February 27, 2013

Perspective

Category: Life — Cranky @

This entry will be somewhat more personal than any I’ve made in the past. Indeed, although I’ve written extensively and diversely, one might go back and find that while I’ve repeatedly exposed myself intellectually, I haven’t dropped my private pants very often.

Those who know me personally and long-term know that I’ve been all over the map with my weight. I went from 305 pounds at the age of 20, to a muscular 185 at 29. I did it through brute force, working out nearly every day for 18 months, and not eating enough food. It wasn’t the healthiest route, but it worked.

Then I grew new social networks, and spent a few years partying and misbehaving, and I lost the discipline of working out. When the fun stopped, I reverted to the habits that made me large in the first place, and a decade later I was nearly back to my former weight. Thankfully, I put the brakes on then, and I’m fully 50 pounds less than my maximum.

What’s interesting, though, is how different the weight loss is for me this time around. The first time through, I never saw myself clearly when I looked in the mirror. I never experienced a moment when I saw a difference day to day, and I certainly never saw the “finished product”. The person looking back was always this strange amalgam of the huge guy so prevalent in my youth and a small amount of whatever was actually true in the present. When I began to regain the weight, I couldn’t tell day to day. In fact, it would be accurate to say that I was growing back into my own expectations, and so it was easy to allow it to happen. I was realigning externally with my internal self.

The last two years have been transformative, both personally and intellectually. I’ve spent a great deal of time in sober reflection on myself and my life, taking stock of my personal situation, and during the last six months the clouds that obscured my self-assessment suddenly faded away. That’s not to say I don’t have a filter that colours my self-image… but it’s more sepia, and less obstructionist.

Now as the weight drops, I’m noticing it specifically, and somewhat objectively. When I look in the mirror I see the changes every day. I feel the difference simply sitting in a chair, which is something fit people might never understand.

I’ve begun muscle training this week. If I continue noticing each little gain, I’m going to be in a constant state of euphoria. I’ve already worked through a small plateau, which might have derailed me in the past, but that simple change of routinely noticing the small gains made powering through the week trivial. It would be easy to say that I simply aged into my new perspective, but I don’t think that’s true. I did the legwork to get here.

I highly recommend this vantage point. It’s a good place to be.

Cranky

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