skin and a bit of a quick wit. My dad would call me a smart ass, and I lost more than one fight because of it. However, both of these qualities have helped me with my career in credit, and given my current job, it does seem to be an asset.

The reason I have been thinking about this is because I am wondering what I will be doing when I reach my final goal and also what I’m going to look like in a year. My plan is to concentrate on fitness and really work at building muscle. As I understand it, the more muscle your body contains, the more calories you burn over the course of normal activity. This does seem so counterintuitive to me. I would think that a guy that was overweight at 300 pounds would burn more calories than a guy that is 180 pounds just due to the fact he is moving more weight around. Apparently, the more muscle, the more you burn. I would like to increase my daily intake to a normal level of 2000 calories, but I am afraid it will cause me to gain weight.

I can’t wait until I am done with just having to think about this project. I wonder if that will ever happen.

Paul

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As of this morning, my current weight is 236.2 pounds. My starting weight was 599.9, which is a loss to date of 363.7 pounds. I didn’t join a weight loss program, I didn’t get gastric bypass surgery, I didn’t find a new miracle pill or start on a fad diet. I did it through portion control, drinking water and exercising. I wish I knew how many times people have asked me about bypass surgery. I wouldn’t know…I didn’t get it!

 I have nothing against anyone that loses weight with surgery, eating Subway every day, or joining Weight Watchers. I think whatever they did to lose the weight is commendable. That’s just not what I did to lose the weight.

The agency I work for has a “wellness” committee. I believe that this is a trend in many organizations as they attempt to slow down rising heath costs. The committee is made up of several well-meaning people that really seem to care about the people we work with (which makes them better people than me). This committee has asked me several times to write an article for the wellness newsletter that goes out the staff. These articles are about people’s health challenges, and what they have done or are doing to deal with it. One of my friends chronicled her battle with cancer and her treatment and ultimate remission. I read the article and was amazed what she had to deal with and how brave she was in writing the article and opening that up to everyone she worked with.

Up to this point, I have declined the offer. I have had a hard time getting my mind around why anyone would be interested. I also didn’t figure it was something I wanted to share with the people I work with because it seemed a bit to close to home. Kind of like stealing your neighbor’s newspaper, it seems like an easy thing to do, but the amount of grief you get if you get caught isn’t worth the reward.

I am currently tempted to take them up on the offer and do the article, if only to put to rest some rumors about my weight change. I have heard that I had gastric bypass, I heard that I had cancer and was getting treatment, I have heard that I was taking some new type of diet supplements. I am not sure why I care, but if people are going to make up stories and spread rumors about me, I wish they would make up good ones. In fact, I would like to get a few going myself: 

  1. I have started a lobby to name oatmeal raisin cookies the official scourge of the cookie jar.
  2. I have a blessing tattoo that I received in Tibet from a monk…in a very private place.
  3. My IQ is 163.
  4. I was on the 1984 US Olympic hockey team that won gold against the Soviets as a back up goalie, but unfortunately never played.
  5. I have been asked to no longer run with the bulls, because my presence makes the bulls too nervous to run.
  6. I am a trained sniper with 14 confirmed kills.

Maybe, just maybe, I can get some traction on my new rumors.

About a month ago, my mom and dad sent me a package of some items for my daughter (as grandparents tend to do). Included in the package was a photograph of me from a vacation we all took about 3 years ago. It may be the worst, most cringe-inducing picture of myself I have ever seen. It was taken on a family vacation about 6 years ago.

I don’t have many photographs of me at my larger status. I have looked; I have the yearly school photos, some special event candid photos. I don’t really have many photos of myself from age 12 until about 2 years ago, because I spent 30 years doing my best DB Cooper impression when a camera was around. I was like a made man in the mob that went rat and entered the witness relocation program…no pics at any cost. Even this photo was taken without my knowledge. Obviously, I was lost in the serious business of cutting a cake at the time. Could it possibly be any more ironic that I was eating at the time this photo was taken?

The crazy part about looking at this picture is that I don’t remember looking that way. Maybe that’s an indication I’m insane? It feels like it’s someone else. I know I am lighter on my feet; I take stairs two at a time now instead of riding the elevator. I still have some of the clothing I was wearing, but it’s hard to picture any of it really ever fitting me. It’s good to see the photos and remember where I was and how far I have come.

Paul