I’ve decided to share my latest book (The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man) with my followers here, free of charge, one chapter at a time. So… Where were we on this read-along… Oh, yes…
Chapter 25: The Day the Scale Simply Said… “O.L.”
It will be difficult for me to ever forget the day I stepped onto ye glorious bathroom scale and instead of a number, it simply read, “OL.”
What OL meant, I didn’t know. I do know that it appeared when I finally tipped the scales at 350 lbs.
Did it mean over the limit? Over-load? Out of luck? OFF LARD-ASS!
Three and a half bills.
Three hundred and fifty pounds.
I weighed so much that even my high-capacity scale was being a jerk to me about it.
Up until that moment, I had always been able to rationalize my fatness.
There wasn’t much I could do about it.
My family had terrible fat genes. Just about everyone in my entire family and in my extended family fell somewhere between chubby and manatee. This included the ones who had run marathons in the past and who had lived the occasional lifestyle of steadfast fitness. Yes, it was my genes. It had to be. And the proof was there, so long as I didn’t count Eric, who had always been so annoyingly fit and skinny. Or those one cousins who somehow had missed the bad gene memo.
I also was trapped in a society that gave me no choice but to be fat. It wasn’t my fault they had fast food on every corner. Nor was it my fault that technology had pushed my generation into sedentary sit-around all day jobs. And let’s not forget that with the day and age we live in, people just have to work 60-80 hours a week to even make it anymore. There was no time for exercise, and the proof was there. So long as I conveniently never noticed my still very fit office chums or the healthier choices that were being offered at these fast food restaurants I liked to frequent.
Between the fat genes theory and society, I had my own guilt taken care of.
Plus, everyone likes big jolly fat guys, so why change? We’re the life of the party. We are the funniest ones in the room. We are sweet and good for empathetic hugs and funny dancing.
I stood on the scale that day and stared at it for a good two minutes. I didn’t like those two giant ugly letters staring back at me.
Maybe it was a glitch. I stepped off and back on again. “OL.”
I stepped off again and this time just put one foot on the scale. 57 lbs. It’s working. Damn it.
I suddenly felt the weight of my bad health decisions like never before. Strangely, no pun intended.
I didn’t know how I got to 350 lbs. I never had to know because no one ever has to know how they get there. The road to morbid obesity is paved with hundreds of diets and thousands of good intentions. The formula for life-threatening corpulence compounds with just one poor decision and one extra pound at a time. One bad decision at a time. And I know from doing it that it’s incredibly easy to rationalize that one extra pound or that one bad decision, every single time. The easiest and truest words quite possibly may be, “well, one pound is easy enough to take off. No big deal.”
I really believe that I lost thousands of pounds to finally push the scale so far into the ground that it groaned. I was the champion of weight loss. I was the fount of all exercise and fitness knowledge.
Fat people usually are.
I promise you, few groups of people on this earth have studied health and fitness the way fat people have. Few groups of people have studied exercise and diet the way fat people have. Few groups of people know more about what it takes to be healthy or to lose weight than all the fat people have.
If you want to know how to be in the best shape and best health of your life, go ask a really fat person how to do it, and do what they tell you to do.
Don’t ask a skinny person who has never known what it is like to publicly declare that Old Navy must have changed the way they size their clothes because you know you haven’t gained two inches since the last time you went in. Skinny people don’t know much about it at all. It’s like asking a coal miner how to sky dive. You just don’t do that…