Most of my life I could care less what people thought of me. I never really let it get to me. I was freakishly tall and skinny growing up. I had to learn early on that people will say bad things about you in order to feel better about themselves. I weighed 165 and was 6’8″ when I graduated from high school. I was tall and skinny and didn’t fit in with the crowds at school. I was a loner. I chose to be a loner because I knew how shallow people were. I knew why we all picked on the kid who was different. It made us feel better about ourselves. And if that difference was big enough and we could not accept it, we’d hate it. We learned it in our collective childhoods … think back to when you were a kid and think about the kids you picked on growing up. If they were taller than average we made the assumption that they were held back, older, dumber. Or the fat kid … or the slow kid … or the ugly kid … we all picked on someone. Jocks picked on freaks or band-fags, preps picked on nerds, freaks tried to get along with everyone EXCEPT the jocks. The pretty ones picked on the ugly ones. It was everywhere, we even saw it amongst our little cliques. Remember reading Lord of the Flies?
I went on to college and never looked back at high school. While in college I gained about 20 pounds. I graduated college weighing 185 and was 6’9″ I had finally stopped growing. I had filled out and my muscles were catching up with the frame they were stretched over. But I was still skinny. I got a full-time job and gained more weight. I weighed 195 to 200 when I got married. I looked good. I was working full time and eating more and getting less physical exercise. I was fitting in. I was looking more like those around me. Older and a little over-weight.
I hit 289 at one point last year. I weighed in at 287 January 2006 at my physical. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I decided to do something about it. And I’ve stuck to it. I have to admit that I feel a little bit of pride when it comes to the fact that I’ve lost nearly 60 pounds. I’ve worked hard for it. Really hard. Going to the Y in the rain, the snow, the cold … running on the treadmill for hours … running with Shadow outside. I can tuck my shirts in and not have a belly sticking out. If I don’t tuck my shirt in I don’t have the “tent effect” with my shirt … all of my clothes are too big for me right now so that probably looks bad. But I think I look good. I look older since my face isn’t “filled out” and fat any more. There are wrinkles there that weren’t before losing weight but I don’t mind them.
But what I do mind is being told that I’ve lost too much weight, that I’m not looking healthy, that I look sick, that I’m beginning to look like a sack of bones. And that’s just not so. Yeah, I was told that. And coming from the people who said it, it hurt my feelings. If anything I expected support and encouragement. Instead I get dissuasion and disapproval. And it’s come from more than one person. I’ve heard it from 5 people I’m close to. So I really began to wonder, is something wrong? But I’m only down to 229 pounds. My doctor said he’d like to see me down to 225. I would like to get there as well. But I was beginning to wonder if that was not right. And I thought on it some more. And started to put two and two together and came up with five. Everyone telling me I lost too much or was becoming a sack of skin and bones was over weight. Those telling me I looked sick have been sick themselves and are over weight. And they had all been on diets and lost weight and gained it all back. I wonder if they were jealous? Was this their attempt to feel better about themselves or were they really concerned? All I know is it really hurt my feelings because it was something I’ve invested myself into. It was something I’ve embraced and am passionate about. I’ve followed proper nutrition guidelines. I’ve incorporated muscle building/strength training/circuit training and cardio to balance things. Too much cardio and you start to burn muscle, too much weight training you build bulk. I wanted long lean muscle.
Regardless their motives, I’ve set my “zone” up to be 220 to 225. That gives me room to work with. If a holiday is coming up and I want to eat more, exercise and take my weight down to 221 or 222. just don’t go back over 225. I’m remembering my lessons from my youth and not going to let it bother me.