My Jersey Love Story & Getting that Old Thing Back

It’s been about three years since I last talked about my struggle. I’m going to bring it up again and then the talking is OVER. Well, until I hit my goal. Then I’m going to be an obnoxious douche bag… for an hour… on social media.

Happy New Year spawns! You know me and my hiatuses; this is the end of one and the season premiere of Showtorious Unplugged.

Episode 301: My Jersey Love Story & Getting that Old Thing Back

A few years ago I wrote a very revealing blog speaking about my ups and downs in regard to my weight. I’m not going to rewrite the blog again, but to refresh you on the topic; it documented my journey of being overweight since elementary school to this day.

My weight has always been my weakness.

Though I never developed diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or any other ill shit from being overweight, my knees did suffer; subsequently so did my high school sports career. Well, my nonexistent sports career. Out of shape cats that can’t run just didn’t go out for teams in high school. I barely liked P.E. Combine that with overprotective parental units and I really didn’t stand a chance to play football anyway; and let’s just forget about basketball. (I did have a mean Kareem style hook and defense like Barkley in his prime.)

So instead of actually participating, my passion turned to watching and buying sports related merchandise; my prize possession was the authentic Nike Michael Jordan Bulls home jersey. I saved up the $149 for it back in the 10th grade and bought it from the Nike store inside the Caesar’s Palace Forum shops. I had other jerseys, but that was my baby. I even refused to put it in the washing machine; instead I had it dry-cleaned. Eventually, after maybe 6 wears, I framed it to never be worn again. It was my trophy and keepsake.

Well, there’s another side to that story. Between Junior and Senior year, I gained a bit more weight. I don’t know the numbers, but needless to say, I couldn’t fit that jersey if I tried. That would be the true story behind the retirement.

After high school, I found that none of my jerseys fit right anymore. My Pippen didn’t fit; my Rodman. My Rashaan Salaam Bears jersey didn’t even fit anymore. (Don’t ever call me an untrue Bears fan!)

St. Patrick's Day, 2006
St. Patrick’s Day, 2006
After going up 150someting pounds in my 20’s and then losing 119 of them, I was able to get back into the game again. By the time I was 25, I had Shaq Lakers and Heat Jerseys, a Lebron throwback high school piece and on St. Patrick’s Day 2006 I unveiled a green Ben Gordon Chicago Bulls jersey. It was my victory shirt. I had successfully lost all that weight and was officially on point, body wise. Yes, I still had size to me but rocking an XXL was SO much better than rocking 4XL polo shirts and t-shirts all the time. Plus, I was newly divorced and with that MySpace popularity flow, I was feeling myself.

Then along came the relationship that defined me (at the time). I scored my first trophy woman (in my eyes) and I got comfortable. We ate out A LOT. By the time our relationship ended, I had gained a bunch of weight and ended up fighting depression. I jumped into another relationship and gained even more weight… then lost a gang of weight in time for my 30th birthday. It was around that time that I purchased my first NBA jersey since Ben Gordon.

I picked up a Dwight Howard Magic jersey and a customized Bulls jersey with my name on it. Again, these were victory jerseys. The problem however was the Bulls jersey was a 4XL and the Howard was a 3XL. I REALLY wanted to get into that 3XL by my 30th, but it didn’t go down. It stayed with me another year before I was able to fit it. I didn’t rock my Howard Jersey until 2010, right after my last major relationship ended. Though I can still fit that jersey, it never fell over my shoulders the way I wanted it to. 4646_90742014414_1619849_n

I let go again when I got into another relationship. That’s when the Chef Chi phenomenon became reality and me and my girl at the time not only ate out a lot, but we cooked a lot of good, fattening foods. Howard got tighter, my Bulls jersey got tighter and suddenly my pants were feeling like 2004 again. No, my weight didn’t jump but my body obviously changed. Where I was big all over back in the day, I’d become big JUST in the waist and stomach… this is where my problem is right now. 5654_102398549414_1330454_n

Yes, I take a mean head shot and I look good in my dress clothes but that’s it. My casual clothes are limited. Style has changed since the early 2000’s. For some reason guys are wearing female jeans and liking clothes that hug their body. What? I guess I’m old school, but give me baggy jeans and a decent collard button up all day over some of the stuff that is selling nowadays. Even when I’m smaller I’ll NEVER wear skinny jeans nor will I have a desire to a shirt that looks too small to breathe in. Please don’t get me started on thin style and bow ties.

As far as fashion goes, nowadays a 4XL feels like an XL and a 5XL feels like a 3XL. Everything in the big and tall is fucked up too because it’s either big OR tall and not both. You get a big shirt and it fits like a two sheets sewn together and cut VERY short so you can tuck it or it has elastic at the ends, ELASTIC??? Like, seriously?

Then there’s the tall gear, which comes REALLY tall so the sleeves are like 42 inches long and the buttons are not able to be closed because apparently ALL TALL PEOPLE ARE SKINNY!

Big n*gga problems, man – I tell you.

Excuse my language but f*ck this shit. I’m sick of being big.

I’m sick of having to go to the big and tall sections to buy all my clothes. I’m sick of ONLY looking good in dress clothes. I’m sick of telling people who want to buy me shit to get me a gift card and I’ll work out the details.

NO!!!! I want to say I wear a distinct size in virtually EVERYTHING. So get what you want to get me. The only thing I want to have to try on is my shoes because being flat-footed sucks sometimes. I want to walk into H&M and buy skinny people clothes just because I can. Shit, I want to shop at H&M PERIOD. I want to be able to go to the clearance rack at Wal-Mart and buy a $3 Ghostbusters T-Shirt in an XL and rock it out the same night with my people. Most of all, I want my jersey collection back! I miss my jerseys! For goodness sakes, I have upper arm tattoos I’d like to show off and those cheap Hanes tank tops just aren’t the same as a crispy piece of Adidas NBA gear!

This isn’t about complaining about my weight. Complaints are worthless unless you’re ready to offer a solution. Being a solution oriented person, I’m happy to report that today I’m -20 pounds. (Since December) I’ve been in that gym 5-6 days a week and watching what I put into my body. Mind you I have my treats from time to time, but I’m doing MUCH better than I was this time last year! As a matter of fact, I plan on being close to 60 pounds down by April.

I share my story not only to entertain, but to let everybody know that it’s never too late to heal your passions.

As I get smaller, my body is healing itself. It’s healing itself of not looking right; It’s healing the aches and pains that come with being overweight; it’s healing my confidence and its healing my passion to do more than window shopping!!!

Of course, a promotion on the job also helps the shopping habits as well but that’s a story for another time. *snicker*

In the first game of the NBA Playoffs last year, my favorite player Derrick Rose hurt himself. He tore his ACL and ended up out for the duration of the year. Some say it was him doing too much in too little time. They didn’t have a proper training camp and the Bulls battled with inconsistency in scoring. Being the MVP caliber player that he is, of course he was going hard until the end.

More impressive though is how he’s making his comeback. Other than his shoe company’s advertisements, he’s been out of the spotlight and slowly getting himself together. As far as sources say, when Rose makes his return he’ll be stronger than ever. In addition to my own passions of life being refueled, Derrick Rose’s story has become an inspiration for me. You may have seen the hash tag #OURReturn on my Twitter and Instagram postings… that’s where it comes from.

Last year I got off to a good start losing weight and then just as things were looking promising, I too hurt myself doing too much. Unlike Rose though, I could have made time to ensure my heath. Instead there was too much cooking and eating, too many nights socializing and not enough time spent in the gym trying to stay healthy.

Mark my words; I’ll never do that again. My health needs to come before everything. I made a conscious decision to stay out of the spotlight for a few months until I was ready. My life has pretty much been all about work and the gym life. No distractions, no excuses.

Lose MORE or Die Hard is more than just a weight loss team name at work. It’s a battle cry. It’s a battle cry for anyone who wants to make a continuous effort in losing unwanted weight and getting healthy for the long-term.

On St. Patrick’s Day weekend the plan is to attend a Flogging Molly concert at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Boulevard Pool. Those Derrick Rose may already be back in action, on that day, #OURReturn will be complete. I’ll be back to the social life once again; and I’ll have my NEW St Patrick’s Day Chicago Bulls jersey on.


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