Chris Graham: You got a problem with me not being fat anymore?
Fat Chris is dead, buried. Through hard work, a strict, healthy diet, an active exercise regimen, diligence and basic want to, I’ve lost 74 pounds over the last six months. Cause for celebration, right? Wrong.
Are you sick? You look like you’re on drugs or something. You meant to lose this weight, didn’t you? You’ve lost enough.
This isn’t everybody, of course. The vast majority of comments are exceedingly positive. You look great, how did you do it, that kind of thing.
But the negative comments, like negativity in general, it sticks with you.
It was to the point for me 15 years ago, when I similarly shed weight, that time down from 270 pounds all the way down to 170, that what I felt was a constant drumbeat of crappy comments about my weight that I just basically gave up.
I essentially let myself be bullied into fattening myself back up again, and if that’s what my friends and family who kept up that pressure were hoping to achieve, it worked. It took a while, but I was back to 270 this past Christmas, when I decided that I didn’t like being the fat guy again, and did something about it.
What I did was pretty simple: I keep a mental count of how many calories I’ve consumed in a given day. With only a couple of exceptions, I stop at 2,000. I’ve also stepped up my exercise by adding cardio, to a point where a couple of months ago I was able to start jogging, something I wasn’t even able to do 15 years ago, and on my birthday in June, I celebrated by running 10 miles, doubling my previous high, and considering that even three months ago I couldn’t run a mile without needing to lay down, yeah, that’s a milestone.
So why the negativity? I look sick? Funny, I feel great, and I guess I have to say so myself, but I also think I look great. I was wearing 40 inch waist pants. Now I wear 30s. I had XXL shirts that were too tight; now mediums look nice on me.
Drugs? Shouldn’t that kind of comment be there in the same area of don’t say that to somebody with asking a woman if she’s pregnant? That I’ve never used or considered using an illegal drug in my life only adds to my high level of offense at the suggestion.
I’ve lost enough? That’s up for me to decide, one, and two, I’m just about there. When I set out on this journey, at 270 pounds on Jan. 19, my goal was to reduce to 225, and even that I thought at the time that I started was just ridiculous, unattainable, never would happen. I hit 225 by April, and recalibrated. Sub-200 was within reach, with more hard work, more dedication, and I finally got there last week.
Guess what … not going back on the other side, ever again. Hate, browbeat, naysay all you want, but I’m not going to let myself be bullied into being unhealthy again.
Diabetes runs in my family, and it’s basically a function of obesity. Fortunately for me, even at my heaviest, I didn’t develop diabetes, and had great blood pressure, another health issue complicated by being obese. But why take that chance?
I’ve been able to do what I’ve done in six months without needing to follow an unhealthy diet plan (read: Atkins), without starving myself (had pizza for dinner last night, barbecue tonight, going out to Outback later this week; eat your effin’ heart out), without magic pills (since none exist).
You can do it, too. It’s both easy and difficult; easy in that all I’ve done is simple math, moving more and eating less, hard in that I’ve had to stick to it for six months, and will have to maintain the rest of my life.
I’m not asking you to do what I’ve done, to admire me for doing it, to even care one way or the other. I didn’t it for you or anybody else; I did it for me.
Be forewarned: you got a problem with me getting healthy, and you say something stupid, and …
I’ll let it roll off my back. My regret is that I wasn’t able to do that 15 years ago. Not going to make that same mistake again.