My Belly

One of the presents we gave Stephen for Christmas was a V-Tech digital camera. The thing is covered in rubber and looks pretty fake, but it is a working digital camera that takes still pictures and short videos (as well as plays games like tic-tac-toe and match-the-pictures). The quality is pretty much what you would expect for what is essentially a kid’s toy (or a digital camera from 1996). The controls are very simple and he learned how to work it in a very short time.

One of his first pictures was of Daddy’s belly and it is the amorphous blob you see above. He also took a short video of me that looks like the early trailers of the movie Cloverfield where glimpses of the monster were finally shown. It was enough for me to go “What was THAT? Oh no, that was ME!”

It has finally sunk into my head that I am fat. When I was growing up, I was always thin. In fact, most of my relatives were always trying to make me eat because they thought I looked sickly.

Eating wasn’t the problem because I could eat more than a lot of my friends. It wasn’t odd for me to eat an entire 12 inch submarine or four Filet-o-Fish sandwiches from McDonald’s in one sitting. I could eat an entire King Don (or Ding Dong depending on what part of the country you are in) in one bite. In another life, I might have been a pretty kickass competitive eater.

For a while I was lifting weights, hoping to add more body mass. Instead, the exercise just toned up what I already had, which wasn’t much. So while my cousins and friends were getting bigger, I was getting more cut. I didn’t want cut, I wanted big. I purposely stopped lifting weights out hoping the muscle would turn into fat and I would get bigger that way. To me, that’s what seemed to happen to athletes who stopped working out. Didn’t work.

Finally, I just quit trying to do things to change my body shape and took to wearing really big clothes. This was in the days before the whole “saggy, look like we are carrying a concealed weapon” fashion trend so I just looked like a schlub.

At the time, I walked everywhere and that activity was burning up most of my calories, keeping me svelte. Walking everywhere wasn’t by choice, I didn’t have a car or the patience for bus waiting. I usually caught the bus to work due to time constraints, but walked the eight miles home. If I needed to be somewhere I would just pop a cassette tape into my Walkman and just start walking until I got there. Good times.

If you made it this far, you are probably wondering how I put on so much weight. I started dating a woman with a car. She drove me everywhere and at first, I still didn’t put on a lot of weight. I packed on the pounds when we got married and due to our living with another family, we spent years eating almost nothing but fast food. I went from 150 to 230 in less than two years.

People who had known me were amazed. Some of them said that I was carrying the weight well and I looked a lot healthier. I didn’t get it, I still felt like the same skinny kid. My marriage crumbled and I got even bigger (275 at my absolute heaviest), but in my head I was still the same skinny kid.

When I got my own place and I was on the opposite side of town from all of my friends and family, I started working out again, not because of any desire to tone up or lose weight, but simply because I was bored. Between the weightlifting, the desire to not cook (because I hate washing dishes) and all of the smoking, I got down to 230 again. A guy I worked with, but who hadn’t seen me in a while asked me how I lost “all that weight”, I told him about my cigarettes and starvation diet. He never asked me about it again.

A friend of mine warned me about losing weight before I reached 40 because after that it would be more difficult to lose. I had no idea why she was telling me that.

When I held a contest for a new logo for my Comic Book Noise podcast, the winning entry had a cartoony picture of me. Another friend saw it and said “I like the image.  It looks like you lost some weight and bought some new shoes.  ha ha.” I thought “Yeah, I don’t wear red shoes.”

I have taken pictures of me over the years but for some reason the angles were all very flattering. I’ve had pictures taken of me, but maybe my narcissism won’t let me look past my pretty pretty face to see anything else.

This totally candid shot taken at a totally candid angle shows me that I am truly fat. I have paid lip service to the fact that I need to lose some weight but in my head it has always been just to tone up my stomach. I still contend I only have fat there and nowhere else. I can “pinch an inch” there, but I am hard pressed to get more than a centimeter anywhere else.

So I guess I need to get back into the habit of walking somewhere, even if it in the basement. I need to keep a better eye on what I eat. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I don’t smoke anymore, so I have to come up with another diet plan.

I’m not the type of person who likes to make New Year’s Resolutions, I would rather give myself attainable goals, then reach them. I think I need to resolve to lose an inch or two off my stomach.  That seems doable.

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One Response to “I’m Fat”


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