Two Truths and a Lie

two truthsand a lie

I know.  It’s been a three weeks since my last post.  Not only have a failed at making this a habit (not giving up on that), but I also want to offer up many excuses (some legitimate) as to why I haven’t posted the last few weeks.  The cold hard truth is that I haven’t wanted to sit down at the computer and write out the post.  Honestly, how lazy am I that I don’t want to do a task that requires me to sit and only move my fingers?  It’s not like I don’t have good things to update.  It’s not like I have bad things to tell you. I just didn’t want to type.  For that I apologize.  When I started out I made the commitment to lose weight and communicate that journey.  I can’t be faithful to one and neglect the other.  So please forgive my laziness.  I will endeavor to be more consistent with my responsibilities moving forward.

As I have just read that last paragraph to myself, I realized that knowing I had to write that was a big hurdle in writing the next post.  I am relieved that is out of the way and we can move forward now and get to the real purpose of this post.

Truth #1:

When I started out one of the first confessions I made was that I weighed in excess of 400 lbs. I didn’t tell you how much exactly because it was hard enough to generalize without going in to particulars.  I have good news on that score.  I no longer weigh in excess of 400 lbs. I just returned from the gym and my official weight lost is now at 38 lbs.  Which puts me 2 pounds under 400. I’ll let all of you with a basic knowledge of math figure out my starting weight. I am very happy to be under that number but if you’ve done your math right you can see I have a long way to go. Celebrating it feels like that football player who dances and beats his chest in the end zone after scoring while his team is still down by 30 points. Still for now I am grateful to have reached the first milestone.

Truth #2:

The last 8 lbs. have been harder to lose than the first 30. I realize this isn’t a shocking revelation. No one would argue that losing weight gets easier the longer you go. I haven’t been eating terribly.  I may have made a few choices I wouldn’t have made when I started out but overall I’ve behaved. I have really been enjoying my time at the gym. It hasn’t necessarily gotten easier.  I still have to drag myself into the gym at the end of the night, but I’m doing it. I’m okay with the slow down in weight loss as long as I continue to lose.  I know this is a long road and I need to be patient and see it through. One of my problems has been my inability (or unwillingness rather) to see the long term affects of my actions both good and bad.  I’m all about the here and now and sometimes at the cost of the future. I am a little too quick to sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.  So for now slow and steady wins the race.

The Lie:

When it comes to my weight there are many lies I have told myself.  Some of them have been confessed on this blog.  One of them I didn’t even realize until a couple of weeks ago.  I have admitted to the fact that I am a bored eater.  If you would have asked me if I was an emotional eater I would have told you no.  That is a lie.  I am a VERY emotional eater.  I realized this after a particularly trying morning at work.  When it came time to eat lunch I ordered a plate of the extremely tasty (but decidedly not good for you) Nachos. As I sat down to eat I looked at the plate and the Fat Skinny Guy asked me what in the world I thought I was doing. The Fat Fat Guy told him to shut up and mind his own business.  The Fat Skinny Guy insisted it was his business and a piece of the big picture became clear to me.

Do you remember those magic eye picture that were all the rage back in the 90’s.  You had to look at them dead center, let your eyes glaze over and cross them a bit to reveal a 3D picture hidden in the jumble of geometric shapes and colors. When you finally locked on to a bit of the picture  your eyes would adjust and you could see the whole thing.  That is exactly what happened to me that afternoon. I finally caught a glimpse of the picture and it changed the perspective I had on my emotional food decisions.

I eat my emotions. What better way to celebrate than with a bowl of ice cream and chocolate chip cookies? What better way to cope with a stressful day than to dive into a big plate of nachos? What better way to revel in the comfort of a rainy day than with a bread bowl filled with Corn Chowder? I often will begin to eat because I’m hungry but the problem is I eat every time like I’m trying to abolish my own personal hunger for all time. I won’t be able to sever the connection between emotions and eating. It is an integral part of our society. What I can do, now that I’m aware of it, is make sure that I’m not making bad decisions because I feel like I’ve emotionally earned the right.

There you have it.  A milestone reached and a flaw acknowledged.  Whew, what an emotionally trying post. This is normally where I would bury my emotions in a bag of chips or a box of cookies. I need to find another avenue to process my emotions.  I’ll work on that and let you know how it comes out. For now I’m going to put padlocks on fridge and pantry and tie myself to a chair until this flood of emotions pass.  Thanks for reading.

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My Unsolicited Advice

fatties have feelings too

I’m a big guy.  I’m probably big enough that people may occasionally do a double take when they first see me.  I say probably because as I stated in an earlier post I don’t always see myself in those terms.  This is not something I’m proud of and is a considerable factor in my decision and determination to shed the excess weight that I’ve been carrying around all these years.  Because I am so big, I seem to engender concern in people (many of whom are perfect strangers) so much that some of them are compelled to share with me all manner of ways in which I could lose weight.

This, admittedly, is preferable to the ones who just feel the need to point out the fact that I’m large. This is usually done by older persons (man or woman-doesn’t matter, rudeness knows no gender) who have lived beyond the expiration of their social decorum.  I never know quite what to say.

Older person: “Well, you’re a big one, aren’t ya?”
Me: “Yep, It’s nice to see your visual acuity hasn’t diminished with your ability to be appropriate.”

Me: “Here’s your table. Could I get you started with an appetizer?”
Older person: “Well, they’re obviously good. I imagine you’ve had a lot of them.”
Me: “They sure are. I’ll be sure to tell the cook to put a rush on it. Don’t you go dying on me before I can get it out here.”

Older person: “Did you save us any food?”
Me: “Absolutely, I always leave a few arsenic laced morsels for my special customers.”

Now, it should be pointed out that these are actual statements I have actually heard from actual people at my restaurants.  My words were all internalized and replaced with polite diplomatic responses because I’m a human being and I still have the capacity not to intentionally slight a perfect stranger because I’m too old to care.

Thursday was an especially annoying day for me.  I had three different occasions where people came up to me and told me how I should go about losing weight.  (It is imperative that I add this disclaimer that I am not including my cousin in this group. She messaged me and asked if she could share somethings with me about my weight loss journey. To which I replied that it would be okay, because I know her and I know that she cares for me).  The first occasion was early morning at the gym. I was working out when some person I had never met before (obviously an EGO) came up to me and told me that I was doing it all wrong. He then proceeded to tell me what I should be doing.  I have no idea what he said because I didn’t want to listen to him. He may very well have had good ideas but because he handled it so poorly I immediately tuned him out.  I asked him if he was a trainer and he said no and that he just really liked to exercise.  I told him I heard they were hiring trainers and that he should go apply as I slipped my earbuds back in (the international sign of This Conversation is Done.)

The second was a regular customer at my diner.  Perhaps they thought that because we see each other occasionally and I serve them coffee that they are somehow now in a position to tell me how to diet. Far be it from me to reject advice from a skinny person (they’re obviously doing something right), I probably will pass on any advice from someone who has been admitted to the hospital for malnutrition 3 times in the past 18 months. You see I don’t just want to be skinny, I want to be healthy. Thanks, but it’s a hard pass.

The third and most egregious offender was from the most vocal of weight loss experts: the Former Fatty! No one knows more about weight loss than someone who has lost it. And no one is more eager to tell you their story than that same person. This particular FF was a 50 year old man who claimed to have lost 186 pounds in his life. I joked that I’ve easily lost that much if you total it all together but with 186 pounds he also lost his sense of humor.

He was a bit caustic and he began to lay into me how I could lose weight.  His solution: Squeeze two lemons into a glass with three fingers of water. Drink that every morning when I wake up and every night before bed.  Then walk or run one hour and thirty minutes every morning.  Now he had decent ideas but I don’t care mostly because the acidity from all of those lemons he consumes has leaked into his personality.  His most passionate reason for losing weight he claimed was because his wife didn’t want to have to call 911 in the middle of the night.  A truly compelling reason if ever there was one. However, it lost some of its luster when he stepped outside for a smoke for the third time of his 45 minute visit.

What I’m trying to say is that I know I’m fat.  I’m trying to do something about it. But if you want to give me advice (or anyone for that matter) first let me know that you care and then I’ll care about what you know.  So if you see a fatty walking down the street and the urge swells within you to give them advice (even compassionately) just hold on to it. Say a quick prayer that they will either become aware of their situation or if they are already aware then pray that they will have the strength to continue the journey and the fortitude not to strangle the next person who points out the fact that they’re fat.

Crossing the Starting Line

imageWeek one is in the books.  I have to say it was a good week.  The fat skinny guy inside me is happy–a little tired but happy nonetheless. I took my “before” picture (above) and after one week of faithfully exercising, a bout with stomach flu and eating properly I have lost 13 lbs.

This is when I would normally celebrate with a large bowl of Bear Claw Ice Cream and chocolate chip cookies (Great, now I really want that).  Thankfully, the fat skinny guy inside is in control and wants to keep the momentum rolling.

I joined a gym.  It is in the same parking lot as the restaurant I manage.  I have gone 5 times in the past week.  I have worked mostly on the exercise bike.  I like the elliptic glider as it allows me to run without putting too much pressure on my knees.  I fear, however that I may be a little too heavy for them yet. They have a tendency to cry out in protest with every revolution of the wheel announcing loudly to all around, “A fat guy is exercising”.  So for now I am content to bike and use the treadmill for my cool down time.

I haven’t gotten into the weights yet.  That seems a little daunting as that portion of the gym is largely populated by overly muscular men and women grunting with each rep.  I may venture over there someday but it’ll have to be later on when I don’t feel like a kid trying to join an adult conversation.

As far as food goes I have made good choices this week (yeah me).  One of my cooks is very excited for me and has vowed to only make me healthy food while at work (even if I order something unhealthy).  I downloaded an app to my phone which allows me to track what I’m eating.  I think that having to type it in my phone (and post here) has helped me.  I don’t want to have to post something bad so I’m not eating it.

I did struggle a little at times. Wednesday night after work I did not want to exercise at all.   I was tired and I wanted to go home and sleep. I sat in the car for and extra five minutes but I finally found the will power (knowing that I would have to record my failure here helped a lot). On the way home I was starving as it had been about 7 hours since I’d eaten and I worked hard and then exercised.  I pulled into the only place open at 4:00 am.  Jeff in the Cube (names have been changed to avoid any legal trouble)!

I pulled out my phone and looked at the calorie count.  I quickly realized that not only was there nothing on the menu under 600 calories but I didn’t want to eat that many.  Did you read that?  “I DIDN’T want to”. This is a first for me. I always WANT to. But thankfully all that dieting and exercise seems to have started to change my “want to”.

So I’m off to a good start.  Thanks to all those at work and home who have pushed me and encouraged me this week. I appreciate you.