I used to be really fat. Morbidly obese, I think. You know, like 75 pounds or more than is even remotely good for me based on my height. As of my most recent weight, I am 90 pounds less than I was six years ago. It took about three years to lose the weight and I've kept it off for the most part since then. I have fluctuated, down ten pounds and up ten pounds, but I am usually right about the same number. I think a lot about things I did when I was really heavy and how absurd some of the behavior was. Some things, like drinking lots of Coke, aren't really that crazy. People drink soda and often drink a lot of it. It had never occurred to me that it was loaded with sugar and that a liter of soda was just a lot of empty calories. Switching to seltzer or club soda or diet soda or even just water makes a big difference, of course, but I didn't even think about it when I was heavy. It wasn't that I didn't want to, I didn't recognize that it would have an impact in the first place. But, I did do crazy stuff, addictive type of stuff, that seems nuts and horrible when I look back on it. On a regular basis, I would eat two everything bagels with veggie cream cheese for breakfast. Two fucking bagels. With cream cheese. I would be so hungry that I couldn't wait until I got to my desk, so I'd eat one bagel while I was in the car driving to work. How's that for an addiction? In the same day, I was likely to get a hoagie for lunch and order it with a side of fries. And, in the afternoon, when I got shaky or a hot flash because I needed to eat again, I'd go to 7-11 and get a soda and a package of Donettes. You know, those little sleeves of Hostess donuts that come in one of three flavors: powdered sugar, chocolate covered, or toasted coconut. I love the toasted coconut and I'd eat the whole sleeve, washing it down with more soda. Who knows how many calories that was and I hadn't even had dinner yet. No wonder I blew up and needed to wear size 42 pants.
Every day wasn't that bad. But enough days were that I gained a lot of weight. I sift through the memories of that time, my fat period, to try and understand how it happened. I didn't just wake up one day in the body of a really fat guy. I got fat over time. And, I remember looking at myself in the mirror and not thinking I was that overweight, even when I was really heavy. The only time it really hit me was when I went clothes shopping and found that I no longer fit into the pant size that I thought I did. I remember being depressed when I couldn't fit in size 36 pants, sitting in the mall with Audrey and just feeling like garbage. I vaguely remember feeling bad when I hit size 40s, but that seemed like a place that I could create a firewall. You know, it was bad, but as long as I didn't get any bigger, it would be okay. Then, when I hit size 42, I remember thinking that I was a failure when it came to my weight. I made all sorts of excuses for myself as to why I was overweight, downplaying the problem, giving myself a pass, and not just owning it and recognizing how horrible I felt about the whole thing. It is really easy to let yourself off the hook and to basically ignore the truth. Things have changed, of course, but the reasons for that change are for a whole other blog post.