Comfortable: A Weight Loss Struggle

I got married in 2004. At that time, I was close to 400 pounds.

I was fat, happy and not motivated to do anything about it. I guess you can say I was comfortable.

On my honeymoon, I found myself winded as we walked through Disney World. On the first night, my knees ached and my feet were swollen to the point where I almost needed a wheelchair to get around.

I continued to do nothing. I never weighed myself much in the later months. I just kept buying 5xl shirts and more elastic belts for my pants. I would shop at the big and tall store and keep getting clothes either way to big for me or I would have them altered to fit right.

Bad thing is, that 5xl shirt was actually fitting me. In constant pain, completely out of shape and still eating, reality finally hit. My wife at the time, who was also heavy set was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. It scared the living shit out of me.  When she was diagnosed, I checked with my family to see if we had any history… we did. My mom has it, my dad does too… I’m pretty sure Grandma on mom’s side has it too.  I was easily the heaviest person in the family and had to do something. Not just for me, but in support of my wife. If she had to give up things, so did I. I stopped drinking regular soda and regulated my intake of sugars on the regular.

Our next instinct was to jump on a fad diet. The Atkins program was popular at the time, so we attempted that. She did well, can’t remember how much she lost, but I dropped around 30 pounds in a month’s time. I was happy with the results, but I also had a constant headache. One day, I nearly collapsed. I went to my doctor soon after and it was determined that while Atkins was proven successful for some people, the restriction of carbohydrates is not meant for everybody. As a matter of fact, my body lacked so many nutrients (including an extra low blood sugar) I was becoming less healthy than I was with the 30 pounds on me.

Needless to say, I ended the Atkins diet.

Slightly dejected, and now wearing a slightly baggier 5xl, I sought out other means of weight loss. My good buddy got that bypass surgery done… he lost a gang of weight. One of my other best friends was in preparation for the lap band surgery… she also lost a lot of weight. Me? I never considered surgery as an option. Not only because money wasn’t right, but  I just didn’t believe in surgically altering my body for weight loss… and if I did, it would be a vast session of liposuction to just take the fat off, rather than have to actually lose it.

At the top of 2005, I was going through it relationship wise and I found myself getting accustomed to talking with females more than dudes about issues. Ever wonder where I developed my easy rapport with women? It was around that circle lunch table for 4 years at Ford Motor Credit with Denese, Tami and Angelique. They would give me opinions straight from their perspective, and I would do the same.  I even developed a bit of a reputation as being one of the girls, even though I was a straight dude. Let’s not even talk about the rumors that came alone with that reputation. But I digress… one day Denese mentioned that she just joined up at the gym and that it felt good, and was a nice release, especially for stress.

Considering my frustration with my still new marriage, I definitely needed that kind of release. She easily convinced to me to join her at the Las Vegas Athletic Club, which had just opened a gargantuan new property on Eastern off the 215. It was ten minutes from home and five minutes from work; a perfect location.

Denese and I made a pact and began to frequent the gym after work every day. It was also there, where she introduced me to another good friend and eventual Justice League Unlimited member, Helene AKA Catwoman. Soon we got into a groove, and I became addicted.

Denese has a way with  inspiration and motivation. She was always one to hold her head high and had a Divaesque mystique to herself. She is confident, powerful and an absolute sweetheart. I LOVE her attitude, and though I never gave her credit, she MOLDED my ego. Sounds weird coming from a dude, but Showtorious, the person, (not to be confused with Showtorious, the artist) spawned from her inspiration.

Of course, I always had a flare for the flashy and dramatic, so on top of being inspired to be more confident, I upgraded all of my gym wear and carried myself like a fucking superstar.  Bright colored shirts, jerseys, shorts and the now signature matching headbands became the usual gym attire.

With a newfound confidence in myself, and the loving support of my friends and family, my addiction became my obsession. I LOVED losing weight and I LOVED the gym. To complement my workouts, which for the most part spanned between 30 and 90 minutes, I started taking mental notes of my caloric intake. I stayed off the sugars and cycled myself off of red meat for short periods. I eased up off the fried foods, and other than the occasional sweet tooth, I kept candy out of my mouth. Strangely, through all this, my alcohol intake increased, and never offset my dieting… Weird.

Fast forward 13 months later, I had since left my wife and was down an insane 119 pounds. It was 2006. That near 400 pound me was gone, and though I was still a big dude, the majority of that was muscle and ego. I was down to an XXL jersey size, I had the attention of many ladies and I felt untouchable.

It was time to mingle again. Ice water in my veins and a libido like a beast, 2006 was the year I became Showtorious… I I went through a couple relationships, screwed up a couple relationships and  completely installed a new friend base to go along with my small core of besties (Eddie, Andi who are ROYALTY to me) and picked up a couple new ones. Luwona and Amy, respectively. I also got back in touch with my boy Muke, who I grew up with and also consider family.

Near the end of 2006 however, there was a girl who I had my eyes on, that I never thought I had a chance with. In my mind, she was the trophy wife. She was gorgeous, successful and had a great sense of humor. She was downright intimidating even to the mighty Showtorious. One night, over an impromptu dinner as just friends, I stuttered though asking her out on a real date.

The next thing you know, we were together.

From the end of 2006 through 2007,  my scheduled gym nights turned into me wanting to rush to her place to see her, thus bypassing the workout. Soon, I moved in with her, and got comfortable… again. It seemed like it was very fast, but all of a sudden 30 of my 119 pounds came back on.

It goes to show that a proper lifestyle of exercise and eating right is required to keep yourself in order.

The next year, she moved out of the state and we fell apart trying to manage a long distance relationship. I was left high and dry, heartbroken and not in the best shape that I was going in. It wasn’t her fault though, she’s my friend and love her to death to this day… as a friend … I’m just a sucker for love and enjoy taking care of my lover more than I do working out… hey, who doesn’t?

Cool thing about that situation however, is that during the long distance trial, I lived with my homeboy, who had an ‘unconventional’ way of living. So like I did when I was going through marriage issues and didn’t want to go home so to speak, I reintroduced myself to LVAC and went hard. I never gained more than a few pounds, but at the same time, I always hovered around the same, which was give or take, thirty more than my initial 119 pound loss.

At the end of 2008, along came my Satin, who not only helped me rebuild confidence in myself after going through hell in heartbreak, she taught me how to love again. You know how his story goes, note the relationship status on Facebook.

This relationship, I became comfortable again… But that 30 pounds grew to 75 pounds gained. Confidence however, and a sense of urgency to get into Hawaii shape for my 30th birthday killed that noise real quick. I pushed myself to lose 49 pounds in 80 days leading into July,  which I was successful at using the same techniques I used 4 years prior. It was August of 2009 however, when an injury to my spine took me out of gym activities for close to six months.

2010 began… I completed my therapy treatments (thank goodness for not requiring surgery) and I was back at it in the gym, 29 pounds heavier than my Hawaii weight. It would then bounce between 35 pounds and 18 pounds. It was kind of crazy. It continued throughout the year. 2010 was also the year that I became one with pool season. I often joked about not Rick Ross’ing it, so I always rocked a shirt at the pool. (Even when I was smaller, I was always self conscience about my stomach.) I basically downplayed my insecurities by laughing at it, but it was a slow build.

Eventually I got to my breaking point. I was in the dressing room of a department store, and I couldn’t fit a certain 4xl shirt. I began to think about ordering my clothes again from a big and tall dealer. The straw that broke my back however was the fact that NBA.com seemingly STOPPED carrying jerseys over 3xl. I own a 4xl Sonics jersey from back in the day that is extra baggy, but looked REALLY good when I wore a XXL. I also had a Ben Gordon St. Patrick’s Day Jersey that was a XXL and it also looked good on me.

Anyone who knows me knows that my FAVORITE outfits consist of Jerseys, Basketball Shorts and Flip Flops. Though I lost 49 pounds in 2009, I never got the job done. I miscalculated my needed weight loss when I actually bought a Dwight Howard Jersey, in size 3xl, that never fit me right. I was supposed to debut it in Hawaii, but it never left my suitcase. 2009 Showtorious didn’t fit that jersey. 2006 Showtorious would have ROCKED that shit, complete with black/blue shorts and blue old navy flip flops.

That jersey hangs in my closet right now with the tags still on it. I’d like to wear it before Howard signs with another team. I also really want a Derrick Rose jersey and an old school B.J. Armstrong jersey. I need to get an Amare Stoudemire or Carmello Anthony Knicks jersey and though I’m not a Laker fan,I’d look good in a purple Kobe jersey.

Old Navy puts it’s flip flops on sale for a dollar one day next month.

I get coupons for Champs for $10 off any $50 purchase every other month.

Pool season starts next month.

I never want to see 300 pounds EVER again. You understand where I’m going here?

This is my story… today, I’m at 25.9 pounds lost. I’m officially 6 pounds LESS than my Hawaii weight, and 4.1 off my first 30 pound goal. After that, I’m 21 pounds away from 2006 again. Not only will I get into that 3XL jersey, but I’m going to ROCK IT, as well as my new shit. I also plan on ridding myself of every 4XL shirt in my collection, because though they are big and comfortable on me… I REFUSE to ever get that comfortable ever again.

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2 thoughts on “Comfortable: A Weight Loss Struggle

  1. i honestly just cried after reading this. Believe me when i tell you that i can completly understand how you felt through this entire journey.. why?.. because i have walked the same exact road. My heaviest was 205 and the fact that i can get on the scale now and see 145 is mind blowing to me. size 16 to size 9.. size 9??? never in a million years would i think i would see that size EVER again!! this is not just a physical struggle, its a mental one too. Im not going to get all into all of my details, but, i will say I feel you, understand you, and right now SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud of you!!! And I dedicate every tuesday of my life to helping you get to your goal. I do it as your friend, and as someone who knows not only how much that helps, but how much more motivation that gives you to get to your goal! CONTIUE YOUR GOOD WORK AND REMEMBER TO NOT LET YOURSELF DOWN!

  2. This is so inspiring, Show! I’m 275 lbs and love everything about myself, so I tend to forget about my health. Yours is such an amazing journey, congratulations on making it!

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