By: Dennis Bates
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary…
Okay, maybe that’s a little over the top dramatic, but believe me this is necessary, and, in a way, my assembled words here today are a personal Declaration of Independence. And I’m going public with them so I am forced to hold myself accountable for them.
All my life I have been told I’m big boned, husky, broad shouldered, pleasingly plump and all those other blatant euphemisms. Well, I’m not. I am plain white bread FAT. Even after I wrote that, I tried to think of a softer way to say it. But I’ve ignored the obvious far too long.
I may be a skinny person trapped in a fat person’s body, but if the that’s the case, the real me is trapped way down deep somewhere and there is another layer that weighs the same amount as I do surrounding the real me. It is far too embarrassing for me to list my weight here, but let me give you a hint. If I were forty years younger and a foot taller, my current weight would give me a real shot to play offensive or defensive tackle. On an NFL team.
Get the picture? I don’t blame you if you don’t find it a pleasing picture. Neither do I. Mirrors are something I avoid like the mythical vampires that are once again popular. But unlike them, I avoid mirrors because I do see myself in them. At least part of myself. Sometimes the mirrors are large enough.
I loved participating in sports when I was younger and lighter. I played tennis, baseball, basketball and football (on the line, or course). In my 30s I ran long distances, completing three full length marathons. (26.2 miles is a full marathon) When training for a marathon I regularly ran between 50 and 60 miles a week. That won’t get you into Olympic qualifying shape, but it should get you under four hours, if you have any speed. I broke that barrier.
Today, I don’t go to certain grocery store because it is too far from where I park to the rack of grocery carts, and without leaning on one of those, I can’t get to the back of the store to buy milk and other dairy products. Fresh fruit, which is clear on the other side of the store is out of question. At least in the same trip. It’s either milk or fruit, but seldom both.
I can’t sit too long to have coffee with a friend because even if I can stand when I crawl out of the booth afterwards, I need a few minutes just so I can limp out. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have to lean on the server so you can get to the cashier to pay for a measly cup of coffee? I do.
So when the doctor told me recently that I had to have knee replacement surgery, and the sooner the better, I asked him to tell me what that involved. The first thing he recommended is that I work very hard to “take a few pounds off” before I have the surgery. He’s a nice man. Suggesting that I take off “a few” pounds was his way of saying, “Lose some weight fatso.” I got that.
I’m writing this to ask for help. As always, prayers, best wishes and encouragement are good things, especially the prayers. In addition, help me hold myself accountable. I plan to write something about how my weight loss is going every week. Sometimes it might not be much. Other times it may border on TMI. I apologize in advance for those occurrences.
If I know somebody else is reading this, it will force me to keep going. Down deep I’m not only a skinny person, but a slightly vain person. I don’t like to look bad. I’m tired of that meaning I can’t look. I will stay the course much more readily if I know I have to report in here every week, and somebody will know if I succeed or fail. With God’s help, I can do this.
At age 63, I have a lot to do yet. I need to get back to doing it.