It was not even till around the 40 pounds lost mark that people even noticed I was indeed losing weight. That’s around the time the compliments and congratulations started to flow in….and that’s precisely the time that the compliments started pissing me off. I would hear “Wow you look great” or a vast litany of other assorted utterances. The problem was I didn’t want to hear them. At 40 pounds lost still weighed 260 pounds and I was far from looking great, in fact I had just moved from “Grossly Obese” to just plain “Obese.” Now some might find comfort in the fact they had moved up or down the scale of obesity in such a way…I am not that someone. I would try to summon up gracious thanks through gritted teeth when through my brain all I heard was a very loud scream…not just a scream but a total 80’s hair metal scream. Like one of those really long drawn out screams only someone with a full bottle of Aqua Net could muster, the one that signaled either the beginning or the end of a guitar solo. You know the one I am talking about, I know you have all of those cassette tapes hidden away somewhere.
Then without warning it changed at about the 70 pound lost mark. I would actually crave the comments; the problem was they were no longer coming. Perhaps I had not put on my “Thank you Aunt Mary for knitting me those wonderful bunny slippers I am sure my college roommate will be envious” kind of false thank you face well enough. Perhaps I had been given my allotment of compliments and now I am on my own. I needed someone to notice or make mention of it. I needed to know that besides the fact I was pulling my own life back into shore after nearly drowning it that someone…anyone noticed what I was doing. I was struggling and I still am to just get to the end of this trench battle that I have been fighting alone for months now. I can see the end; it’s right there seemingly just at my fingertips or more appropriately it lies just in front of my front tire. It is now I struggle the most though, the non stop cravings for Big Macs, a carton of cigarettes, a sixer of Guinness and days on end of unadulterated slothfulness. All of those things that I caved to year after year are a hell of a lot closer to my fingertips than these last few pounds. So like so many times before I have to start the mantras in my head, I have to will myself back on to the path. I have to yell and berate myself until those evil things pass me by. I created a commercial in my head today when I was riding I am not sure what the point of the commercial would be or what, if anything, I would be selling but I invented it just the same.
Imagine with me some fancy camera angles and the light is the new sunrise of a frosty Michigan morning. You see a figure churning away on a bike then suddenly you are looking at things from the rider’s point of view you can hear the huffing and puffing of the rider. A flash of a fast food restaurant and the voice over says “That’s where I used to pick up my double cheese burgers and fries” then a flash of a gas station and the voice over says “That’s where I used to buy my cartons of cigarettes.” Flash back to the distant shot of the rider, head down steamy breath trailing behind him. Back to the riders point of view….a flash of a party store and the voice over says “That’s where I used to buy my daily 6 pack of beer” a flash of a pharmacy and the voice over says “That’s where I used to pick up my medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol” finally the camera is on the side of the rider when he looks right into it, sweat pouring down his face, and he simply says “That was 100 Pounds Ago.”
If you have managed to make it to this point I must thank you for letting me rant.
17 thoughts on “Of Commercials And Compliments”
I think your ad is just fucken awesome. No, I really do. Maybe you should actually make it and YouTube it or something. I think it’s much more effective than the usual “lose weight or die” scare tactic ads.
Dude, hang in there! You can do totally do this. Your progress is inspiring.
And I gotta say– your idea for the ad is indeed awesome. Reminded me of this inspirational Lance ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIl5RxhLZ5U
One last thought– maybe you should go on an organized ride of some sort to break up the routine. For instance, the Harbor springs Classic is this weekend.
Oddly I have never seen that commercial? I guess it would be kinda similar.
I think you should absolutely produce the video. If I were in MI, I’d be the flunky cameraman for you. Post it here, put it on YouTube, let people see it. It’s not vanity. You’ve achieved something special, and if your story can help inspire even one person to commit to and maintain a lifestyle change, then all the better.
Be proud, be confident, and inspire others!
I did have a thought of a “Viral” style video….however with no experience, no budget, no equipment…..it may just remain an idea?
Great idea! Need to put some thought into the background music – clearly key to the message!
Keep pedaling. Hard.
I was thinking something along the lines of “Cadence to Arms” by the Dropkick Murphys if you are at all familiar with that tune?
Since I have zero film making experience and zero budget this might remain a crazy pipe dream.
Love the ad concept and I hope it comes to fruition. You are phenomenally inspiring.
Just find a mate with a video camera and take the raw footage. Between XP’s Movie Maker, free video editing tools and YouTube, everyone on the interwebs is a cinematographer. You can be too 🙂
Gotcha…something is in the works right now (insert evil laugh here)
I hope you do not mind but I have submitted your idea to the company that I work for that is diong a weight loss challenge of sorts, maybe you have heard about it… the 50 million pound challenge… I love the idea and think that it would be wonderful to share with the world!
Uh….ok I suppose?
Note for next time: Ask before using someone’s intellectual property!
I just found your blog through Fatty…and I wanted to chime in with a GREAT JOB!!!!
I know exactly how you feel, as someone who lost 70 pounds about 2 1/2 years ago. You kinda get addicted to the applause, right? But, as you are learning, it is much harder to keep the weight off than to take it off in the first place.
You should make that ad and watch it every time the scale ticks up past your goal weight. It is so hard to keep the focus and stay on track, but it can be done. It’s still not automatic for me to make good food choices, but it does get easier, the longer I sustain.
You have such a great attitude, I’m sure you will continue to have success!
Grat job on the wight loss and Fantastic on keeping it off! I think I will do that add and folow your suggestions. Thanks!
I am so proud of you… and had to find this by accident on google…
We have a camera with Utube and editing capability if you want to use it.. I think it would be a great ad for the Engine 2 Diet! Or any kind of health campain, or maybe like a whole foods or Trader Joes… lol…
Fin and I love you.. and wish you well with winter coming!