finally hit a benchmark in my travels through life. I was not thrilled about it because it had to do with my weight. On Thanksgiving Day I broke over 206 lbs. and I thought that I had reached a point of no return.
I had finally hit the third part of the trilogy of old, balding, and now fat. Was I destined to never see my feet again? Would my mid-line be greater than my chest? Was the concept of looking good in casual clothes becoming a thing of the past? Thank God, I am married to an intelligent woman. She saw my plight, took the cheesecake out of my hands, and off to a weight-loss center we drove. At first it was a bit embarrassing. My wife took me to Jennie Craig’s in Portsmouth where she led me into a place I thought I would never see.
Walking into the center for the first time I noticed a couple of telephone workers in the parking lot heading toward me. I quickly turned to the left and entered a cellular phone store in fear that someone might actually see me enter a place like Jenny Craig’s. My wife soon found me, took me by the hand, and into the depths of the center I followed. It was a nice enough place with a string of chairs placed before a large counter.
The center was filled with many different sizes and shapes of women. Notice I said ‘women’. I started to wonder if I was the first man to ever enter this domain. I was wrong. On the far wall were pictures of people, both men and women, who had reached their goal. There were before and after pictures showing a successful weight loss program. My God, I thought, are they going to take my picture? Will there be actual proof that I was here?
Before I could scare myself to the point of running back into the cellular phone store, a pleasant woman directed us into a side office to explain the diet. I must admit I barely listened because I knew my wife would take charge and take things into her own hands. After a few minutes we were led to a large scale. I told the woman I already knew my weight but she told me that this was a good way to start out on the voyage of weight loss.
My God, I weighed almost 210 lbs. on their scale. I was now starting to wonder if I was going to explode!
I was then told that I had to have my measurements taken. I told the woman that I have been wearing size 36 pants for most of my adult life but she told me that the 36″ measurement was usually below the waste. I now understood why my belt always faces down. She told me that my waste was size 40 and my chest was also size 40. I now knew that I had the physique of a beer can.
My picture was then taken and off to the shopping part of my experience we went. My wife again took control and had our first week entirely organized, bagged, and I was sent to deliver the week’s worth of food to our car. Of course, I made sure no one was watching before I left the center and into the driver’s seat I hid until my wife made sure I made it to the car.
The next few weeks went well. I lost approximately 5 lbs. each week and after the 6th week my total weight loss was about 30 lbs. I was actually proud of myself and I felt better because I knew I was lighter but a new problem surprised me. It had nothing to do with my diet. It had everything to do with my weight loss and how both my colleagues and friends viewed it. They were actually mad at me.
The more weight I lost the more people asked me questions like, “Why are you trying to mess up your summer?” and ” What is happening to you? Are you sick?” I actually found many people staying away from me because they didn’t want to catch what they thought I might have. Even my daughter was upset with me. When I picked her up for Christmas Day she told me that she hated my new look. “Look at your neck! It looks like you aged a good ten years.” I tried to tell her that I haven’t been able to see my neck for, at least, the past fifteen years but my explanation did little to extinguish her aggravation.
My neighbor even seemed upset about my weight loss. For the past few years during the summer we have met at my deck and downed a few beers and talked about basically nothing. He assumed that because I was on this “female” diet I couldn’t have any beer. I explained to him that I was on the Jeffrey Craig diet and that beer was a necessary part of it.
I don’t think he bought it and still felt uncomfortable around the supposedly new me. One of my colleagues at my school even told me that I was losing my manly qualities. I asked him if rolls of fat falling from my belt and at least 3-4 extra chins defined a man. He didn’t answer me because it was obvious that he did not like the new me. I did not know there was a new me.
Another odd thing happens when you lose weight. People seem to be perpetually offering you food and drink. I went to a party the other day and a complete stranger, or at least I think she was a complete stranger, offered me a plate of food. My wife doesn’t even make me a plate of food for me at a party. Every one of my male friends asked me if I wanted a beer or a drink. It was almost as if everyone thought it extremely important that I gain the weight I lost.
Another consequence of my weight loss is that everyone seems to be inviting me out for drinks or lunch. Do they think that I can’t afford food? When I was robust I can’t remember a time anyone invited me out to eat. At that time I assumed that they thought I ate too much. For the past few weeks I have been involved in a kind of conspiracy that anyone who is over-weight should not be allowed to lose any of the unwanted poundage.
I am proud to state that I hit another benchmark on January 1 of this year. I now weigh approximately 180 lbs. and a side benefit of this is that I am aggravating many of the people I love to aggravate. This is definitely giving me the motivation to keep the weight off!
Only a little weight loss by J. G. Fabiano
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and a writer living in York, Maine, USA
e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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