Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Once upon a time, about a decade ago, I sat in my room above my parent's garage and made up my mind that, despite my disability, my life wasn't done yet. Accordingly, I made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish. There among bucket-list type items like "Travel To Gettysburg" and health-related goals like "Full Seizure Control" was this entry: "Weigh 225 pounds."

At the time, I only (ha!) weighed 275 pounds. The one-two punch of Depakote and lack of activity due to seizures had pushed my weight from a heavily muscled 240 pounds up to a flabby 280, and it had taken me over a year to sort of settle in at 275. I knew I wasn't ever going to be a gym rat again (ever tried a bench press while having a seizure?), but I figured if I could just lose 50 pounds I would be in decent shape again.

For the next 10 years, that day never came. It took my weight climbing over 300 pounds this year to get me to finally take the "heroic measures" (a medical term, not stating that I am in any way heroic) of surgery to deal with my obesity. Now, 50 days after my surgery, I have arrived at the goal that I set so long ago: 225 pounds. So, how do I feel about it?

In a word: Pfft.

You see, back when I picked the 225 goal weight, I had a specific physique in mind. Something like an NFL running back. You know, like this:

According to BMI, he was obese for his entire career.
Maurice Jones-Drew - 5'7", played between 205 and 215 pounds. Not that I was aiming too high or anything. Let's just say that, looking in the mirror today, the photo above is not what I am seeing.

My crashing weight loss is the main reason, of course. My body has had no chance to slowly adapt as it shrinks. Instead, my skin is left as an empty sack around large areas that once held much bigger fat deposits. My arms sag, my chest sags, my formerly beer-keg-sized belly now looks like a deflated beach ball, half-filled with jelly. All in all, 225 looks almost nothing like the picture I had in my head.

Now, my weight loss is presumably not done yet. But, if I am 75 pounds down, out of an expected 100-ish pounds of weight loss, most of the fat shedding has already occurred. Losing another 25 pounds at this point is not suddenly going to turn me into MJD.

As I have stated frequently, I didn't go into surgery for the purpose of improving my looks. I wanted increased energy, reduced blood pressure, and relief for my disintegrating joints - all of which I have already begun to see the benefits of. If my energy level is not as high as Lor's or my blood pressure is still not low enough to stop taking medications, I am still in a better place than where I was in February. But that 225 number has been in the back of my mind ever since I started this process. "Man, if I can just hit that weight - wouldn't that be something?"

It is certainly "something". But not exactly the something I envisioned. I think I would have been better off setting my goal as being able to bench-press the 225 pounds, rather than weigh it. Despite having lost a quarter of my starting body weight at this point, I can't help but be a little exasperated at how much work I still have to do.

Time To Head Back To The Resistance Bands,

- Hawkwind

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