“Giant Fat Man” Go Bye-Bye
One of the most wonderful realizations recently was something that my daughter Courtney pointed out. Remember me sharing that after observing me walk in and out of a store, Courtney concluded that I was no longer a morbidly obese man, I was simply an overweight guy. Oh sure, technically I'm still a morbidly obese man, but it was a very accurate observation. It was a wonderful compliment and a fantastic thing to hear. I know exactly what she meant. I'm no longer the side show walking 500 pound freak of a fat guy. I no longer feel embarrassed to be seen out in public. If my shoe is untied, I tie it. If I'm in a hurry, I just might pick up my step to a light jog, I can now, you know? The days of waddling around like a stuffed penguin are over forever. The confidence that I carry now is solid. It's real confidence, not a facade covering an embarrassed, heavy breathing, exhausted obese man. Little kids don't stare at me as much as I think they did before. I'll never forget the day several years ago when a little three or four year old called me a “giant fat man.” He was just being a kid and honestly observing the people around him, out loud. His dad was apologetic and told him that what he said wasn't nice and that he should apologize to me. I didn't think the kid owed me any apology, after all, he was just being a kid and being completely honest and really vocal. I stood there for a good thirty seconds as the dad tried to convince his little man to apologize. It was really uncomfortable. I'm all about teaching kids manners, but come on, he's three! Three year olds say some really honest stuff. That kid wasn't saying it to hurt my feelings, he didn't yet have the capacity to think that way. He was just innocently observing the people around him. Finally I smiled and said, “he's very cute, it's OK, really.” And I waddled away. I honestly wanted to cry right there in the snack isle. All I kept thinking about the rest of my shopping trip was, if this three year old sees me as a “giant fat man,” then everyone else does too, they just don't say it. I've never been comfortable with playing the role of the “giant fat man.” I've never pretended to like it either. I know that some people project a sense of pride about their obesity, I don't understand that at all. Is being fat and proud or big and beautiful real? Or just a cover up to keep from crying in front of others? I've never been proud of my size, the only reason I've ever worn Big Daddy brand clothing is because it was given to me. I've never actually purchased a Big Daddy product. I'm not, nor have I ever been proud to be the “Giant Fat Man.” I am proud that Courtney's observation opened up my mind long enough to realize that I've lost enough weight to never be considered the “Giant Fat Man” ever again. The three year old reminded me how big I was at over 500 pounds, and now Courtney has reminded me how far I've come at 359 pounds, and that's very, very cool.
Much earlier on this journey, a relative pointed out “losing 30 pounds has made you look older.” I remember stressing out about that. I don't want to look older! I want to hold on to my 30's as long as I can! I had a decision to make: Young and fat Vs. Older looking and trim. Irene made me feel better by telling me it wasn't true, then she plucked a few gray hairs off my head because it's fun to watch me freak out. The good news is this: After the progress I've logged so far, the general consensus is that I look younger! So there Billie Sue! Take that sister in-law! Love ya, mean it. ;)
Someone would have to get down right cutting to bring me down now. I'm walking tall for once in my life and it's a great thing. I'm slowly transforming into the body I've always wanted. I've got a long way to go, and that's good. Because if it happened overnight, who could handle that kind of change? I'm enjoying the rewards all along the way. I'm running down a dream that never would come to me, working on a mystery, going wherever it leads, and in the words of that famous Tom Petty song, “I'm pickin' up whatever is mine.” If you're on a journey like mine, pick up your rewards along the way! And if you don't see them, I hope you have many loved ones around you that will point them out. Grab 'em, you've earned it!
Can you tell that Tom Petty was on my play list tonight as I walked? I only did a quick two miles, but I did it with a spring in my step, making for a little better workout. I still struggle with time management. I have to start getting better at that, because what ends up suffering is my sleep schedule. And we all know how unhealthy it can be when we're not getting enough rest. It's critical for the body to fully rest, and even more so on a journey like this.
Is it too early to talk about next week's weigh day? Maybe, but I'm so excited about officially crossing the 150 pounds lost mark. It's coming! Thank you for reading. Good night and...