Here’s the thing; everybody thinks they know how to lose weight.  The ones that think they know the most never end up doing it.  Or, like Oprah, they do it once…or twice…or three times and then they think they know it all.  Even though they’ve gained everything back for the fourth time.


Let me be perfectly frank here.  I did it.  I know how I did it.  I’ve managed to get myself off of most of my meds over the last year.  People who know me are impressed.  My doctor has been impressed.


I’m not impressed.  Until I get to a point where I’m satisfied, I figure I don’t know a damn thing.


I’m not going to be satisfied until I’m certain I’ve lost all that I can.  Even then, I’m not going to be satisfied until I’ve kept it off for about a year or so.


Actually, I believe I do know one thing.  You know how people who’ve lost great amounts of weight always say they don’t miss the foods – and amounts thereof – they’ve given up to lose that weight?


I’m personally convinced they’re all f***ing liars.


Ok, here’s how things started.  Even as a kid, I ate everything in sight.  Elementary school bookworm, plus eating everything in sight, equals one fat kid.


Never actually lost that weight.  Never changed my eating habits.  Between growing and taking up basketball in junior high, I maintained that weight.  Only gained proportionally through high school.  Burned off so many calories playing ball, what I ate didn’t matter.  During my senior season, I was 6’3 1/2” tall, and weighed in consistently at 185 pounds.  After the season, I put on another ten pounds by graduation.  No big deal, though; that was still within the acceptable range for my height.


Then came college.  You’ve heard of the “Freshman Fifteen” – the average weight gain of the first-year student?  Would’ve been nice if I’d stopped there. 


Start with the fact that I was no longer playing basketball between two to four hours a day.  Add to that the fact that the university food service, though plentiful and palatable, wasn’t exactly satisfying.  Factor in the two-punch combination that my dorm room was within fifty yards of a 7-Eleven and the discovery that unlike in my home town, in a college town, you could make a phone call and people would bring tasty, starchy, fatty food right to your door.


Yeah, fifteen would’ve been great.  Can’t recall, but I think I added thirty by the end of the first semester.  And the pounds just kept a-comin’.  Never actually stopped.  Especially when things started going badly in various ways and I started using food as a form of self-medication.  Plus, I never really did anything moderately resembling exercise after I started my master’s program.


Back in high school, my dad was diagnosed as diabetic.  Found out then that gave me a predisposition to become diabetic myself.  Had to take a glucose tolerance test my sophomore year of college; that also indicated there could be a problem down the line.



I’d been testing near the borderline for a few years.  My sister actually was diagnosed about a year or so before my diagnosis in mid-January 2008.  Frankly, I don’t know how I dodged that bullet so long.  By that point, I wasn’t cooking for myself at all. 


Breakfast?  Unless someone brought donuts or bagels into the office, didn’t happen.


Lunches always involved a run to 7-Eleven.  As I’d be the last to take a break, I’d get snacks for nearly everyone in the office.  Worked great for me; never had to hit the ATM with all the cash I collected from the co-workers.  Also semi-covered up just how much I was buying personally.  A sandwich out of the deli cooler or the grill, a single-serving bag of a Frito-Lay chip product, a five ounce bag of peanut M&Ms, and a two-liter Sprite usually covered it.


On the way home from work between 9-11 pm, the only places I could get a meal were 7-Eleven or various drive-throughs, where I’d supersize the orders, of course.


At least once a weekend, if not both days, I’d order Chinese or Italian.  A light order would’ve been the extra-large Philly cheesesteak pizza and a two-liter.  If I had breakfast, it was most likely a pound bag of M&Ms; unless I happened to be awake while McDonald’s was still serving breakfast.  You don’t wanna know…


By the end of 2007, I really wasn’t in a good frame of mind.  For a few years there, through mid-2007, I’d basically been maintaining whatever weight I was at.  Huge, mind you, but I wasn’t fluctuating.  After mid-2007, I really didn’t care.  Wasn’t happy with a damn thing in my life.  Hated all the hours I was putting in at my job.  Had nothing resembling a social life.  Didn’t care. 


Started ballooning up.  Knew I was likely doing damage.  Of the potentially fatal kind.  Didn’t care.  I’d just order an extra side of mozzarella sticks; figured if I’m heading for a stroke, might as well go big and hopefully make it kill me quick.


Well then…all of a sudden, that plan wasn’t so damn appealing.



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Originally posted February 1, 2009

Updated February 23, 2009