January 1, the beginning of a new chapter in your life. This year is going to be different, for most people that new chapter is a distant memory by February.
For me January first, was just one day in a series of tomorrows. The process hadn’t worked for me, I thrive on adrenaline, last minute projects, arriving just in time. When I played football , I would wait and diet two weeks before weigh in.
When I was ten years old my mother taught me to sew by hand and machine because she grew tired of repairing my pants. I knew I was way beyond supersized, as there wasn’t any room left to let out of my pants, So I added fabric. I was replacing the buttons on my shirts by the hour.
Denial is my friend and close companion
If I don’t buy larger clothes than I am not that size. Avoiding the scale meant that I could continue eating. If I became sick, I called the advice nurse at Kaiser and treated myself-no weigh ins -followed by a stern lecture. Who needed that shit-I have a mirror, I’m fat
In July, I was auditioning for a part in San Francisco, the director and crew were horribly late, so I walked about the floor. In the hallway was a scale., my heart started pounding, there it was in black and white. I carefully looked up and down the halls and quickly stepped on the scale…350 was its maxium reading..and it went to the max. I’m prob 380 I thought to myself…
Pulling into Amtrak station in Sacramento, I thought to myself 380 wow, I’ve never weighed this much before. To avoid running into my Doctor, I drove to the Elk Grove Kaiser offices to weigh myself. A very attentive nurse wanted to help me… I refused to step on the scale in her presence and was prepared to wait her out. Once she left, I stepped on the scale…it read 479 ….OMG….so I took off my vest, removed the cell phone ,keys, coins, took off my shoes, 476 OH MY GAWD! Pride aside, I wanted to take off all my clothes…. Wait there could be something wrong with this scale, so I went looking for a friendlier scale. The nicer scale read 468, perhaps I lost 8 pounds between floors.
Four hundred and sixty eight pounds, I should be on Dr Phil…. What the fuck! I went to Casual Male and got measured. 58/60 waist, 5x extra tall shirt. Wow, my mom taught me well… I was wearing 54’s and 4X shirts. I went into isolation, work and home. It was official I am fat. I quickly joined a gym and worked out three hours nearly every day. My food? I will work on that tomorrow. In three weeks I lost nearly 25 pounds. and promptly celebrated my weight loss by eating an entire lemon meringue pie from Belair.
I reduced my soda intake,. and planned to walk more in the neighborhood, starting tomorrow. Five weeks later I lost another 40 pounds. Getting to the gym was becoming a chore. My workouts dwindled down to an hour, I was losing weight. My old clothes were loose, the urgency was gone… I am no longer where a 58 pants. or a 5x shirt. Few people were aware of my weight loss. By October I’ve lost nearly 90 pounds, but in the back of my mind this was like training for football, I could always lose the weight but never keep it off.
The hospital found 3 blood clots, one on the left leg and two in the lungs. Suddenly breathing and moving was difficult. When I was admitted to Kaiser, I was back up to 416 pounds, at least my doctor didn’t see me at 468.
Obesity and Success
On medical leave, I realized my life for the most part has been filled with tomorrows. I wondered if there was a connection between obese people and success. My overweight friends were successful in their own right, but my thinner friends were more purposeful and seemed more driven. I needed to do something and something that day. I knew how to work out and lose weight, but what I wanted was a way to eat better and having more choices…
The answer for me was weight watchers, this wasn’t my first go round with WW. The first time I lost about 50 pounds and figured I could do the rest on my own. This time I needed options and wanting to learn what to eat. This time I am paying attention, no short cuts and I am very aware of what I’m eating. I am away from the 4’s and slowly heading towards the 2’s , of course it’s not happening fast enough… But its a been there done tha,t so I am being patient.
The tale of three scales in Las Vegas
A few weeks ago, I was with friends in Downtown Las Vegas where there is a restaurant that will give a free sandwich for those 350 and above . As a joke, I confidently stepped on the scale, and watched the large numbers stop at 429. 429WTF ! I just looked upwards…. I didn’t want my friends to see the horror and embarrassment on my face and NO, I didn’t want the damm sandwich. After we made our goodbyes for the evening, I had to find another scale, No peaceNo Justice… First stop Sunrise Hospital, 391 (swine scale) second stop was Southern Hills Medical Center 388, this was higher than I though it should be but much lower than the 429. At one point I wanted to pick them up at their hotel to prove I wasn’t a 400 pound moose.
The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow
With food playing a smaller role in my life, I am looking at myself differently. My life as been a series of Tomorrows, I wanted a new chapter in my life, in the new life it is about today.
I lost a very good friend last spring. We were on the fifth floor of Kaiser at the same time. Like me, he had always been overweight, and his body turned against him. His life to, was filled with Tomorrows. I hear and see it in a lot of people. Its not only weight, people who’s lives are on hold, their lives and dreams on hold for another day. I will take that trip when….. I will start this project when…. When I lose weight I buy nice clothes…. I can’t do this until…….
The Sun may come out tomorrow, but it is sure bright out today.