Back when I was in middle school, my dear grandmother brought me to Old Navy for some new school jeans. It was the COOLEST store she knew of (since they advertised it on Nickelodeon and ALL the hip kids watched Nickelodeon in 1996) and she nailed it. They played cool music that sounded like disco but wasn’t (turns out its called Funk) and that really really HOT* girl in my communications class wore a shirt from there. As I was trying on jeans, grandma taught me that a man always knows what size jeans he wears, since someday a girl would need to know and that would impress them. It was easy: I had just broken 100 pounds and saggy pants were all the rage, so I declared my pants size to be 32×32. It was a nice square number that was easy to remember, and I wore those jeans into the ground.
As I grew, my waistline grew too. I had no concept of what a large waistline was, but I assumed that I didn’t have one, and to be honest, I didn’t.
Well, not THAT large, anyway.
In my eyes, a good diet consisted of a piece of lettuce on my cheeseburger and using organic ketchup on my French fries. Needless to say, I went from a 32×32 to a 38×32 by my junior year of high school.
College came, and with it came the all-you-can-eat buffet in the dining hall. I managed to fight off the freshman 15 as I was offered a job at Philmont Scout Ranch the following summer, so I spent a lot of time in the gym getting ready for that.
I joined a gym once I switched from Augsburg College to Inver Hills, and I thought I was being healthy by “running” twice a week on an elliptical and doing some bicep curls every now and then. Sometimes I would even stretch. Then I would get my post workout protein in the form of a bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s.
In 2008, I started taking Vyvanse (a methamphetamine based ADHD medication) and lost about 20 pounds, and I felt amazing. My clothes were loose, I worked out with a trainer for 30 weeks, and I even ran a triathlon. I was in shape, I was tan, and I had confidence. I wore 34 inch waist pants. I even wore t-shirts.
In 2009, I was diagnosed with a heart defect. I quit taking my Vyvanse and quit exercising because the doctors told me “Something is wrong, but we don’t know what so don’t exercise and don’t take your medicine.” Immediately I started gaining weight. My pants were getting tighter. My confidence started dipping.
After I got married in 2010, I started running. I had 25 pounds to lose and I was going to lose them, so I ran. I ran 3 half-marathons, a duathlon, two 10k’s and a quarter marathon, biked every day, and ran whenever I didn’t bike. My knees hurt all the time. But god dammit, this was making me HEALTHY.
Well, come November 2011, I found I had GAINED 15 pounds. I got mad and quit exercising. That was my first mistake.
My second mistake happened during 2012, The Year of The Wedding. I was in four weddings between March and June, and a guest at two more. Now the weddings themselves were not the issue here. I dearly love each person who was in each wedding. The issue was that at the first one, I ate delicious food that was bad for me and thought “Wow, I ate salty, unhealthy food and it didn’t kill me! I’m going to have some more!” Then I did that again. And again. And again. Each wedding had a bachelor party at a bar, a rehearsal dinner, countless nights with beers and friends, cocktails, open bars, delicious food, and mistakes made by me. Each time, I thought “Wow, it didn’t kill me! It must not be THAT bad for me!” and then I would have some more.
Coupling that with work lunches, social drinking and parties with friends, church dinners, funerals, road trips, and friends with diets that were not as restrictive as mine, my waistline got bigger. I had given up on exercise, eaten my fill WAY more often than I should have, all the while thinking “It’s not killing me, so I must be ok!”
My shirts got tighter, my knees got more sore. I got out of breath more quickly. My snow pants don’t fit. My xbox live gamer score went up. My coats don’t fit. My backpack doesn’t fit. Even my winter hat doesn’t fit. I only wear about 3 different shirts because all the other ones I own are uncomfortably, revealingly, horribly tight.
Worst of all, now I officially have man boobs. Big, bouncy, squishy man boobs.
So. Now. The accountability.
No matter what the cost, I will lose this weight. I will run races. I will share what I eat every day with Facebook. Every time I cave and eat garbage I won’t be mad if my friends ask “Are you sure you should eat that?” Also, I won’t eat garbage.
I will go running when it’s cold. I will pay for expensive races so that I will be angry when I don’t prepare for them. I will exercise after my day at work sucked. I will exercise when I have other things I have to do. I will exercise between my jobs. I will exercise early in the morning on the weekends when I should be sleeping.
I will be the douchebag who comes to the dinner party and brings his own food. I will be that douchebag who won’t eat the lovely meal you’ve cooked because it isn’t on my specific diet. And I’m not going to let it get to me.
I’ll see you all 80 pounds from now.
*girl who talked to me