I’ve never been under any illusion. I’m overweight.
Even in high school when I was much thinner than I am now there were enough older kids calling me “big guy” to banish any illusion that I was just a bit hefty. I’ve accepted this and have moved on with my life, at peace with my body image.
I got used to buying jeans with a 40 sized waist and having to get them hemmed because the legs are too long. I got used to buying XL t-shirts and was bracing myself for the eventual move up to XXL which seemed to be coming one day soon.
I got used to dealing with people who would point out that I was overweight.
Doctors mentioning it was to be expected, and appreciated. I know it’s not healthy to be obese, but given that I don’t notice any day-to-day negative effects it’s hard to get myself motivated.
Colleagues or casual acquaintances were too polite to mention it, but I took the chummy “hey big guy” to be less flattering than it may have seemed. (If I was a taller man then I might take it to refer to something other than my weight, but nobody has ever called a 5’8” man “big guy”).
The internet has no such filter. It does not feel the need for coded language or for being polite. I got used to dealing with people pointing out that I was fat, and that I was probably going to die an early death (they hoped) due to being fat.
Though I did have the impulse to stop a few Twitch streams and give the trolls a Roxanne style lesson on how to improve the quality of their weight-based insults I instead simply ignored it. The fact is I was doing something awesome, and getting paid for it.
It’d be a romantic and cliched narrative turn if I said that having a son made me finally consider making a healthy change and lower my weight. In truth I simply gained more weight as I had less time for physical activity.
As both my home life and work got busier and I was working ten hours a day at Relic then driving home to play with Oliver for a few hours. If Lydia and I got to catch an hour of television together before bed we were lucky.
Less time. More work.
And so I gained more weight. A constant nouveau enfant lack of sleep did nothing to help my weight control.
So I got fatter.
Eventually I had a stressful period at work, one where I went a week without being able to focus my mind on anything but work. Included in the things that I began to ignore to turn over work events in my mind was food, and so I lost ten pounds in the course of the week.
No legitimate diet recommends simply not eating to kickstart a weight-loss regime, but as I came out the other side and began to be able to think about things other than work I decided to take advantage of the lost pounds and keep it going.
This coincided with my starting to walk to work to save money on parking and gas.
I’m still obese.
I’m still a “big guy” for those too polite to call me fat.
But I’m working on it.