Three years ago I said to myself, “Self,” I said, “you have got to lose some weight!” I was easily 50 pounds overweight. I not only was putting on pounds, I was losing height. The inches I lost going up and down found their way to my middle and went round and round. I recall when I was told I had to start getting in shape my stock answer was “round is a shape!” But truth be told, I felt pretty bad. I was always short of breath, I took elevators to go one floor (down, even), and my favorite place to go was the airport because there were people movers all over. If I had to walk all that way on my own I’d just sit and wait a while and eventually my breathing and heart rate would get back close to normal.
I was certain I could lose weight. I watched TV. I saw the ads for pills, exercise CDs, diet books, and portable gym equipment. In just 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 30 days, or 90 days I too could lose inches and pounds. I was ready to take all the “before” pictures if I could just bend over far enough to get the camera case off the floor. And if pills, exercise, and diet didn’t work – or didn’t get started – I had a secret weapon. I would monitor my portions and eat less. And I did. I only had one rack of ribs for dinner, half a chicken at one meal, only two appetizers even if the special was for three, and I always shared dessert. I rarely had soft drinks unless they were mixed with bourbon and I even started drinking light beer for a little while. Even with all that, I still didn’t lose weight. In fact, I gained! By the time that year was over I was exactly 100 pounds heavier than what the height/weight charts said I should have weighed.
Two years ago I said to myself, “Self,” I said, “this would be a whole lot easier if I wasn’t so fat.” The surgeon agreed with me but said I really needed to do this. So during the procedure to remove the cancer, all or part of a couple organs were removed. And finally I lost some weight. Since then I’ve had three more surgeries, five more hospitalizations, several outpatient procedures, and quite a bit more weight loss.
I am 90 pounds lighter than I was three years ago, only 10 pounds away from a goal I would have otherwise been proud to have reached. I still get short of breath and I still take elevators for just one floor. That’s because I can’t walk a flight of steps without becoming over-exerted. I’d like to take an “after” picture but when I get down to the floor I have to have somebody help me back up. Eventually the stamina will return, the flexibility will come back, and those last 10 pounds will disappear.
All I have to do is sit around and wait a while.
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?