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.