More speedbumps, a weight-loss milestone and the future…

So as of this morning I’m down to 201.8 pounds. Yes, I’m counting the decimals now. That’s a total weight loss of 124.2 pounds. Forgive my language, but HOLY SHIT!

Honestly, I haven’t felt a burning need to update the blog in a while, mainly because until the last two weeks or so I’ve been doing so well. I’m running, as much as 3.5 miles four times a week. At least I was, until about two weeks ago, when some belly pain kicked in again. It actually got pretty bad, and I ended up back in the hospital again, on heavy-duty painkillers. They can’t figure out what’s causing it. The surgeons say there’s “something there,” but they don’t know what. Their solution is to cut me open again and take a look. The GI guys have no better answers. At this point, for all I know, it’s in my head.

People keep asking whether I’m glad I had the gastric bypass in the first place. Clearly, it’s been a mixed bag. On the one hand, I’m closing in on a weight loss of 125 pounds. That’s huge. It’s an entire person. But it’s been more than 10 months since the original surgery and I’m still facing significant complications. The answer is that sometimes I’m glad, in the same way I was glad in the sixth grade when I finally kicked the @#$% out of Jeffrey Glick after he called me fatso for the millionth time. At other times, I think it was the biggest mistake of my life.

The truth is, it’s really not that simple. I can state without reservation that weight loss surgery has been the just about the worst experience of my life, in some ways worse than the premature birth of my son almost five years ago. But its also given me some amazing gifts. Yes, I’m a smaller, healthier person. It’s also taught me how to really advocate for myself, in the middle of a horrible crisis. Even more importantly, it’s helped me figure out what I want to do with my life. I want to write.

I’m working on turning this blog into a book about my experience. It’s a weight-loss memoir, but it’s also part self-help. It looks at the obesity crisis in our country and the pressures on men that make them unhappy. I’m hoping the project helps me learn why I got fat, and maybe provides some insight for others. Maybe I’ll actually get it published. It’s a big project, bigger than anything I’ve ever done before. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I’m trying to stay out of the hospital and keep running.


I’m 208, down 113 with 13 to go!!!

I weighed 208 as of this morning. I dropped out of the ‘obese’ BMI category at 215 and now I’m well into the regular ‘overweight’ category. I bought a size 42 sportcoat today and need some new jeans – maybe size 32. HOLY COW!

So I’m revising my goal down from 215. I want to weigh 195. There’s something significant in my mind about getting below 200, although I couldn’t tell ya what it is.

Gotta drop the last 13 soon. Won’t likely happen by my birthday on February 25, but maybe by spring.


Size 38 and Falling Fast

My size 38 Levis are falling down. I’ve got my belt on the last buttonhole, cinched like a nerd, but they won’t stay up. I’m a long way from the 54 Levis hanging on the wall in my home office. Geez, they look like the Goodyear Blimp, floating there above my desk. Not a bad New Year’s gift, huh?

What absolutely blows me away is that I can walk into any store and buy clothes, right off the rack, like I’m a regular guy. I can even reject some stores if I don’t like their styles, like J. Crew, where I returned a bunch of things for their poor quality and odd fit. In the old days, I had to take whatever the folks at Rochester Big and Tall gave me. It’s a great feeling.

Still, I live in fear that I’m going to balloon back up. I have this recurring nightmare where I wake up one morning and none of my clothes fit. I slink out to Rochester wearing old sweatpants and the way-too-tight Atari t-shirt my best friend Jack gave me back in high school. Sometimes, especially late at night, when everyone in the house is asleep except for Scout and me, and I’m worried about the fight I had with my mom, or anxious about finding a job in this shit economy, when all I want is a juicy cheeseburger and fries. Sometimes I’ll walk into the kitchen hunting for leftovers – pizza, Chinese, carbs. Sometimes I’ll even have a few bites. But then I remember the bruising battle I went through to get this still-not-quite-svelte, 220 pound body.

I stop and use the In-Sink-Erator.

It’s not easy to keep my mouth shut. Weight loss surgery is a tool, not a cure-all. Yeah, I’ve lost over 100 pounds, my blood pressure is way down and my knees and hips don’t hurt anymore. I can run – well, jog/walk – almost two miles. But the surgery was nothing more than a physical remodeling of my insides. It didn’t directly change my mind, and there are times when I still want to binge. I’ll probably be fighting that impulse for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about a jog and some smaller jeans.