January 2008

At this time last year, I believe that I was about 215 lbs. I can’t be certain of that, but six months or so before that I was 224. I now weigh in at the lightest I have in three years, but I’m still not content. I’d like to be down to 175 at the most, though I know in doing so my body will fight me each day to the last calorie. Simply put, within me are habits, bad ones, that seem to define my body.

Like just this morning, maybe 3 a.m., I polished off the remainder of a box of cinnamon Life cereal. I was legitimately hungry I suppose, but it was still not a good idea when in my funky green fridge were oranges. Consuming the tasty squares at 3 a.m. is bad enough, but to do so without milk, now that’s just pathetic.

And yet, that’s what I did. I wolfed down the remainder of the box without recourse to my attempt to cut out carbohydrates for the next nine days (I swear I’ll do it again like last time!, except we’re supposed to have pizza at work next Friday and how can I resist a slice or two?!)

So, gluttony took my over last night and when I awoke this morning the first thought that I had was that I’d failed. I’d done so well, too, well, except for the piece of mushroom pizza I’d had after the movie last night, before the Life incident. Lately, however I have employed the philosophy that if you dwell on your mistakes you’re more doomed to repeat them, again and again.

I showered, dressed and set off for work on foot, a two-mile path through Albany (pictured below).

For the past three days I’d walked to work in an attempt to get as much exercise and sun as possible and really found myself enjoying my trips too and from my office. I am hoping that despite the fact that it’s not the dead of winter yet in Upstate New York, I’ll be able to do that walk at least three times each week. We’ll see. Today my feet were soaking wet all throughout day from the fresh slush on the sidewalks, but by the time I got out, the sunlight had all but melted what was left of it. I headed back walking quickly (I’d also walked 1.5 miles on my lunch break for the third day in a row). It felt great to be out, even though the temperature had by sunset dipped beneath freezing.

When I got home, I decided that to speed up some of my weight loss (I’ve lost five pounds since the new year), I’d go for a run.

I ended up doing a three mile run in the freezing cold and by about the halfway point the gusts were killing me and through my forest green soccer shorts, my penis was practically frozen. Still, it was worth it, and I’m proud of myself for my accomplishment. I try to run as much as possible but this winter I’ve had to mostly settle for the eliptical at the gym. It was great though. Now, if I can refrain from any early morning snacking, I may just be set to dip below 194.4.

You ever see those news segments on CNN, MSNBC, FOX or the nightly news on the epidemic of obesity? While the reporter narrates their piece they do it over footage of random fat people crossing busy city streets. The shot is always from the waist down and the person is oblivious of the fact that their gross legs and rear end will be broadcast to a nation.

I used to feel bad for those people, but now when I think about it I can’t. A person who has gained too much weight in the last few years (though it’s been melting off pretty good), I know that no matter where you are in public, people see you.

For several months when I was at my heaviest I worked at a state agency here in New York (known for it’s fat people) which had a corridor with very reflective glass, I used to look away as I passed it. I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror. Certainly, in my mind I knew that I’d gotten fat, but I couldn’t bear to look at my image. It was a perverse denial of sorts. After all, I was fat, 224 pounds at one point. I’m now under 200, but still overweight.

Regardless, the one thing that I know for sure is that when a person is not comfortable with who they are, they are more likely to have maladaptive behaviors like overeating or using drugs. To do so helps a person avoid dealing with the fact that they don’t like where they are in life, where they’re going and where they’ve been.  I know because I’ve been in that position.

A recent story that made headlines in the news of the weird sections circulating in American newspapers speaks to our nation’s obesity epidemic.

It’s a depressing thing when we have people who can accept the fact that that they are fat and do nothing about it. Just like myself avoiding my reflection in the Department of Transportation building window, a person who denies their fatness is doing their self a horrible disservice.

We are now the most obese nation in the world, a country filled with fast food joints, buffet style restaurants and eateries that advertise the big plate, 16-pound sirloin and all-you-can-eat fixings. It’s upsetting to think that I’m a part of that trend and the sad state of our dietary lifestyle. I don’t want to be, so I’m taking the bull by its horns and doing all that I can to melt away my fat. It’s not as hard as it seems. After all, I have good motivation, I don’t want to be one of those people taped for the nightly news walking across the street for a segment on obesity.