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A friend just reminded me that I started to write this blog one year ago. While I have made an effort to keep looking forward, I think anniversaries are a great time to reflect.

One of the things I have been thinking about is the changes I have gone though over the last year. When I was recently in Vegas, I was reminded of Elvis several times. It seemed that Sin City was really his home away from Graceland, and there are reminders of him everywhere. That got me to thinking: Most of the photos of the King are from his young, fit days, not the fat, drug-addled, over 40 Elvis.

I think due to my age, I became aware of Elvis when he was the older fat version. So when I think of Elvis, I think of that version. In doing a bit of research, it appeared that his weight gain was rather quick, occurring in only a matter of months. I am guessing that people that grew up with Elvis still think of him as being fit and vibrant.

This got me questioning how people picture me. I wonder if the people that knew me then still think of me as weighing 600 pounds? Do you get new impressions of people as time wears on, or is it the first impression that lasts? I still see myself as a fat guy. Even with the fact I have lost the weight, I still feel like I am a fat guy, and I still see fat Elvis looking back at me in the mirror.

One new thing that has happened over the last few months is people now telling me I have lost too much weight. I just think, “What the hell?” I can’t win. I don’t really believe it’s true, because I am not anorexic or prisoner of war thin. I weighed in this morning at 229 pounds. At just under 6’3”, I think that is a sizable weight. I see many people that are much thinner than me. I think those people still see me as the fat guy, and have issues comparing between that and who I am now.

Over the last year, I have seen small changes. This year, I have only lost around 40 pounds. I see changes in how clothing fits. I seem to have passed the point where my chest is larger than my waist, so shirts fit and feel so much better. I have also noticed that my hands are more nimble. I can actually push only one key when I type on my phone. Cars, for the most part, are also easier to get into and out of. I guess I just feel normal for the first time. That’s an interesting revelation to come to. It took almost 5 years to get here, but it happened.

My mood has improved. I no longer feel the need to add people to my manifesto of revenge on a daily basis. Although, the woman that cut in front of my daughter and I at the Farmer’s Market last week and then said “excuse you” made it to the top of the list.

The last thing I decided has changed is that I am much more open to new experiences and meeting new people. Even though I am outgoing, I was always a bit hesitant. I didn’t want to be judged. I was recently at a long time friend’s wedding. She had it at her house in my hometown. The people that attended were almost all people I did not know (and the one that I did know didn’t recognize me and introduced herself to me). I felt myself hesitate when I got to the front door, but took a breath and walked in. I was surrounded by people who had no clue who I was, and while it was awkward, I wasn’t uncomfortable. One of the first people I met was the minister; he was decked out in a black suit, shiny black shoes, and a white priest’s collar. I walked up to him, held my hand out, and said, “Hi, I’m Paul, and you must be the lucky groom.” This threw him a bit, and he started to explain that he was the minister, but I told him I was only joking (I thought it was funny).

I met several people and was glad I decided to make the trip. My friend had a great wedding. Even with it being outdoors in the pouring rain, she looked beautiful and the ceremony was great.

Comfortable: that word actually kind of explains the best change…I am comfortable in my own loose wrinkled skin, for the first time in my life.

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