So, I’m losing weight.

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

So, I’m losing weight.

You can see it in my face now, even under the giant Viking beard. My belly is no longer rotund, just pleasantly jolly. My waist is much smaller. When my belt wasn’t holding up my shorts a couple months ago, I put an extra hole in it to cinch it up tighter. A couple weeks later I put in another one. Then I bought a belt three sizes smaller. That new belt was so small that I could only buckle it in the very first hole.

Today, three weeks later, I’m now buckling the second hole.

Losing weight is very affirming. Everyone approves. It’s one of the crowning gems of Adult Success, along with Money and Beautiful Smart Children. It’s something you know is hard, but you also know you can do it. But, hey, what’s the hurry? I can’t speak for your relationship with your body, but I just never got around to being healthy. I never had time to do the planning, never felt the rush to clean up my eating habits.

Then Diabetes clarified my timetable for me.

So much is different now. I’m feeling different, better, every day. I feel good, now that I’ve survived the nasty, months-long brain-clouding diabetes symptoms, while simultaneously fighting through, cold turkey, an almost 50 year sugar addiction. And I’m not exaggerating “addiction” for effect. It was very much full-on withdrawal, along with the night sweats, blurred vision, ongoing confusion, no mental focus, no energy, intestinal distress… dark days, my friends.

I don’t want to get too dramatic, so I’ll just say, as cliche as it sounds, I would not wish my last three months on my worst enemy. Talk to your children about sugar. It’s basically crack cocaine but with a better PR team.

But here I am! Looking better, feeling better, moving better, with my head screwed on straight (mostly).

Most obvious is that I now eat differently. My relationship with food has changed unalterably, and there’s no going back. I eat so little sugar now that fresh fruit literally tastes like candy. Any amount of simple carbs (white rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.) makes me feel bloated and groggy. Speaking of sleep, I’m sleeping much better, thank you very much

With some exceptions, I’m eating 3-4 small meals a day. And by small, I mean about half of what I used to eat. It’s not an exact science, but I’m ingesting roughly 50% as much food.

The funny thing is, a small sandwich, a pickle, and a handful of pork rinds and I am STUFFED. I get a little uncomfortable and I couldn’t eat another bite, not even a wafer thin mint.

All my life I’ve been totally accustomed to eating really large meals. Because… I dunno… I’m a big guy, that’s how I learned to eat, because food is delicious, just a bad habit, the sin of gluttony, maybe low moral fiber…

Does it really matter why?

Well, yeah, it probably does.

I think my biggest personal fault is my sense of dread at missing out on something, and food plays very much into that. I want to know what other people are eating, how it’s prepared, how much it cost, how the different flavors and textures meld together to create something new and different. I love buffets precisely because I want to taste it all. I pour a lot of mental energy into worrying about something out there even more delicious and fun that I just haven’t tried yet. I’m terrified, irrationally, to miss out on any of it.

Lately I have been living in the moment, day-to-day with my struggles, but I still have a fear that I’ll backslide into pigging out again. It’s been my pattern for my whole life. And it’s not hard to predict that some tragedy or problem will push me into eating my feelings again someday. Which is bad enough when overeating just means overeating, but now it very literally means going blind or losing a foot to diabetes.

And let me clarify—when I mention I had “blurred vision,” that is not a metaphor. The diabetes caused me, for almost two months, to have blurred vision so bad I couldn’t read anything on my phone, and I had to turn my work monitor up to giant text. I won’t sugar coat it… Diabetes is not fucking around.

“I won’t sugar coat it.” LOL. See what I did there?

But, by the grace of Odin, I’m doing well now, and I’m trying to enjoy it, day to day. Weight loss truly is its own reward.

Most importantly, it’s pretty clear I was, in fact, missing out on something all those years. I’ve been missing out on myself, buried under 50-100 lbs of mediocre food, sugar highs, and bad choices.

So, here I am. Finally me. Mostly. OK, I’ll probably keep changing. But this is all me, right now.

So be nice… I’m new here.

— VVV

Sounds Like Marriage

(I drop the salt)

Wonderful Wife: “That was sorta clumsy of you.”

Me: “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”

WW: “You can’t just decide to not hear something.”

Me: “It is the sovereign right of all husbands to not hear anything we don’t want to hear.

It’s been that way since marriage was invented.”

WW: “That’s not how that works. That’s not how any of this works.”

(long pause)

Me: “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”