Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking Kyle

Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 3 months since my last blog.

We decided to go for a walk the other day. Me, my wife, and my three girls headed out after a nice dinner together. It wasn’t a really long walk, just around the neighborhood and back home. About 100 yards from home, my four year old decides that its just too much for her, and wanted to be carried the rest of the way. Shame on us for not putting her in a stroller in the first place.

I picked her up and threw her on my back. As we continued walking, I realized that she was a lot heavier than I had anticipated and she started to weigh me down. By the time we made it home, I was pooped.

I began to consider how amazing this was. This little girl weighs about 30 pounds. Less than half of what I have lost over the last 5 months. I couldn’t imagine what it would have felt like to have two of her strapped to my back while trekking up the hill to my house. It would have killed me. But that IS what I had on me. All that weight that I lost equaled more than two of her. I seriously don’t know how I did it.

For those of you who are unaware, I have been on a diet. Actually, not really a diet, but more of a change of lifestyle. It’s amazing how just a few modifications to my daily routine have made such a difference. I’ve been doing simple things, like eating breakfast, and not going back for thirds on the lasagna. Hell, I don’t even go back for seconds anymore. On top of the eating change, I’ve also added a few changes to my activity, such as walking and light exercise.

So far, I have been successful in my quest to better myself. There have been a few side effects though. For one, none of my clothes fit. I have a hell of a time trying to figure out what to wear to work everyday. I’m sure I look real professional when I have to wear one of my “fat guy” shirts and pants that are cinched up like the top of a potato sack. I did eventually buy a few new shirts and inherited a few from my dad that didn’t fit him anymore.

Another interesting side effect is my balance. For years, my back has had to compensate for the heavy protrusion off the front of me. No, not that. My gut. Now that its all but gone, I believe my back thinks its still there, so I have to try really hard not to stumble when I am moving around quickly.

There have been some good side effects too. I went to an amusement park with my kids earlier this summer, and I could actually pull the bars down to hold me in. I finally got to enjoy a roller coaster without thinking I was going to fly out around a sharp bend. Trust me, if you think roller coasters are scary, try riding them without the proper restraints. There were some rides that prior to my weight loss, I could not get on at all. This is no longer the case.

The icing on the cake for me was this past weekend. One of my cousins was getting married, and this was an opportunity to show off the “new look” to family members who have not seen me in a while. It was fitting that the theme to the wedding was “Disney Princess”, because I felt slightly like the Beast who turned into the Prince. But what should I wear?

My first thought was to try on my old suit. Hmmm. I’ll describe to you how that looked. Go rent the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks, fast forward to the very end when he turns back into a kid and is walking home. That’s me. Damn.

Luckily, my wife has been enjoying herself shopping for clothing for me. I think she’s treating me like a 6 foot Ken doll, except a bit more correct in the anatomy region. I came hope on that Friday before the wedding to discover that she had bought me a new suit, shirt, tie, the whole shebang. It was all black. I tried it on. Wow. Other than the pants, it fit and looked great. We swapped out the pants that night and I was good to go. While I had the whole get-up on, I grabbed my cowboy hat and threw it on. It was perfect. Several Johnny Cash and “Man in Black” jokes were made. But I didn’t care. I loved it.

The day of the wedding, I wore the hat into church, just for the effect, and then put it back in the car. I was content with making a fun entrance, but didn’t want to be annoying. While I was outside putting the hat back in the car, one of my cousins rolled in. I waved to him. He gave me an odd look while he was parking the car. I wasn’t sure why. Later he told me that he had no idea who I was and didn’t recognize me at all. This felt good.

All in all, it was an amazing wedding. The bride looked great, all the men looked dapper in their penguin suits, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. There was drinking, dancing, laughing, drinking, eating, more drinking, and more dancing. A beautiful night. I used to feel self-conscious about being out on the dance floor in front of everyone. I always thought of myself as a giant wrecking ball flying around knocking down the other dancers. Not this time. I was strutting my stuff like I was 17 and back in high school. After the wedding, as I walked out to the car, my suit jacket thrown over my shoulder, a cigarette in my mouth, and my woman on my arm, I felt like a million dollars.

Its not over yet. I will continue on with this trend in my life. I still haven’t quite reached my weight goal, and I still have my smoking to deal with. It’ll happen. I know it will. I had fun at that wedding like I hadn’t had in almost 15 years. It wouldn’t have been that way 5 months ago. That there is enough incentive to continue. When I finally do reach my weight goal, I am going to assemble it all together and create my own weight loss system and put Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers out of business. I’m looking for “testers” if anyone is interested.

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