Friday, July 1, 2011

Things were not always this way.

Things were not always like this. Once upon a time, many pounds ago, I was young and healthy, strong and not too fat, just "big boned", as they used to say. I was an athlete, a scuba diver, sailor, fisherman, hunter, hiker and swimmer. I played racquetball, Judo, Karate, went for long walks on the beach, cast a net for mullet in the shallow waters along the Gulf Coast. In college my idea of a relaxing day was a 6 hour hike through rough terrain in the hills south of Hattiesburg. I was a guest of the US Army for 6 weeks, attending ROTC Basic Boot Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky. After 6 weeks of running up and down those hills in 90 degree weather, long forced marches with packs and weapons, field maneuvers, bivouacs and map running exercises, I was in outstanding physical condition. The Army said I was still too fat, and needed to lose approximately 17 pounds before I could continue my training. I could run 3 miles in combat boots, march all day with full field gear, and I had one awesome looking 6-pack of ab muscles. I weighed 203 pounds in my boxers - and the US Army said I was fat!   Fuck 'em. Who knows, if I hadn't been "big-boned" maybe I'd be a dang General right now, or maybe I'd be disassembled body parts in some desert somewhere.
   I have always enjoyed an active lifestyle, but I have also enjoyed the dinner table too much. Most of my problems are of my own doing, and I refuse to blame others for my short-comings. On the other hand, I have no patience for those ill-informed, self-righteous assholes who tell me, "if you just make up your mind, and show some will power, you can beat this thing!" That may have been true 15 years ago, I don't know. I do know, from much research, that obesity is NOT a simple matter of will power, whatever that mysterious force may be. There are many factors at play, and my self-discipline, or lack thereof, is actually just a minor factor in the equation by this stage of my life. Well-meaning people who managed to drop 20 pounds once upon a time, will give sage and meaningful advice; "swim", "ride a bike", "you just gotta push away from the table", and my personal favorite, "walking is really the best exercise!" All of that advice is great for otherwise healthy people who need to drop 20 pounds.

   I weigh 351 pounds.

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