A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more

Sickly? Really?



An Interesting Question


I was asked today if there was anything I would do differently on my Journey now that I am approaching my goal weight of 210 pounds. I had no answer as I spoke with this friend and co-worker. I said I would have to think about it for a bit and get back to them. I am still thinking about it. I am not really sure.

I think I might have started earlier if I had known that I really could do this. But then, maybe I started at just the right time, the time when I was truly ready to start the Journey..

I know that I had many starts and stops along the way, times when I was “trying” to lose weight. I would lose ten, gain it right back, chalk it up to “not able to lose weight”.

I don’t know, I guess I need to ponder that question a bit longer….

I know I do not regret making this Journey. I certainly have enjoyed it more than not. It has been troubling at times, frightening at times, exasperating at times, it has been lonely at times.

Mostly though, I have found it exhilarating, fascinating, exciting and enlightening.

The Journey is nowhere near the end. I have many years (I hope) to go in the life and on this Journey, so much more to learn, to do, to experience.

3 pounds to the goal. A lifetime to stay there.

Not Riding….

I think that this is the most frustrating time for me. Not because I am three pounds away from my goal weight and it is so close yet feels like miles… No, I am sure I will get there and then some more.. It is frustrating for me because for the first time since I started this Journey being active is difficult. I walked the dog tonight and it was a chore coming up the hill. The knee hurt and I just hated the discomfort and the feeling that if I was not very careful I could do more damage to the knee.

I am frustrated that two long bike rides I had planned are coming up and I will only be able to volunteer, not ride. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the volunteers and I am grateful that they are there. I just wish I wasn’t one of them and was instead in the ride. My dreams of riding a century ride (100 miles) this Autumn are dashed now.



Still I am pleased that the weight continues to come off and that I am not comforting myself by stuffing myself.

No I don’t

I was told today that I look sickly. I don’t think so. I think I look healthy. I know I look healthy. I suppose when your frame of reference is the old fat me then my thinner appearance most be jarring to the senses.

Still… Sickly?


Yes I do, but I didn’t know I didn’t

A lady with whom I work lost 120 pounds 6 years ago and has kept it off. She looks great and she runs 5-K races and bikes and hikes.. We chat about weight loss and I find her insights to be of great value as she has lived the Journey and has continued to live it for 6 years now. She has been tremendously supportive of my efforts.

She said something today in relating her experiences that really struck home. People say to her all the time, as they do to me, “you must feel great”. In chatting about this we realized we both feel the same way about that. Well, yes I do feel great, but I didn’t know I didn’t feel good.


See the thing is this… The weight loss is gradual. I know it doesn’t seem that way, losing 92+ pounds in 218 days seems fast, but to the body it is gradual. So there is no sudden “WOW I FEEL GREAT” moment to the weight loss. Nor was there a “GEE I FEEL LOUSY” moment to the weight gain.

It took much longer to gain the weight than it has taken to lose it so the adjustments for a larger me happened more gradually, almost imperceptibly. It didn’t happen “one day”. It happened over the course of years… Over time things just became more difficult, less comfortable, less enjoyable. Accommodations develop over time. I started sleeping more on my side, then never on my back and always on my side. Then I started sleeping with a pillow under my belly because it supported the gut and made it more comfortable to sleep.


I started walking more slowly over time, not suddenly one day… I gave up some activities because they were more difficult… Some of this one attributes to age, most of it just slowly changes and you don’t even realize that you have altered the way you live, that little bits of life are gone.

The weight loss has been much faster of course and yes I did noticed some changes happening over time. I realized I was sleeping on my back again about 4 months ago. I discovered I had discarded the extra pillow a month before that. I found I didn’t have to put my foot up on a drawer to tie my shoes anymore about 4 months ago as well, and I found I could cross my legs easily about two months ago. There have been dozens of these.

It has all been gradual, incremental. Little bits of life restored. Inconsequential when taken as separate items. Truly monumental (to me) when taken in sum.

Yes I do feel great. The surprising thing is I didn’t realize then how un-great I felt. Only in retrospect, in the rear view mirror, can I see the dozens of little things that made life uncomfortable, painful, inconvenient…

Now, as the weight approaches my goal and I am reasonably fit, I can appreciate how far I have come. It gives greater strength to my resolve to never need to travel this part of the Journey again.


8 thoughts on “Sickly? Really?

  1. I think the ‘sickly’ comment might be more a reflection of how out-of-touch our culture is from what healthy is, looks like, feels like, should be – rather than a commentary on what you look like. You look fantastic. You just don’t look like 68% of the rest of Americans. http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/

  2. “3 pounds to the goal. A lifetime to stay there.”

    The truest words I have read today! Thanks.

  3. You are such an inspiration!

  4. Reblogged this on A Promise to Dad and commented:
    What an inspirational post.
    Never expect immediate changes. Be patient and keep plugging away!

  5. I have lost 111 pounds this past year (met my goal in May) and have maintained it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails from friends and family telling me I was “sickly”, “too thin”, “need to cut out the weight loss”… frustrating, but you keep going because you know what your weight should be.
    Congrats to you!!! The next 3 pounds are the hardest, but they will come off. What a marvelous journey 🙂

    • Fantastic to hear about your weight loss!!! I have dropped another 8/10th of a pound and I am now only 2.2 pounds from the goal. Ultimatley I am aiming for 200 pounds but 210is the goal I am aiming for now!

      • That is awesome! I know you’ll reach your goal! My “true weight” from Dr. Dukan was 165. I thought my weight should be 145, so I compromised at 155. I was 146 this morning 🙂 Even though I met my goal in May, I continued to lose… I’ve maintained 144 – 148 for 9 weeks now.

  6. Mark, I love your comments in this blog about how the weight gain took longer than the weight loss. That is the truth for me and so many others. I think it brings hope to others who feel tired and overweight. It is REALLY much easier to lose it than public opinion tells us. GO FOR IT! We can help! We did it and we know how much better we feel and life is because of it!! Terrinsb@gmail.com Terri Nelligan Strange-Boston 804.852.6685

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