So I have been the big boy all of my life…well, as long as I can remember anyway.
I have always been somewhat of a hoss. Growing up it was more like I was “big” but not necessarily “fat.” Middle school was when I started packing on a few more jiggly cells onto the chassis. But looking back at pictures it seemed more of that “pre-pubescent” baby-fat kinds thing. That’s a thing, right? When I hit puberty, I had a growth spurt and stretched up and thinned out (thinned out being a relative term).
I don’t really remember my weight restricting me from anything in those days, although I do remember that I started having issues with acid-reflux around this time. I looked like a football player (I should have played football but I was too interested in playing guitar and being in a band). I had the nickname Tank in high school.
High school. My senior year. That is when I can remember not wanting to take my shirt off at the pool or on the boat.
I knew I was gaining some weight, but I still never really felt like I was a fat guy until people started making little comments or jokes. Then I started realizing that maybe I was not really seeing myself as others did. It seemed when I looked in the mirror that I saw a normal sized person who was afraid of getting fat. Not a fat guy yet. Then I left for the university.
I remember one guy in college (who I thought was the same size as me) made a joke about the size 42 pants at Old Navy and how they were in “Hank’s” section. I also remember that college was when I had to start wearing XXL instead of XL. I was drinking a lot of beer and eating whatever the hell I wanted then. I had no worries. And yet, I still wasn’t being restricted by my size. And I could still buy close off the rack, albeit it was the largest sizes they had.
I met a girl. I fell in love. I then married my best friend.
But the worst was yet to come. I really ballooned after I got married. I am not sure why that happens but I am guessing that I gained 50-60 pounds in the first three years after my nuptials. At some point I was not able to buy pants at the store. I had to start getting them online. I remember hating to tuck my shirt in for work, because of the Apron. I had to go on to medication for acid-reflux. I got asked who made my shirts, “Omar the Tent Maker?” Yeah, I didn’t think it was funny either. I was denied a ride on a roller coaster at Six Flags because the bar wouldn’t go over me. Sitting at booths started feeling tighter and tighter. I broke a couple of chairs. Things were going downhill fast.
Now I will not go into any great detail, but I will say that I started getting REALLY concerned about my weight when there were issues “in the bedroom.” Not necessarily what you are thinking. Well that’s a lie. There were some performance problems…sometimes…not all the time. But more specifically I didn’t feel attractive to my wife and I felt like she was not being honest with me about how she was feeling. Then one day, in a very humble and graceful way, she let me know that my weight was affecting our intimacy.
Wow. The person I love might not be attracted to me if I can’t control myself.
Now let me be clear that that instance was what sparked open conversation between my wife and I about my weight. We had barely ever talked about it before and I realized that she did care about my health but was afraid to say anything for fear of hurting my feelings. We had very candid conversations about how I did need to lose weight, and not just because she was concerned about how I looked (although lets all admit that weight does have a lot to do with physical attraction or lack thereof), but because I was setting myself up to die early. At that point I weighed over 350 pounds.
I do not want to leave family and friends behind because of something I could have controlled. They deserve better.
Well, anyway. The outcome of that conversation was that I set up an appointment with a Bariatric surgeon. And on that note I will end this post. Tomorrow I will write about that consultation and what happened afterward…
Until the next time, Peace.