How can the same scale that says one thing in the morning say another thing in the afternoon? Actually, the delay isn't always that long. The other day I weighed before my shower then weighed when I got out of the shower. I gained a pound in the shower. Did I really get that wet? Ok, I know - the real problem is me stepping on the scales too often. But I've become addicted to the numbers. The weight loss has slowed down considerably, though I am still losing. But I'm becoming obsessed with the notion "Oh my God! What if it stops now??? This is good, but I wanted to lose a lot more than this!" I have these thoughts often. It ain't healthy.
One thing that would accelerate the weight loss is if I would get myself to the gym. But in this day and time - with money being as scarce as it is for everyone - where in hades does the extra cash come for a gym membership? My bride insists that we'll find it and they're not as expensive as you think. But beyond the money issue is still the "feeling fat" problem. I don't want to go the gym with a bunch of Lou Ferrigno wanna' be's staring at themselves in the mirror while they work on a lat pull down machine. Even when I was young and athletic and lifting weights religiously I hated those guys. Now that I'm older, not so athletic (and infinitely less tolerant of morons) I'm really afraid I'd have a heated discussion with a guy that likes to stare at himself in the mirror that much. "Excuse me jackass..you can sweat it up and flex in that mirror for an hour but you're going to still be a bore married to some tennis skirt that makes you listen to Barry Manilow... but at least you drive a really cool minivan." Where does "feeling fat" fit into that equation? It's complicated.
Being as large as I was doesn't just have the obvious physical side effects. Unless you're a person that's just given up on everything you really just feel dead. I never gave up on everything but came very close many times. The worst part was living with the sick feeling that everyone else in the world saw nothing of you beyond your weight - even people you love. Whether relating to you as brother, son-in-law, friend, nephew or whatever you were certain you were just no longer "you" but "fat you." You're familiar with the conversations that always occur when you leave a social gathering - "Dear God, did you see her hair?" "What was he thinking with those shoes??" "Did he really think that shirt was his size?" I've lived KNOWING that I was first topic of those type conversations after folks had been around me "Tim's gotten huge, hasn't he?" "I wonder how much longer he's got before his heart explodes?" "God, I could hardly eat for looking at how big he is these days!" Now, that I've lost so much weight, I'm still certain that people have these conversations going on in their head. And I'm also certain that strangers (like the aforementioned boys at the gym) are really raking me over the coals. I really need to come to a point where I can tell myself "You've accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. There's a very good chance that everyone in a room is not checking you out anymore...and if they are they can get over themselves. You've lost 188 pounds. You win."
Speaking of "feeling dead" I had no idea how much my old state of mind and body kept me from enjoying until Christmas got here. My family has often mocked me for being a "Scrooge." I don't hate the holidays...I just didn't enjoy them very much. But that's really more a reflection of me not enjoying anything very much because of my weight and health. This year I've been a walking Norman Rockwell portrait. I've been to a Christmas cantata. Sunday night I built a fire in the fireplace and my bride and I watched Polar Express. Yesterday, after work, I put up the Christmas tree, went to Home Depot for more lights and THEN we went to Starbucks for coffee and drove around looking at Christmas lights. This afternoon I'm going for more lights to put on our silver maple tree in the front yard. The other night I watched a documentary about those Andy Williams Christmas specials that used to come on every year. Oh dear God...pretty soon I'll have one of those dorky Rudolph noses on the grill of my truck! This is all coming from a guy who used to consider Christmas a done deal if I'd listened to Springsteen sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and had done my fair share of nog without the egg. I had no idea how dead I was until December got here. And I fear that, once again, the victim of that mindset was Rhonda. She's earned sainthood for not putting me out at the mailbox with the flag up.