For most of the entire measure of my life, I’ve been fat. I’m quite the realist so I don’t feel coy about saying that. There isn’t a memory that I have that didn’t include ill-fitting pants, sweating more than everyone else around me, or opting for ‘Inspector Gadget’ over playing Basketball. I was a fat little kindergartener. I was fat during puberty (which, by the way, make that phase of one’s life that much more awkward and terrible). I graduated from high school fat. I graduated from college fat. Fat fat fucking fatty fat fat!
Not that it ever stopped me from having a life. I’ve always had friends, I’ve had girlfriends (yep! plural!), and I’ve never been kicked off of roller coasters or elevators due to safety concerns.
Sure, there was a fair share of people, let’s call them “assholes”, who made fun because I was literally more of a man than they were used to. In situations such as this, one can do one of three things: 1) Develop a sense of humor and let that shit roll off your back, 2) Develop an eating disorder, or 3) Buy a claw hammer and prowl the night, striking fear in the hearts of those that wronged you before you extract bloody, primal revenge. I did the first thing, although I think a touch of the second thing found its way in there. Sort of a “chocolate in my peanut butter” situation.
I’ve been lucky as an adult. Though being “fat as hell”, I’ve not had to endure the terrible crap that a lot of fat adults have to deal with, health-wise. Blood pressure, cholesterol, heart, all look good. No signs of diabetes, so I get to keep my foot. Doctors have legitimately looked amazed when they read my charts and found that I’m not slowly falling apart and rotting from the inside out. But I know that this isn’t going to last forever. I know that if I’d like my walk to remain more of a stride and less of a waddle that eventually something was going to have to change, and since the world and its physical properties do not bend to my will (yet), now I know it was going to have to be me.
As of my writing of this sentence, I have lost eighty-something(80 something) pounds, and am working on trying to lose at least twenty more. That being said, I”m not going to write about how I did this and why my status as a citizen should be upgraded to ‘Demigod’. I’ve read a lot of post like that, and even though it’s well deserved, that just isn’t my style. Every Tom, Dick, and Arbuckle that gives a half a flying shit about their well-being says to themselves at one point or another, “I am going to start working out and stop buying Oreos in bulk!” That is a lofty clam, and really, it’s the easiest thing in the world to fall through with when you declare this only to yourself, especially when getting up at five in the morning to work out before your day begins is an unholy task, and buying in bulk makes so much financial sense. Ironically though, the only stuff that doesn’t make financial sense to buy in bulk is fresh produce. Yeah, it’s better for you, but you will never eat that whole bag of apples before they start to go soft and completely decay. You’re just throwing money away.
But that’s not where I’m going. That story, to me, is not that interesting. Diet and exercise. Got it. Stick to that shit. Boom. Give yourself a little cry when you drive by a smokehouse and crave a pulled pork sandwich. Zing. I don’t want to tell that part of the story cause it is really hard. Not hard to tell, hard to actually do. Seriously fucking hard. Because of that, the last thing I want to do is sound high and mighty about what I’ve done because this is the best I’ve ever done in a long string of pound dropping attempts. It was, and is, incredibly hard to break certain habits, avoid certain things I love (*Fries, cheese, peanut butter, cheese, booze, carrot cake, cheese, cheese, etc.*), and trying to live a new type of life. It fucking sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m proud of myself for sticking to it the way I am. But the one thing I don’t want to do is rub it in the face of those that are trying or have tried and failed, sometimes miserably, to do the same. I don’t feel like I should feel, or should want to feel, like a shining pillar for other fatties to marvel at. I feel more like a guy who escaped through a hole in the prison fence, is trying like hell to get to the train that will take me out of the country, and can’t help but feel terrible for all the other poor bastards that can’t fit through the same escape hole.
No. The part of my weight story that I find the most interesting is why I decided to really make an effort this time. Partly because it was eye-opening. Partly because it was stupid as all get out.
About six months ago, I weighed myself for the first time since a doctor’s appointment I had about a year prior. My biggest shirts, which are pretty big, were fitting tight. I was on the verge of needed to up-size my pants… again. Now, I had a big scary number on a scale to affirm that I was now at the heaviest weight I had ever been in my entire fat fucking life.
A week later, I started on a pretty strict diet, and a ‘more often than I’m used to’ exercise regimen.
To most, the sight of some big ass number on a scale is enough of a reason to decide on giving up some foods for a while and reacquainting oneself with the high school track, and though it was the tipping point for me, it wasn’t the event that had me seriously considering sweating for proper reasons and egg whites. The event that started those thoughts for me happened six months before the bathroom scale incident, which I have since renamed “The Night of Weary Flab”.
Last summer, I was smack in the middle of not giving a shit. I ate what I wanted and only exercised if I literally had nothing else to do on any given day, and even then, if I sweated a bit too much while washing my car, or bringing in the groceries, or something else embarrassingly mundane, I’d count that experience as a work-out.
And I was cool with it because, again, I didn’t give a shit.
Which is actually not true. At all. I totally gave a shit.
I’ve always wanted lose weight because I just never felt very good being fat, physically. That feeling bad translated itself into other aspects of life, which just created this whole cycle of feeling like crap, physically and psychological.
I really feel I understated myself earlier when I mentioned earlier how hard it is it to lose weight. Save for mending my first true heartbreak, IT IS THE ABSOLUTE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE (*!!!*). It sucks so goddamn bad! I’ve tried dozens of times to lose weight through stupid fucking diets and exercising more, but when you set your life to counter the will of those things that are meant to help you, it’s excruciating.
What’s more, the more times I failed at half-hearted attempts to lose weight, I just got down on myself more and more and I told myself that I can’t fucking do it. So I relegated myself to a place where even though I know I needed to exercise (and I didn’t), and I knew spending twenty dollars at Jack-in-the Box and pounding every dollars worth of that shit in my car (because I was too goddamn embarrassed to eat that much food out in public) was going to lead to my most immediate downfall, I said “FUCK IT!”, because… what’s the fucking point?
It wasn’t a good place. It was the type of thing that no one could really talk me out of. People have been telling me my whole life I needed to lose weight. Doctors, friends, my parents, etc. This wasn’t information that was new to me. What I needed was for me to tell myself, “This has gotten way out of hand.” Last summer, that moment happened. That moment happened in my bathroom.
In my opinion, one’s own bathroom is the only area I can think of that is meant for complete and total privacy. People share bedrooms all the time. Living rooms are for everyone to live in. Everyone just seems to naturally gravitate to the kitchen together. The bathroom is the only place meant to truly be one person at a time. (*Although if you find a person whom you have no problem sharing occupancy of a bathroom with at the same time, God bless you both, you lovely, weird bastards*)
The bathroom is the only place where one can find solace, no matter the condition of life you’re presently in. It offers modes of refreshing yourself, relieving yourself, and cleaning yourself, all of which help in making a broken man feel slightly better in dealing with whatever bull-crap life enjoys throwing. The bathroom is a peaceful bubble.
The bathroom is a sanctuary.
At least it was. One day last summer, at the peak of my watered down hedonism, I was using the restroom. August enjoys making in known that my bathroom isn’t the best ventilated place in the world, so I sat there, sweltering. All was as it should be, until a sharp pain pinpointed itself on the back of my thigh. I shifted to see what was causing the discomfort, but was thwarted by a mass of leg that was really just too much for me to see properly under it. So I stood up, only to have the sharp pain be joined by a tight tug and a light scrap. It wasn’t pleasant. Before I stood up completely and before the pain disappeared, I managed to take a quick peek at ground zero. The back of my leg was being pinched and pulled… by my toilet seat. There was a thin crack all the way across the seat, from inner to outer edge, exactly in the location of my no-longer-so-mysterious pain.
After composing myself, washing my hands, and other proper bathroom whatnot, I took a closer look. The thin crack went all the way through to the bottom of the seat. It was not a surface issue. Underneath the seat, I discovered that the crack originated from the left stopper that kept the seat from resting completely on the bowl, along with help from the right stopper. The left stopper was completely shattered. I did that.
I broke my toilet.
Without the stopper, the weight distribution was off, and caused the crack. It was simple physics that explained why the crack existed. The problem was the stopper. It was busted, and the only thing that could have done it was me. I was too heavy for the stopper. The sheer magnitude of my physical existence in that spot was too much for it.
And with that, it was over. The safety of the bathroom bubble was burst. It could never again be the room where I could temporarily remove myself from the problems in my life because the defining problem in my life had shown me that it had reached the status of ‘omnipresence’. I forever shattered the sanctity of the only place that offered it. It was like I accidentally killed the last unicorn, and it used the last bits of energy to bite me in the ass.
With the sacredness of the only place I could hide now gone, I was left with only one though: “What now?”
That was the moment where I truly and honestly began to realize that not only did something have to change, but that that thing was me. It was the least subtle inception moment ever. I’m doing pretty good so far. At this point, all that’s left for me to do is keep doing alright or completely fuck this up.
I’ll be honest. I can’t afford to break stuff anymore, physically or psychologically. I’ve already spent too much on Oreos.