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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

They say he's the same but he's not the same

How often do you think you're alone?  If you're anything like me, it's often.  If you're anything like me, it's a feeling that never really goes away and can be almost paralyzing.  It's frightening and daunting; a dark pit of despair to know you're the only one going through something or that no one cares.   I've been there for a long time.

For years I was the biggest person in my family, in my school, at my college, at any of my jobs.  I didn't see anyone, anywhere, my size.  I cannot compare that experience to something for you to relate but try to imagine going to an alien world where YOU are the alien, where everyone looks at you funny.  Even with the advent of the internet I didn't use it to connect with others struggling like I was.  I accepted my fate.

Ironic now that I've cancelled my cable but it was weight-loss "reality" shows that showed me other people like me.  I was able to live vicariously through them; their weight loss was my dream and I would imagine what it would be like if I could do that; it never crossed my mind to TRY.  Oh of course I tried but did I?  I don't think I did, I had accepted that I was different.

I started out on TLC with people who had gastric bypass and that became my way out.  I prayed for this surgery, I thought it was the answer, never realizing that I had the answer all the time.  After years of HOPING to get this without really trying, I can now confidently say that if I was offered free gastric tomorrow, I would decline.  Maybe.

After seeing some shows with people who weighed 300 pounds LESS than me get the surgery and seeing how depressed they were about their weight I started to think about something.  Am I stronger than them because I'm not getting it?  Then came the day I saw some shows about Morbid Obesity and people who weighed the same as me or LESS being bed bound or having walls knocked down to get them out of their house and I knew I was different.

I'm not perfect; I'm not better than anyone but you know what?  I'm pretty damn awesome.

  • At 670 pounds I got up everyday and went to work.
  • At 670 pounds I went into malls and stores.
  • At 670 pounds I could take a flight of stairs.
  • At 670 pounds I did not need a motorized cart at Walmart.
  • At 670 pounds I was capable.
  • At 670 pounds I stopped feeling sorry for myself.

I started thinking about what is going right, not focusing on what's wrong:  my wife, my nieces and nephews, my job.  This wife of mine has more patience with me than I deserve and is the epitome of what Jesus says in Mark 12:28-33.  She loves me like herself and I couldn't ask for anything more out of this world.  My brothers and sisters have a combined 15 kids and every one of them is perfect and I miss them more than anything.

My career has moved me across the country three times for promotions and truly shows me that anyone can do anything in this country: I'm a college dropout with a hick accent and visible tattoos yet in six years I've received five promotions and am one away from being a vice president.  It has been said that "If you love your job you'll never work a day in your life" and I really believe that.  I'm happy when I'm there and dream about it when I'm not.

I've lost 50 pounds and at my size you can't really tell from looking but I can feel it.  Mentally I'm still 670 and I might always be but physically I'm different and I can't weight to see what else is going to change (did you see what i did there?)  Come along for the ride and let's see what happens in the next 10 weeks. 

1 comment:

  1. Thomas, I know I have not been where you are...I can honestly say no one has ever been in another's exact situation because everyone is different and we are all going to have different reactions, as you know. However, I can say that I also have watched many of the weight loss tv shows and dreamed about this being my reality...even got as far as looking up how to sign my dad & I up for Biggest Loser but never followed through with actually completing it. I truly believe those tv shows are amazing and inspiring but that a tv show is not required for it to be possible. You have so much determination and honestly inspire me more than the tv shows...possibly because I know you. :) Every day that you succeed or fail, you encourage me to continue my weight loss journey. Today my dad is having a heart cathederization procedure to determine how much blockage he has on his heart and possibly will have a stint put in or worse...but I'm praying for neither. This is my reality that I MUST get healthy because I do not want to follow down that same path. Thank you for sharing your journey even if just for expressing yourself and holding yourself accountable.