Thursday, July 9, 2009

No Man Is An Island...However...

OK, so as of today I've lost 25 pounds on this diet. Hence the premise for this bit!

The Ten Worst Things About Losing Weight

10. Not being able to eat delicious foods. Frankly, eating is probably one of the top couple of pleasures in which a human can indulge. Lea and I were talking about this the other night, and we agree that there's not too many things better than a great meal. Yeah, sex is up there (especially the way I do it!!!), holding a puppy, seeing some great natural wonder, yadda yadda yadda. But when you're on a diet, you can still do all that stuff. The sudden inability to have a big, cheesy pizza, or a plate of pirogies covered in sour cream and bacon...well, THAT'S hell.

9. Changing sizes of clothes. If you're someone like me who has yoyoed throughout life, and you're smart, you save your clothes of different sizes as you fluctuate. Unfortunately, I haven't always been that smart. At the moment, for instance, I'm transitioning back toward XL shirts, and I'm sure I don't have more than a couple of them in my closet (and bear in mind that I literally have probably a hundred shirts in my closet). And pants? Yeesh. Y'know, when I get down to my goal weight, I think I'm going to take one of my REALLY big pairs and sell them on ebay for charity (I think the City of Heroes gang might bid on 'em, given their preoccupation with my pants).
8. The fact that people DON'T KNOW you're dieting. See, I've lost a sizeable amount of weight so far, but people who have never seen me before don't know that, so they might assume that I've always been just this size, or worse, that I'm on my way UP. And yes, I realize how neurotic that makes me sound. Know why? Because I'm neurotic.

7. Exercise. Sorry, but just cutting down on the food won't cut it, especially when you get to my advanced stage of decrepitness. You have to hit the gym. And I do, at least five or six days a week, plus my nightly constitutional (that's where I go door to door, telling people about the importance of the Second Amendment).

6. Free food. See, it's bad just not being able to eat, but when you're as cheap as I am, and you suddenly get the opportunity to score some free food, that's a killer. So when I come into the adjunct faculty room and someone has left donuts or cookies, or when there's a big spread of meats and cheeses at faculty orientation, or when a friend has a barbecue, etc., I want to get as much gratis grub as possible. There's a time when I would have filled my pockets with my ill-gotten booty (or my ill-booten gotty), but now it's for naught. Naught!!!

5. One of the things people usually do when they try to give up a vice is to increase another vice. But I don't smoke, I rarely drink, I don't gamble. If I'm not overeating, what's going to take up the slack? I do find myself shopping a bit more, especially at dollar store type establishments. I get a certain pleasure from picking up a cheap doodad or knicknack. Not as much as a greasy cheeseburger and fries, but hey...

4. My head. Look, I've been as heavy as almost 400 pounds, and as "normal" as 175, but no matter how much weight I lose, I still have a big, round head. I wish we lived in a society where the standard for male beauty was less Keanu Reeves and more John Candy, but unfortunately you folks have dropped the ball...

3. It's a strange thing to say, but after you've lost the weight, you sometimes feel guilty around other folks who are heavier, as if you've "gone over to the other side," as silly as that sounds. That's a phenomenon that occurs in a lot of subcultures, though (for example, I understand from friends there's sometimes a real clanishness in the deaf community regarding folks who regain their hearing, or who live too much outside the "deaf world"). The thing is, though, that there's not really much solidarity among fat people. Yes, we do enable each other to pig out and such when we're friends, romantic partners, etc. But if you think overweight folks are much more accepting of other fatties, don't kid yourself. Some of the meanest comments you'll ever hear are from other fat people (and given the rate of obesity, they're becoming legion). It may be a defense mechanism, it may be self-hatred, it may simply be that they're as affected by cultural norms as anyone else, but it's there.

2. Weight comes off slowly. SLOWLY. Nothing irks me more than the fact that I could easily put on a couple of pounds a day, but there's no way in hell that I could ever take it off that fast (not that either is really healthy). The worst part about it is that, at least for me, to keep my motivation strong, I need to see an actual loss on a regular basis. Lea always tells me not to weigh myself every day, because there will be fluctuations, but homey can't play that. If I only weighed myself, say, once a week, and there wasn't any loss in that week? It'd be very tough to keep going beyond that point.
1. The adjustment. I'm guessing most of you have never gone through a really major weight loss (say, at least 100 pounds), but it's just damned hard getting used to the difference. For at least a time (and I'm not sure I've ever been "thin" long enough to make it all the way through it), there's a time when you don't really know how to move, act, etc., because you're suddenly quite literally half the person you used to be. Even at 175, I'm not sure I ever stopped feeling like a fat guy.

Now, that's the DOWN side. After I lose another five pounds, I'll be back to tell you the ten BEST things about losing weight. Same fat time, same fat channel...


Lain said...

Your points are right on the money. As someone who's fluctuated a lot, and has lost 100 lbs. (oh, glorious 2003!), and is currently back on the high end of his personal yo-yo, I particularly appreciate the frustrations with the clothing. When I think of the things I threw out, saying "I'll never be THAT heavy again!" I cringe. Good psychologically, but not so much for the wallet.

And I share the big-head problem. Even when I'm down at 175, I still can't buy hats or sunglasses most places. Big heads unite! Our day will come!

Troy Hickman said...

Maybe our mascot can be Betty Boop, Lain.

Yeah, I've done the "I'll never need THESE pants again" number more times than I care to mention. I guess the possibility of having to buy a whole new wardrobe isn't enough to stop me from a moment of "gee, how can a quart of ice cream do any harm?"

I don't even bother with hats. I'm not sure I can pull off the look. I don't think I've worn a hat since high school marching band. And yeah, sunglasses tend to squeeze my temples.

I know having a head like a tall bongo is the look women seem to love, but love me or leave me, I've got a kettle drum on my shoulders. Deal with it.

NuclearToast said...

"I think I'm going to take one of my REALLY big pairs and sell them on ebay for charity (I think the City of Heroes gang might bid on 'em, given their preoccupation with my pants)."

Just the fact that you own pants you've never worn makes them worth more.

And I hate that transition phase when you tighten up the belt another hole (yay!) and your pants bunch up somewhere under the belt and pinch you all day.

Rip Ford said...

I don't know, Troy. Your pants might need to go to Yucca Mountain.

But you've got some good points about what we go through to lose weight.

And I sympathize with the big head problem. It's been a long time since a one-size-fits-all baseball cap fit my head. Of course these days they come labeled one-size-fits-most. Played on a company softball team and had to tell them I'd wear the rest of the uniform but the cap was a lost cause.

Juggling Jason said...

Thans for this! I'm on your side Troy!