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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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