Half the Man

380 pounds.

I am beginning the year, this beautiful New Year filled with possibilities at a body weight of 380 pounds.

I am two, count them, two reasonably sized guys. Three small ones. I am a crowd, enough for a party, or at the very least an interesting game of monopoly.

This is not the heaviest I have ever been. No my good reader, I once topped out at nearly 500 pounds but that was long ago and for a very different reason. So at one point, I was a girls’ volleyball team.

But now, here, today, I am 47 years old, I will be 48 in July and I am 380 pounds, which by almost anybody’s statistics means that my time on this planet is extremely limited.

I can tell you all sorts of things that on their surface makes it not as bad as it seems. For instance, my usual blood pressure is 110 over 70. I am very active for a fat guy. I am capable of fending for myself, taking care of my family, I can escape the house in case of a fire and if the fight doesn’t go on too long, I can beat your ass in rather brutal fashion.

I can touch my toes, I just can’t see them if I am standing upright.

I am not subject to depression eating or stress eating, not even of boredom eating, but I eat bad things, things that are incomplete nutritionally and I do not move around nearly enough, which in combination has led me to being here, writing to you from a very large, slightly bowed computer chair, telling you how I feel.

I hurt. Emotionally and physically I hurt. Each day, I begin the day trying to get my body, which has seen its share (and possibly someone else’s) share of trauma to work correctly. I often tell Gypsy early in the morning that my body feels like it has been assembled by a group of drunk dyslexic kids with poorly written instructions.

My feet hurt. All the time. I do not currently have good walking shoes as money has been an issue recently, but standing for long periods of time hurts them because of the weight I am carrying.

I have a couple of pounds of steel in my left leg, the reminder of a car accident that nearly took me out for the long dark ride. My leg aches, I mean throbbing, toothache kind of aches at the end of a long day. I don’t complain, I have done this to myself.

My lower back hurts, it hurts when I sit, it hurts when I stand or walk, it was not built to carry this burden.

In general, I ache more than I thrive and that too is shortening my life.

I cannot climb a set of stairs without feeling exhausted at the top of them and I balk at some activities because I feel incapable and I cannot fit in the rides at most amusement parks.

I cannot find nice clothes on a budget. I do not even own a suit. A man should own a suit, especially when you are burying your friends, and in 2016, I buried a lot of friends.

You should not have to feel self-conscious at your friend’s funeral because you can’t wear a proper suit.

I do not feel attractive.

I have some nice features.

I am charming.

Well read.

Well-traveled.

I am an amazing storyteller.

I am funny.

I see magic in the everyday.

I can be very uplifting and supportive to others.

And, I am learning to be kind, tolerant and compassionate.

I am also a phenomenal cook, which in its own way is a big part of the problem.

But I feel wretched, I feel hideous and I feel like a slob most of the time and feel ashamed to be seen in beautiful places on the arm of my beautiful Lady because I feel like she deserves better.

The arguments will come, loudly from those who love me, they will say that I am fine, just the way I am, but they know and I know that I am not fine and if I do not do something about this in the immediate future that it is not going to matter for very much longer.

A year ago, even a few months ago, I would have NEVER allowed you to see this picture, none of you, that is how important that I think this is and how desperate I am to change my life!

fatboy

Fat guys, unless they’re Santa Claus don’t live very long.

Gypsy and I are both overweight and both sick to death of it and over Christmas, without planning to, she dropped a challenge in my lap. But it wasn’t just my lap, it went out to her brother, her son and I. She said, “What if we set a challenge to all lose 50 pounds next year.”

It was very quiet at the table for a second, maybe five, then one after another we all began to nod. Just that quickly it was settled and it has grown to include her sister and one of her cousins.

Now her sister isn’t looking to lose 50 pounds, but to tone up and feel more fit, but the rest of us have committed to this and we have established a text message group to support each other.

This may be the greatest physical challenge that I have ever faced. I once learned to walk again after spending two years in a wheelchair. I have earned four black belts. I have climbed mountains, swum rivers and camped rough in a variety of locations, but I was younger, I was more sure of myself, I was better off financially and I thought myself immortal.

I’m not.

That is why this is so damned important.

I am a great one for talking about living in the moment and being mindful, but I do not blame you for not completely taking my message to heart if I cannot even take care of my one true possession, my body.

But that will be changing.

“How?” you ask.

We as a family will be eating better. The teenager will balk, but he knows he needs this too and I will get him involved in creating the menu.

As of yesterday I gave up one of my most long standing traditions, sugar in my tea. I had already given up (for the most part) drinking soda, so this is the next logical step.

We will be eating a lot more veggies, no more processed or instant foods. Pasta will be an occasional thing and breads will be kept to a minimum, at least for Gypsy and I.

The exercise thing leads to some more serious challenge. Because of the pain in my leg and feet, large amounts of walking will be difficult for a while and the two things that my doctor recommends biking and swimming are both a financial outlay that aren’t feasible at the moment.

Normal bicycles are not built to handle my bulk and so a specialty bike is required and specialty is an old Latin word that means (expensive). But I will be keeping my eyes open for possibilities and hopefully sometime in the new year finances will turn around and we can overcome these hurdles sooner rather than later.

Are you in the same situation?

Are you dying from nothing? From doing nothing?

What will it take? What kind of a scare will it take? Dizzy spells, constant pain, hospitalization, a heart attack, or a stroke?

Are you complacent about how the world will thrive if you die early? How about your families, your friends and your lovers? If you think that it won’t make that much of a difference in their lives, then let me tell you from first-hand experience, I have attended the funerals, I have watched the faces of the survivors, I have heard them crying and many of them, still are.

Come with us. Make a change. I can’t live this way anymore, neither can Gypsy, and you know, neither can you…

Take care of yourself… Please!

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14 thoughts on “Half the Man

  1. You’re right. I do love you as you are, my friend, but I want you around for a very long time so do this! Can I join in too? I can’t do this alone either. I am a stress and depression eater and there is a lot of that swirling these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darren and I have said this very same thing. I’m only problem is I’m a huge carb eater, but I will as well join in on this journey. I can’t speak for my husband, but if I’m cooking things will change!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sure this was a hard post to write, but brovo for getting it out there. My household is taking on a similar challenge. I wish you and yours all the best of luck. I can tell you this, while your personality is larger than life (and I hope that never changes) I do hope you are successful in shrinking yourself so you feel better and healthier. I look forward to the next event I see you at for the stories you share are nothing short of spectacular and I hope to hear more. Best wishes and good vibes coming your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Autumn, we are going to be starting a facebook support group, nothing too touchy feely but just support, encouragement, exchange of information and recipes and the like. You would be more than welcome to join us and I will post about it here. Thank you for being encouraging, kind and for making the struggle too.
      Cheers!

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  4. Brother I am with you. I have never been heavier and never more physically challenged change it. It is like the beasts have been chasing me all my life and man could I run. But years of nips and crooked miles bit into me so now I can’t run (for now) the mother fuckers are jumping with teeth and claws. See though I’m a stubborn old silverback and when the moon is right I’m a glorious monster working on being a holy glorious monster. I want to tell you what the teacher has been trying to tell since I failed my Angel SF selection trials. We can’t fight some beasts when their claws are deep.
    The teacher said again just the other morning as I was waking. “Increase the peace to calm the beast.” Some lessons have to make a straight direct hit to get through my Kevlar and Titanium skull. I love you brother. I am with you. 50lbs it is. I’m all in. thank you. Sending angels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To fight beasts, we must become beasts of a different kind. I have never felt more honored to be a silverback at the side of another silverback in all of my days. I love you with all of my giant drum heart! I want you alive so that we can party together!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel you brother. I carry 430 pounds on my frame. Like you, I can still do, just not for long. Ass kicking’s not a problem so long as I don’t have to chase you… But I’m with you. Something’s got to give. I’ll be 51 this year. I’m in this with you, Cutter. See (less of) you this time next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob, this is a year for changes. A beautiful year and I am tired of feeling like a momentary bad-ass. I want to feel like I could take up arms, or climb a mountain, or swim the hellespont again… I would be honored to see you fighting this battle with me, more than you know!

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  6. Lance, I have met you many times and if you dont remember me thats fine but I remember you and often ask ppl if they have seen or heard from you. Personally I only have good memories of you and will agree that you are very charming, smart, funny, and have many great qualities tjat make you an attractive person. I have also seen you overcome alot. But more importantly is how you feel and if you dont feel well then its time to make a change. I have also met Gypsy a time or two. BEAUTIFUL she is. Im wishing you both the best of luck although I KNOW YOU WILL surpass even your own expectations. And good luck to everyone who has agreed to overcome this obstacle with you. Hope to see you again soon. A happier and healthier you. You have acomplished great things my friend. Keep your head up. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karry! How could I not remember you, you were (are) one of my favorite people in the world! This is going to be a tough journey, but I have done tough journeys before as you know. (You fought by my side in the last one)! I am so glad to hear from you and I will make this happen and you know, I am going to have fun doing it! Let’s stay in touch!

      Like

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