By the start of college I was somewhere over three hundred pounds. I don’t know exactly where but it was in the range of three to three fifteen. Not exactly something to be proud of. I was still working in a restaurant, carrying eighteen units per semester, and making half-assed attempts to diet and lose weight. There was Suzanne Sommers’ diet, based on her book(s), which was all about the way you combine foods. You could have carbs and veggies, proteins and veggies, but not carbs and proteins as part of the same meal. It may have worked. I don’t remember there being any significant results. There was a crazy gym regimen that did not include much discipline on the food front and didn’t amount to results either.
I continually found ways to sabotage myself and maintain my excess weight. Late night snacking, slacking off on going to the gym, or just not paying any attention to the problem and not putting any real effort toward achieving my life-long goal. It was easier to be fat than to admit I was gay. Being the first born, as well as first grandchild, there were a lot of expectations I felt I had to live up to. I didn’t want to be the fat one and the gay one. I couldn’t handle disappointing my family that much, and still thought that the weight would protect me from having to reveal my secret. Using the weight to postpone coming out, and the fear of coming out to maintain the weight, I told myself that I would come out once I lost the weight, no matter how much I hated lying.
Finally, in my third year of college I found it in me to make a real effort. I was still working at a restaurant and battling to resist the temptations that consistently provides, but I managed to make some new friends one of whom shared my goal and became my gym buddy. We would go to the gym before work. We would go after work. It didn’t matter if it was a Saturday night and we closed, we would still go. We would go to kickboxing classes, strength training classes, and occasionally yoga (which is not made for the overweight, I do not care how flexible you are). We also helped each other stay on track and not snack at work. I decided to really get serious about dieting and eating healthy. Over the course of a few months I was able to get down to 285 lbs.
Feeling pretty good about myself, and wanting to take it a step further, I decided to try Weight Watchers. My gym buddy decided to as well and together we figured out what was best to eat at work, what to stay away from, and how to work the points system so that we could still go out and drink with our co-workers on the weekends. By the end of the summer, when I was ready to transfer to a university, my weight was the lowest it had been since I was a high school sophomore. I had managed to get down to 252 lbs.
I moved out and went off to college, a wonderful world-class university in southern California, where I spent an amazing two years. The only problem was that the late nights, increased stress, food everywhere at any school function, parties, and lack of time to got to the gym meant that I started to gain some of the weight back. While I occasionally went to the gym, and walked all over campus, it wasn’t enough, and by graduation I was back up in the high 270s.
After graduating I found an job, that despite being in “the industry” was essentially and office job. It did involve a lot of walking around the building and studios but it wasn’t a substantial amount, and by the end of the day I was too tired to go to the gym and all I wanted to do was veg-out. I was really unhappy with my weight, and I was not happy in my job, and as luck would have it (if you can call it luck) I was laid off after only a few months. While being jobless sucked it did give me the chance to pursue the career I really wanted to have. I decided to just go for it and that has been the best decision I ever made. My new job(s) involve a lot of physical activity; walking, lifting, carrying, climbing, I am essentially moving around all day. And though it is tiring and exhausting, I love it and look forward to working. Within weeks I noticed my clothes were a little looser, and I had to tighten my belt another notch, and then another. The downfall (especially for someone who has trouble with snacking and overcoming the impulse to reach for junk/snack foods) is the craft services table. But over time I leaned how to avoid the shit and reach for the good stuff. I also gave up soda completely. While I had been only drinking diet soda for a couple years, I just decided one day to give it up. I literally thought, “why do I want to drink this.,” put down the soda and grabbed a water. Honestly, soda is horrible for you (more about that in a later post). Over the first year I managed to lose about 25 lbs. And since then I’ve lost another 10. Now my weight fluctuates in a 5 lb. range from 240–245 lbs. I know that for my body type I should be around 180-200 (depending on how much muscle I have). So the goal is to eat healthy and exercise, and finally complete my lifelong goal, to get in control of my weight, and be healthy. I am tired of feeling the way I do because of my weight.
Man, all of this makes me feel like “Chunk” in “The Goonies” when he is confessing all kinds of shit to the Fratellis. I have never purged so much of this info, and there are things I’ve never even told my best friends. Anyway, this is one of my favorite movies, and one of my favorite scenes.