Thursday, September 5, 2013

A BIG Round Number

100. That's a big number and it's the number of pounds I've lost since I started this Methodist Weight Loss program. In fact if we step back a little farther to my heaviest recorded weight, I'm down 120. I've been significantly overweight most of my adult life so I don't really have a reference point to look back on and say, "Man it feels good to be blah blah again!" I don't feel any different than I did six months ago, really. Isn't that odd? Anyone who saw me then and sees me know would say I'm crazy, but I don't even see myself in the mirror all that differently. I guess I was pretty delusional then (or am now).

I'm starting to notice that strangers treat me a little differently. The people who know me haven't changed, but those with whom I am only acquainted and new people I encounter have a subtly different response to me than they did before. Of course, this is to be expected. Despite how much I'd love to claim otherwise, I'm sure I look at and treat a 300 lb person I meet differently than a 200 lb one. It's a terrible bias, but being that overweight signals something is really wrong with that person. That's not true, of course. I know it first hand. Yet put my hand on a Bible and I think I'd have to admit that, at least subconsciously, the thought goes through my mind. Given this, it's completely understandable that my interactions with others now are different is small ways than they were before.

A number of years ago I signed up to play softball with a league at the company where I was working. I was pretty mediocre at the game, but there were a few times when I would do something decent like hit a double or make a good play and on a couple of those occasions, I remember thinking that there were a few more cheers than there really should have been, or if I were attempting to make a certain play and failed, a little more consolation from my peers than I would have expected. Remember that despite the intellectual realization that I was a "big" guy, I really didn't think of myself that way. It wasn't until years later that I recalled those events and realized that those were actually pity cheers and consolations. They were probably trying to be nice. Things like that I definitely won't miss.

I'm not actually skinny yet. I'm actually pretty flabby, especially around my belly. I desperately need to start an exercise and workout program to get my body a little more "human" shaped. I had no idea how little muscle I had under all that fat. Not to mention the muscle loss that's almost unavoidable when losing this much weight this fast. I can't start serious exercise until I'm past the first phase though. I'll be leaving the ultra low-calorie part of this program at the end of September and then over the next 4-6 weeks returning to a much more normal diet; still tightly monitored (by myself, of course), but with real food that I choose. It's a little scary. The easy part of the phase I'm in now is that you don't have to make any easting choices. Sure, it's difficult to eat so little and the same things every day, month after month, but pretty quickly it becomes something you just do without thinking. Going out to eat? Doesn't matter. Eat(drink) your meal beforehand or afterwards and just enjoy the company. No choices. No telling yourself at the table, "That's enough. Stop now." See? Easy! But I've come too far to screw it up now. I will make better choices than I did in the past. I refuse to go back there. I'm sure I'm underestimating how difficult it will be, but that doesn't matter.

So. 100. No celebrations planned. Thank goodness. Every time someone goes, "Wow! You look so different!" I hate it. I shouldn't I know. I should see it in a positive light, but not having seen myself as "bad" before, when people say things like that, I now know just how bad it really was and how far I had let things go. I guess it's selfish. The people who know me and say these things are just being kind and are excited for me. I should take their comments with more grace.

So, what to do with the new me, I wonder. I'm not sure how to take 'er out for a spin. There wasn't that much that I wanted to do before that I wasn't already doing. I'm still a social introvert, so hitting the dating scene hard and fast isn't going to happen. Sports? I was doing the things I like (tennis, skiing, biking) even as a fat guy. Hmmm. Maybe I'll parachute out of a plane. If I recall correctly, there was a weight limit of 250 when I looked into it a few years ago. That's not an issue anymore. Wheeee!!