I’m not a fan of sharing some of my most personal details in public (OK…yeah…that’s a lie). But this one is one of those “Oh Dear GOD!!! I knew you were….but I didn’t think you were…” kinds of confessions. And no. It’s not about my age or my golf handicap. Both of which are far higher than most people imagine.
No. It has to do with the darkest secret of all. I have been carrying around a 5th grader…for YEARS…and I haven’t had the courage to admit it.
I know. I know. You might ask, “how can you carry around a 5th grader for years? Doesn’t he ever graduate to 6th grade?”
Well…thankfully, no. I have ditched him for his smaller brother a handful of times over the past 20 years. But, the 5th grader just kept coming back. In fact, some would say that I welcomed him back into my life…over and over again.
Yes. I am talking about my weight. I am talking about the perpetual swing in weight that creeps up and down, but mostly up, over the past two decades. Creeps like a 5th grader into the back of the bus, so he won’t be exposed for the disruptive little shit that he has become. There, sneering at me. Goading me into letting him come along for the ride.
But, I can’t ignore him any longer. He has to go. He’s ruining my life, and any hopes of living long enough to see my youngest grandkids graduate from college.
Here are the facts:
- Statistically, an average 5th grader (11-year-old boy) weighs 88-95 pounds.
- The last time I was actually “weight healthy” (less than 12% body fat) was 1983.
- At my highest-ever weight (reached in 2015) I was on the high end of a 6th grader, overweight.
- Since 1996, I have lost and gained as much as 67 pounds…over and over again.
- As of today, I have lost 30 pounds of my 5th grader, since January 3rd, 2022.
I am not celebrating.
I have been here before. I will not celebrate until I reach at least 2/3rds of my goal…and then, not with cake or an alcoholic beverage.
So why now? Why would I write openly about something that is obvious to anyone who has known me since my “glory health years” of high school and college football? Because, like any other long-term, mental/physical deficiency, you need to make your purposes and goals for recovery known publicly, to help share the shame.
Shame? Yes. Shame.
Like almost any form of self-abuse, unless there is some medical condition outside of your control, there is nobody else to blame. Nobody else bought me the countless happy meals, or the extra large dollops of ice cream, or huge portions of monkey bread, or giant “bigger than your head” cinnamon rolls. I did that.
But, YOU do share some of the blame, for telling me that I “look great for my age.” Or masking your abject disgust in how my shirts and sweaters used to cling to my body with comments like, “have you lost weight?” when you really want to say, “Holy crap! I can see your belly button through that sweater, fat ass!”
But make no mistake about it…it was me who smiled and believed you, knowing full well that you had no idea that all of my clothes had silently been “upgraded” to 3X, in the same styles and makes as my 2X and XL clothes tucked into the back of my closet. Golf shirts…of the same style and colors…hide a lot of flaws. Especially, when tucked into coverups and jackets.
So. Yes. Rather than celebrate, I will just tell you, that I am feeling better than I have for years. I am working out EVERY DAY (thanks to my very naggy Apple Watch), and can actually feel like this time, may be the last time.
I’m gonna kill that fat little shit of a 5th grader. In fact…I am taking great pleasure in knowing that he will be gone for the rest of my life.
And yes. That is what I am telling myself for now. But, I won’t believe it until I hit, and SUSTAIN my goal weight for at least a year. I’ll let you know…trust me.
Here’s to killing the 5th grader…or at least sending him somewhere else to hang out.