Everyone’s getting fat ‘cept Mama Cass

I always thought that was kind of a cruel lyric, especially since Mama Cass was singing it…  the muu muus didn’t help either.

Along those lines and following the steps of a couple of friends ahead of me, I thought I would confess what everyone already knew and I indifferent was to–as well, I am purposing a plan.  I’m overwieght.  Not festively plump, not big-boned, not even the baby-fat excuse can ward off the truth.  I’m overweight.  Alright.  First step done, eleven to go, right?  Anyways, I think that I have a great life with a wife who is a better person than I deserve; because of these things and more, I want to prolong my life as long as possible.  I enjoy my work too much, I’m too content, and too excited about the future to risk all of that for the immediate pleasure and enjoyment of what goes in my cake-hole (ironically, it’s not usually cake, more likely it had been a burger). 

More recently and thankfully, something terrible happened.  My dad, who I love and adore, was admitted to the hospital with a two blood clots in his lungs.  I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the feeling of absolute terror and dread that seeped through my body on that drive up to see him in the hospital.  All the things I wanted him to be around for, all of the things we had to do together and all of the things I was afraid I hadn’t said enough of–they all tumbled in my head on that horrible drive.  Thankfully, my dad is doing very well now, he might even say better than before he went into the hospital. 

When I said that “thankfully something horrible had happened”, I meant it.  I think that sealed my resolve.  I always considered my dad to be a healthier than myself, if he could be put into a hospital for five days with something–it made me fear for my own life, if that could happen to him, then I’m really in trouble.  And to a certain degree, I think I was in real trouble, and still am. 

I had been neglectful of my own self-responsibility to the situation that I put myself into.  There was no way out except by trudging back the way I came, by myself.  It had always been my hand that moved so easily to my mouth, it was my mouth that formulated the order that was far too much for one person (or more).  It was all on me.  Every effort had been half-hearted, every promise laid in shambles, and every goal was easily rendered ineffective.  There was always an excuse, always a reason why I could eat this or that, or sometimes both. 

But I’m tired of it.  I feel like that I’ve finally entered my life, the part where I’m happiest, the part where I’m at the apex of my self-control and willpower.  I know I have to make use of this opportunity, these feelings to push myself to make the right choices. To push myself to be better for Jess and for myself.  Hell, I deserve better than what I’ve done to myself.  I have the legitimate fear that I could die before my parents, before I have kids in my life, long before I should.  And frankly, I’m not ok with that. 

I’ve already started taking steps to reverse my problem.  For almost three months now, I have been exercising at least three times a day, for at least thirty minutes of cardio and usually coupled with weight-lifting and abs.  I’m trying to kick my resolve into high gear, when I don’t feel like working out, I make myself go and ironically, those are the days that I usually do longer workouts.  I aim to burn 3,500 calories a week and what I like most is that if I do some cardio for an hour, I can take care of a third of those in one shot. I can do this.

However, the exercise isn’t going to be the biggest piece to my success; it will be what I put on my plate and how much of it I decide that I need to consume.  I think that I have lost where “full” was supposed to be.  Through the last fifteen years, what I want to eat morphed into what I need to eat.  I may want a hamburger, but I don’t need it–I need that logic back.  I need to realize that I don’t need as much and to stop myself.  This will truly be the hardest part, which is funny because it takes the least amount of time to do it, yet it will take more effort than a consistent workout schedule.

There are also perspectives I need to change within myself; many times, when I was trying to eat better, I’d go out with friends and I would know that I should order something healthier, yet I would always diverge from that knowledge and go for what everyone else was eating or something more normally manly.  I guess it comes down to embarrassment, which is ridiculous.  First off, I’m not a person who is easily embarrassed.  As well, around my friends, I shouldn’t have to worry about being embarrassed, as corny as it sounds, I know my friends are supportive.  Yeah, I may get a little bit of grief for ordering a salad, but I need to rationalize that it is in good humor and that I don’t lose anything in their eyes for wanting to better myself… even to the point that they might respect that.  I know I respect it in them. 

With my friends who have lost weight, like Derek Bell, I found myself amazed at the difference.  No offense to Derek, but the change was so drastic, it made me wonder what I would look like.  That’s always what’s in the back of my mind.

The changes have already started.  I see more definition in my legs, especially when I’ve been running, on average, 12 miles a week.  With the other parts of me, I don’t see a difference… yet.  I think that when you see yourself day in and day out, you don’t get that “wow, what a difference” moment.  I definitely am stuck in the degrees of change instead of the drastic change.  But I have to be ok with that, I need to rely on the other comments that I get. 

Just the other day, the mom of one of the kids I coach came up to talk to me in Safeway.  She said, “Tony said, “There’s coach Wells.” and I said, “where? Oh.  Coach Wells got skinny.”” I had to admit, that felt good, even if I don’t think it is completely accurate, but it definitely was heading in the right direction.  It’s those random comments from the people that I don’t have a lot of contact with that always carry the most weight.  Not to diminish what the people around me say, but I think the people aren’t regularly in contact with me have very little invested in my feelings, therefore when they say something, it reassures me that they actually see something.

So here’s the part I’ve been dreading.  I really don’t want to post how much I weigh but I think in order to add another degree of pressure, I need to get it out there.  Three months ago, I started at 300 pounds (not even my heaviest, ouch).  After those three months, I am down to 284.  A loss of 16 pounds (~5 pounds a month).  I always get a kick out of it when I’ve told people my weight, they make comments saying that doesn’t seem right or “are you sure?”.  Yes, I am sure, too sure, actually.  But there are some definite benefits to being as tall as I am, more places to tuck, hide, and camouflage the cute little tubby areas that surround me. 

My goal is to have lost at least 70 pounds by June of 2009.  That averages out to be about one pound a week.  My next major step to ensure this is to reduce my intake.  I don’t know what an appropriate serving is any more.  I need to cope with not feeling full.  I also need to slow down when I eat, that way I can feel and sense that feeling of enough.  I want to ward off the heart attacks, the diabetes, the strokes, the blood clots, the high blood pressure, the large pant sizes, and the feelings of shame and disappointment.

There is a lot I would like to do with my life, I just want to be around to do it all.

About Wellsy

Chris is a twenty-something Special Education teacher and Football coach in a little town south of Eugene, Oregon. Chris happily lives with his beautiful wife and his terribly uncoordinated Grate Dane named Moose. Chris has been known to travel, like reading, wanting more time to writing, be in the outdoors more, and generally not befoul the world.

Posted on March 20, 2008, in race for less and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey, that’s the same amount of weight I’m hoping to lose! I also have lost a lot of the understanding about how much I should eat. We’re about to get a membership to someplace with a pool as part of D’s physical therapy, so that hopefully will be fun for us. If you ever want advice on some decent recipes that are pretty well balanced with their fat, fiber and calorie content that I’m more than willing to share with you.

  2. Santa’s fat and he’s lived like 400 years. Just saying…

    Drink your milk.

  3. Thanks, Bonnie.

    Santa is also sponsored by Coke, so I’m sure they’ve had a couple body-doubles ready to go. Have you noticed that you never hear Santa talk… that might be a sign of a replacement Santa.

  4. It must be pretty demeaning to be a reindeer carrying around a fake Santa… or is Santa like the Pope? Do the elves choose Santa’s replacement? or is it just Coke execs? Is that what happened to Bill Cosby?

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