We’re all friends here, right? We can talk about anything?
Over the last 15 years, I’ve lost over 100 pounds of weight.
Of course, I gained over 200 over the same time period.
I was a very skinny teenager. In high school I weighed between 150 and 170 pounds. I had a giant white-guy afro; I looked like Q-tip.
A strong metabolism was the cause – it certainly wasn’t like I did anything to maintain my svelteness. I was still out of shape – as thin as I was, I couldn’t run a block without getting winded. But I was skinny and could eat a horse and didn’t care.
Of course, this changed, and I began a slow increase in size. I wasn’t even aware it was happening. Right up to the day I heard some girls I knew commenting on some guy’s cute butt. One of them looked at me and said, “Yours is cute too! Just big!”
In early 2004 I won a spot on a TV weight loss contest. Three months of free gym access with a personal trainer, a recumbent bike for the home and three months on a starvation diet with LA Weight Loss.
At weigh-in day I weighted 270 pounds.
It was great. (Except for the diet portion.)
I flourished under the tutelage of my trainer. (Amazing guy by the name of Anton Joseph. The guy trains professional athletes and knows his stuff. Runs a place now called Strive. If you can afford him, he’s so worth it.)
Even more than that, I loved the spotlight. I appeared on morning TV once every couple weeks for the whole three months. People were talking about me; I even got recognized on the street a couple of times.
I gave everything to it, and I lost 50 pounds.
I felt amazing. I looked like a million bucks, I could wear clothes right off the rack, the world was my your-choice-of-metaphor.
Problem was, in part, that the exercise regimen was too much for me. After three months of severe intensity I was burned out. I couldn’t stick to the strict food plan and with the lure of the cameras gone, I lost the impulse to keep working out. Slowly the weight began to come back.
It’s so EASY to gain weight back. It’s like you return to yourself. Like you’ve been using the wrong screwdriver to attach a picture to the wall and someone hands you one that fits. You’re all, oh right! This is what it should be like.
And the pounds came back.
By the end of 2006, around the time my first marriage ended, I was back up around 280 pounds. I took a different tack this time – I devoted myself to small changes in food and found an exercise I could devote myself to – swimming. There was a swimming pool a five-minute walk from where I worked. I could swim in the morning, shower, and be at work with barely any inconvenience.
I swam before work 3-4 days a week. I started only able to swim for 20 minutes at most, but after a year or so I was up to an hour.
Swimming was amazing. I loved it. Swimming has to be one of the best ways for a fat person to exercise. Once you get past the body shame of walking to the pool half naked and get in, it’s the best feeling. The water buoys you up and gravity stops paying attention to you. You don’t have to worry about sweating like a pig because the water washes it all away.
I lost around 30 pounds. Not as much as before but I was in better shape, so held the weight better.
And then my company moved me to a different building. This one was on the far edge of the city, and it became impractical to swim before work. I tried to fit it into my after-work schedule, but because it wasn’t convenient, it fell away.
And the pounds started to come back.
I did a brief stint with Weight Watchers. Lost 10, gained back 20.
I’ve used the Livestrong MyPlate application a few times. It works. I’ve lost 10-20 pounds each time I’ve tried it, but I can’t keep the resolution up.
I try to add fitness and then stop. I try to eat right and then stop.
I’m now at nearly the heaviest I’ve ever been.
Today I weigh 328.8 pounds. A few months ago the scale read 337. A month after that it could no longer register my weight at all.
I’ve stopped having pictures of myself taken in general. My wife and I went on a week-long cruise up the West Coast – no pictures of me.
I had to buy all new clothes because everything I had bunched around the waist. So many of my shirts strain the buttons when I sit down. It’s even worse because I can only shop at plus stores now. Nothing else carries clothes in my size.
I’ve gone back on Livestrong to count my calories, because I like the math of it. I’m trying to add more activities to my lifestyle – more things that involve walking, more energy-intensive household chores.
But I figure I need to go back to the one thing that had the most success before – public scrutiny.
I plan to continually update this site with my current weight loss (or gain). Take me to task for my failures. Praise me for my successes. I’m a giant extrovert; I live for that sort of thing.
I hate being this big. Hate it hate it hate it.
Current weight: 328.8 pounds Words typed today: 971