I am finally reducing my volume and mass, and all it took was a combination of several events that converged into a resonance cascade of motivation. Let’s examine three big events in three small paragraphs.
One of my demoscene friends, RaD Man, went from being 30+ pounds overweight to running 10K races every weekend in about one year. I know he got a new job in that time, and also got a Wii Fit, but his personal motivation isn’t really important: He did it, and he looks fantastic. He also recently got hit by a drunk driver while he was running — then got up and ran alongside the still-moving car, pounding on the door, until the lady stopped and police could arrive. The twisted moral I take from that story: Don’t get in shape so that you look good for the ladies; get in shape so you can survive getting hit by a fucking car. (BTW, it’s looking like he didn’t break anything, thank goodness.) While I don’t plan on getting hit by a car any time soon, it is an eye-opening reminder of why your health is usually the most important thing you should spend time on.
2009 is the year of my 20-year high school reunion. I still carry emotional/mental/social baggage from high school. Not all of the baggage is bad; a small portion of it is positive and wonderful. But I still want to go to the reunion to gain some closure to that period in my life. While it is unrealistic to think I can look younger than I am, I want to at least look recognizable.
One year ago, my friend Jason Scott took a moment to take a candid picture of me at a very happy moment in my life. I had just arrived to Block Party 2008, and was very happy and excited to be there; I called Melissa to let her know that I had arrived safely and talk about how great the next few days were going to be. Jason is a good photographer, and he had his digital SLR with him. Here’s what he took:
By all measures, this should be a picture I cherish. In reality, I am saddened and depressed every time I look at it. I didn’t recognize this person, and even today I’m not sure I do. I know that sounds melodramatic and stupid; I can see that even as I write the words! But you have to understand that, until I saw that picture, my internal body image was that of me right out of college, fit and decent-looking. It was a bit of a shock to realize that, yes, I was 60 pounds overweight, and my neck fat protruded farther than my chin.
The day I saw that picture (about a month after the event), I stopped gaining weight. In December, I joined Weight Watchers. Today, 3.5 months later, I have lost 20 pounds and continue to lose about one pound a week. Assuming this rate continues, I will be under 190 pounds by the time my high school reunion rolls around, and I can live with that.