I remember stepping on the scale for the first time and seeing the needle swing all the way around past 300 into some incalculable territory that it was never meant to measure. I tell people now that I once weighed 320lbs but there’s no way that bathroom scale was accurate. Could it have been 340… 350?
I don’t really have a good excuse for how I got so big. I just stopped looking at myself in the mirror and didn’t think about it. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day — the hard core, full power ones too. Not the light ones. The light ones are for children.
Time to Change
When I saw the scale indicating over 300lbs I said okay, that’s about enough, and I decided to change. I remembered how much I enjoyed riding my bike to school as a kid, so I bought a BMX bike just like I’d had back in the day. I started riding it to work every day and immediately lost a good bit of weight.
Have you ever lost 60lbs and still been fat as hell? I have!
I also remember the first time I ever ran purely for exercise as an adult. It was on Monroe here in Atlanta, heading north from St. Charles. I made it to the intersection of Monroe and Virginia, or about .4 of a mile, before I had to stop because I had a splitting headache. I didn’t even get far enough to be out of sight of my starting point. I felt like the fattest, most useless lump of lard that ever gobbled a cheeseburger that day.
Reasons for Not Starting
I had a lot of reasons for not starting. I thought people would laugh at me.
“Look at that fat douche,” they’d exclaim from red convertibles stacked high with buxom blondes, “Let’s all laugh at him!”
That never happened. Not only did no one ever make fun of me for attempting to improve myself, most people who saw what I was trying to do were approving and supportive. Some were extremely helpful and shared stories of their own trials and tribulations.
If I could go back in time to deliver a message to myself of ten years ago, I would say something like this:
Hey, no one is looking at you. They are busy with their own lives, and if they want to laugh at you, let them. It’s better to be laughed at than to die young and miserable, which is where you are heading.
Get up and start. It doesn’t matter what you start, just start, right now, today.