August 19, 2010

Weighty Matters

Gordon in 2004 The picture on the right was taken of me back in March 2003, when I was making a presentation for my then-employer. As you can see, I was...and am...kind of a big guy.

And yes, I'm well aware that picture is not very flattering. So much so that I now understand (on some level) why a particular person stuck me in the "friend zone".

At that point, I weighed close to 330 pounds.

I've always had a weight issue - when other people think that I have played pro football in my past, I always think that I'm more likely to have played Orson Wells. You name the pop culture cliche about fat people - especially fat men - and I embraced it. My self-esteem was low, and my weight became a convenient excuse - after all, I ate healthy, I just had a healthy appetite. (And like Eric Cartman, I wasn't fat, I was big boned).  Sure, I lost a little weight right after I moved to Chicago, but that was due to lack of food - no real effort on my part.

However, back in April, my doctor had advised me about weight loss...and at that point, I thought of my father.

Ironically, four years ago this month, my father had a triple bypass...and died three weeks later. This was a man who worked 12 - 14 hour days, seven days a week. He smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. He seemed to have the same meal no matter where we went to eat - feta cheese omelet, wheat toast, and coffee with cream. After his death, my mother and I found enough vitamins in his room to open a health food store, as well as some popular infomercial-based health products. Then, it was enough to make me decide that I would take better care of myself.

And in the past few months, I have by walking regularly, drinking more water, and eating more sensibly. Small things, sure, but enough to help reinforce my new commitment to living in a healthier way. People (especially coworkers) are beginning to notice that I "look good". I'm feeling slightly more energetic, and more positive, even though there are areas of my life I would like to improve. (Most considerably, my love life...but that's a post for a different time). In fact, many of the smaller changes I've made have been the least difficult.

Consider it "Chapter Two" of my life in Chicago - reconnecting with old friends, continuing new friendships, and seeing where it all takes me. Committing myself to sticking around awhile, and to being the best person I can be.

This past Sunday, I indulged myself - I bought a new bathroom scale (hadn't own one for years - was afraid it might fall apart if I stood on one. Yes, really). After an initial recalibration, the numbers finally settled - 275 pounds, 43 less than at the doctor's office in April.

At that point, I wanted two things:

I wanted someone to take a picture of me now, for a record of my progress to date.

I also wanted my father to see that picture.

Sadly, only one of those desires has a likelihood of coming true.

P.S. Weighed myself today - 269. Go, me!


charlierambles said...

Congratulations Gordon. THAT IS GREAT! I'm on this quest as well. Weighed 200 lbs three months ago. I'm now at 177 lbs and exercising regularly.

Very happy for you and your success and the heart I read in the lines above tells me how much it means to you.

Cheers bud!

Roger Owen Green said...

Good for you, Gordon!