I’ve been struggling to write a follow-up to my sidebar-series of posts that summarise my journey so far. There has been a beginning and a middle, but since then my progress hasn’t felt as profound and it’s been hard to sum up my experiences. Yep – I’ve lost more weight and I’m going in the right direction, but where are all the fireworks? I’ve been in the doldrums, just ticking along and crossing the pounds off – there’s been no real noticeable change in my life.
Maybe things have been changing and I haven’t noticed until now, or perhaps the little things are all starting to clump together, but I can feel something is starting to happen; it’s almost imperceptible, I can’t put my finger on one single thing, but it’s definitely there.
Breaking the 280lb milestone
Boom! This one wasn’t subtle at all, this was a huge milestone: in my mind this is the line between obese and overweight. If someone stopped me on the street and asked me my weight, I’d happily tell them “19st-something”; they’d get a dirty look if I was 280lb+.
It is only a number, but this one mattered.
Playing rugby again
Hmn, maybe these changes aren’t so small after all! I’ve been looking forward to this since Christmas last year, when I placed it on my 2011 life-list.
Since drafting this post I’ve stopped playing (it’s too rough for me and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would).
It’s been a nice reality check to be exercising with “normal” guys, being able to gauge my fitness against them. This fits with the theme of no longer being “obese”: I’m comparing my size and ability with the general population and not some special edge-case; this is the same feeling as running 10K – it’s something most people can’t do, regardless of their weight. The way I see it, I’ve completed Level-1 and progressed to Level-2, where I’m on the bottom rung of the ladder; I’m a small fish in a big pond once more.
There are also two guys at the club who are bigger than me! There have been some conversations, where I would expect to be grouped with these guys, but instead it feels like I’ve been classified differently. It’s hard to explain, it’s almost like the conversation wouldn’t “previously” have taken place in front of me – for example talking about how one of the bigger guys was bursting out of his jersey, or how we lost the game because the opposition had “a couple of really big fat blokes”; hang on a sec, isn’t that me? Apparently not. Talking about weight, fatness and obesity is no longer a taboo subject around me.
Big-man shops are too big for me! I’m now in a frustrating limbo though – normal shops are generally too small for me. Not that I’m moaning, gimme another 6 months and this won’t be a problem. It makes me smile, knowing that once I hit a certain size there will be an inevitable fashion binge; I can’t wait to choose what I wear without size restrictions.
Girls, Girls, Girls
In my experience, a 435lb guy has zero chance of picking up women. The odds are much better for a 270lb guy ;-).
I’m not sure where the tipping point was, but the combination of looking better and feeling better is making it much easier to flirt. I’m more confident with my self, my body and my lifestyle, and just chatting with people is coming more naturally. Hopefully it will just snowball from here.
My self-esteem has taken a huge leap forward. At the risk of sounding like Narcissus, I fancy myself! This might sound strange, but I’d go out with me. I feel that I have value and worth, something to offer someone else. If I like me, then I can see how someone else might, which makes all the difference.
I caught my mum staring at me the other day, she had a look in her eye that suggested “Who is that guy and what has he done with my son?”. It was a look of disbelief.
Who I am, and who other people think I am, has fundamentally changed. I’m no longer a depressed obese guy who’s just getting by: I’m nutrition conscious, fitness junkie, who has grabbed life by the scruff of the neck and is kicking its ass. Oh, and I just happen to be overweight at the moment.
People seem to be taking me more seriously, including myself! My achievements in the last year have boosted my credibility: who wants to bet against the man who has just done this “impossible” thing?
Inside, I’m the same person I’ve known for 28yrs, but the external manifestation of “me” has changed. All the things I’ve dreamed about doing, being and saying are gradually being released. This is the real me, the one that I’ve always known I could be, free from the restrictions of my weight and mind.
I don’t dance around shooting sunshine from my eyes, but I am happy. It’s a deep contentedness, that I only notice when I quietly reflect on life. I have the usual daily ups and downs, but when it comes to the crunch, I’m deeply happy with all the big stuff.
In fact, just thinking about this stuff… I am now dancing around the kitchen, with my happiness lazer beams on full power.
This is the beginning of the end of my weight-loss.