It’s been over 6 months since I was no longer officially obese. I can confidently say that I haven’t gained a pound of fat and I haven’t returned to any of my former habits. I haven’t eaten inflammatory grains for over 9 months. It’s been over 20 months since I’ve eaten any refined carbohydrates, sugar, fried foods and many other things I have decided to never consume again due to addiction.
I can say today, more than ever that obesity in my life is gone never to return. Obesity is dead to me. And today I write its Eulogy.
Obesity and I first met at a very young age. I first realized that he and I had become tight (maybe loose is more appropriate) in first grade. I wasn’t able to run as fast and play as long as the other kids in my class. Whenever I had a hard day at school, I knew that I could retreat into the comforts of obese living. And I loved him because he always had Doritos (my first word as a toddler, not a joke).
I would never blame my parents for my weight, but I lived in a house where leftovers were always present in the refrigerator. And my parents, like I unfortunately do now in my home, always cooked foods that my brother and I enjoyed. We weren’t picky eaters but we knew what we liked and looking back now, anything that wasn’t breaded, deep fried, pasta, salted or sugared wasn’t something I wanted often. We ate out frequently and learned to order what we liked and that there is always more bread in the kitchen to refill the baskets on the table. Leftovers were always a trip to the fridge and 90 seconds in the microwave away from being inhaled eaten.
We loved having ice cream together. Late at night, my parents asleep, I’d make my way to the freezer, pull out a half gallon and a spoon and I’d start to chow down. To make things quicker and easier to consume, I’d even microwave the ice cream for 15 seconds or so to make it easy to eat faster. I would make the microwave stop at 1 second so that no one would wake up from the beeping. I would eat out of the carton because I thought that if I ate it without creating a dish, no one would know. I believed that no one would find my friend and I were sneaking out late together.
I knew the world wouldn’t approve of how close we had become. We were soulmates and although he may be rough on others and even kill some older folks we were good for each other. He loved me and would always be there for me. He had never kept me from anything I really wanted to do (running is lame anyway, right?).
It wasn’t long before the thing that gets in the way of all friendships happened: I had a crush on a girl. It was 7th grade and I was completely smitten. Obesity didn’t understand, I mean, how could he? I lived under the faulty logic that I could have a girlfriend and stay tight with my homie.
It was at a camp in 8th grade when my admiration was made known to my crush. There was some event which I only vaguely recall now wherein a play was performed to make teenagers, raging with hormones and drama realize that they could be nice to each other. For one evening, the jocks, the nerds, the socs, and everything in between were friends.
I remember the girls all crying. At some point in this night, I realized that the girl I was enamored with was in love with my other best friend. The one who refused to be seen anywhere with Obesity alone, preferring instead other friends like 6 Pack Abs and Athleticism. It is unfair to say that she didn’t want to be around me only because of Obesity, but as close as he and I were it didn’t help matters.
It was a not long after, that we had our first falling out when my Dad and I started Weight Watchers together. Obesity wasn’t welcome in those meetings (Those weight watcher people are real bigots against folks like him). I trimmed down and started playing baseball (turned out I still sucked even thin). The compliments were constant and the recognition was fun. Eventually though, my dad quit and I stopped going after hitting my goal weight.
My Weight Watcher friends were gone and the recognition stopped. Gone also were the journals, the food plans and the hobby of baseball (seriously, I sucked). Where could I turn? My friend found his way back into my life through our mutual friends, Ben & Jerry. Obesity forgave me for ditching him and we became as close as ever.
We partied together hard for the next many years. Like all great partying friends, it probably hurt me physically. My blood pressure was borderline high and I snored like a lion roaring in the jungle. Eventually, the doctors said that because of our friendship, I had to sleep with a mask just to get a decent night’s rest because my body didn’t want to breathe. They warned me that if I didn’t cut off our relationship, Obesity was going to lead to me suffering from diabetes, amputations, heart attacks, stroke and early death. In other words, Obesity had gone from a comforting friend to someone that was going to kill me. Looking back, I’m pretty sure he was jealous because I had eventually gotten in serious relationships and he hated the way girls judged our relationship.
Sometimes I think back on the homies Del Taco and 2 Pound Bowl of Pasta that he used to bring over to my house to get me through the rough times. I haven’t seen them in years but I’m really enjoying my new friends like Nose Breathing and Regular Size clothing. Heck it turns out that Running and I even patched up our differences and hang out once in a while. High Blood Pressure is long gone and I hope to rid myself of the machine eventually.
I still think of him and the late nights together when I look in the mirror and see the loose skin hanging off what has become budding muscles. I wonder if he thinks of me. I know he’d welcome me back, but it turns out that some friends are just bad for us.
I’m sorry old chap. I should never have entertained you. You came in like a friend who just wanted to crash on the couch for a few nights and ends up needing to be evicted.
Rest in peace now, because we will never see each other again.
And if I see you in the life of my loved ones, I will always be ready to help them be rid of you the way that I am rid of you. Because I want them to know that it wasn’t until you left, I got closer with the cool kids I always wanted to hang out with: Health, Happiness, Bench Press, Squat and Self Love.
Oh, and don’t get me started on how great it feels to hang out with the Admiration of others. The benefits… well, we should stay reverent as this is a Eulogy.
Goodbye, and Good Riddance old chap. I hope you burn in health eternally.