Ruminating On: Losing a Backstreet Boy

I have literally become far too comfortable in my own skin. I’m skipping the literary side of things today to share a new personal mission of mine. We can talk about writing and the world some other day. Today, I want to talk about me.

I was born fat. There’s a picture of me that was taken shortly after my parents left the hospital in which I’m wearing overalls with a red shirt underneath. I looked like Porky the Pig. I know, all babies are chubby, but I was a little bigger than most. As I grew up, the weight remained. Constant bullying through my school years should have been motivation enough to lose the weight, but all those harsh words did was drive me deeper into the fridge. Tears and calories are true companions. Once the horrors of my educational institutions were behind me, I joined the working world. Jobs had hard times finding uniforms for me and I was even fired once for not being able to tuck my shirt in because my belly was too large. I finally found a job in healthcare as a nurse’s assistant. Scrubs are amazing, rather like sweats. They camouflage the rolls, smooth you out, and make you feel like a solid being instead of a mass of gelatinous tissue and cellulite. Also, nurses are some of the kindest people in the world. Rarely will you find a healthcare professional that is apt to poke fun at your obesity. I thought I had found a home. Years later, that job changed my life forever. We were coding a patient, trying to save his life, but no one would help me get the CPR board under him. Two-hundred-and-seventy-five pounds of dead weight I lifted with no thought of my own well being. They slid the board under him and laid him back down on the bed. Then, I collapsed. It’s called Quanta Equinus (that could be spelled horribly wrong, so I apologize in advance, but that’s the phonetic spelling, anyway) and it’s effects include: loss of bowel and bladder control, numbness and paralysis in one or both of your legs, along with a feeling that your feet are constantly on fire. I blew out the L4 and L5 discs in my spine. When L5 ruptured, it pinched the S1 nerve root and that was all she wrote. I couldn’t walk without assistance for four months. Workman’s comp argued that there was nothing wrong with me that PT couldn’t help. My condition worsened and no one would believe I was in pain. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Since they couldn’t feel, or see, the location of my pain, it simply didn’t exist to them. Without the knowledge of my workman’s comp middle man, I had a MRI done. And like magic, everyone wanted to help. I was appointed a date for surgery and finally found some relief. So as not to bore you with BS middle years, I have had two other surgeries since my injury in 2005, both emergent because my ability to walk had once again been threatened.

I tell you all that to tell you this. One of the biggest reasons for my recurrent back issues is the substantial weight pulling down on me. My stomach is a person in and of itself. If I lost the tummy, I quite possibly would lose a Backstreet Boy. So, why haven’t I done this? I’m big enough, so why not have surgery, or some other drastic process to rid myself of my self-imposed rotundness? I’m not scared, if that’s what you think. I simply haven’t cared. There in lies the problem that I intend to correct. I started this blog telling you that I, quite literally, have become too comfortable in my own skin. There has been a movement for the acceptance of fat people in our society. “Let them do what they want. They’re only hurting themselves,” couldn’t be more true and I have no problem with that statement. The issue I have is the defense of obesity for the sake of empathy. No one close to me wants to be the bully, no one wants to tell me I’m a fat-fuck that needs to lay off the Twinkies. This has both helped and hurt me. I have convinced myself that I am fine the way I am. People like me for who I am, not my size, and that comforts me. My wife fell for the huge being that I am, and that will always be one of the million reasons I love her with all of my being. Though she does not bring it up unless I’m already talking about it, I know she’s concerned, as is my seven-year-old daughter. But the fact remains, no one pushes me on the subject. I’ve become so brainwashed by my own complacency that when someone does mention my weight I either ignore it, or agree and move on.

It. Does. Not. Compute.

Well, it’s time to reformat my hard drive and install new software.

I don’t want your sympathy, your acceptance, your disregard for my health because it’s my health and not yours. If you don’t feel like making fun of me, or driving the fact that I could lose 50% of my weight and still be a big dude down my throat, I get it. But I can no longer hear things like, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” and “As long as you’re happy, who cares?” because those things are killing me. My back can’t take it anymore and I’m sure my heart would concur, as well. I need a slap in the face. I believe I’ve just given myself one, but I could falter on my journey. I do not do this for vanity or an ego boost. My wife isn’t going anywhere and, as most of you already know, I think pretty damn highly of myself. I’m not fishing for words of encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. I do not feel bad for myself. Instead, I feel like a fucking idiot for letting it get this out of control. I need to be able to play with my children. I need to be able to walk fifty yards to the mailbox without getting winded. I need to be here for the long haul. And above all this, I would like to see my dick again.

Too much honesty? Oh well. E will be E, after all.

Don’t wish me luck. I need certainty, not happenstance.

This is part of how I plan on making my change. Click HERE for more info. And no, they are not paying me.




9 thoughts on “Ruminating On: Losing a Backstreet Boy

  1. Nope. You don’t need luck. I believe you’re fully capable of whatever you set your mind to do. I’m here if you ever want an additional slap in the face. 😉 But only because you so often kick me in the ass as needed. (sharing is caring, after all.)
    Love ya like a brother!

  2. Decision made, action being taken while you are young enough, good on you dear E. End of discussion…kind of… support ALWAYS from me in any and all positive life decisions. If it works out – fabulous. If it doesn’t work out completely – heck, you’ll still have great fitness tools that you can use when you want.

    Keep telling us how it’s going, okay my friend? ;-)) HUGS!

  3. Hey E. I can slap you too, if you like. Seriously, yoga is good, and you can do it in your chair while you lose the weight, then work up to the strenuous stuff. It’s a miracle for your spine. Weight Watchers has a Man Site that’s offering signup for free this month. It can’t hurt. Plus, it’s a man site so they won’t let you make excuses about water weight. (Ha ha! No hiding behind THAT apron, eh?)

  4. This one hit home for me, E. I think it is true that love can sometimes make us almost complacent in our health or our aspirations, but that is just our own nasty Laziness Demon guiding the show. My husband loves me, loved me even when I was at my most self-destructive. It took a long time for me to separate the fact that he loves the life spark of me from the fact that his love wasn’t going to keep me from an early grave. We all have choices. That sounds trite, but I look at every decision of every day as an opportunity to make the right choice. I don’t always do that, but instead of beating myself up over it, I make a better decision at the next juncture. Thoughtfulness and consideration go a long way towards breaking bad habits, and you don’t have to try and tackle it all at once.


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