My Public Humiliation

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It has recently come to my attention that I am morbidly obese. 

The official pronouncement came yesterday, seconds after I heaved myself onto the bathroom scale after a long lull between weigh-ins.

If truth be told, I had suspected as much when I sat to have a photo taken for my new book, Saints and Poets, Maybe. The photographer just couldn't seem to make me look chiseled.

Funny thing is, in the same way that in my mind I’m still the lithe, blond-haired, heartthrob I once was, I don’t see myself as fat. Except when I try to rise from a squat, tie my shoelaces, or actually see my belt buckle—or anything below it—without the help of a full-length mirror.

I know, I know. I can count on the fleshy fingers of one hand the recognized causes of most of our modern-day health problems:

  1. Obesity
  2. Lack of exercise
  3. Insufficient sleep
  4. Stress
  5. Alcohol

I acknowledge all of them as players in my still-unfolding life.

My many years in management at IBM taught me a lot about motivation. Most important, that motivation cannot be instilled—it must well up from within.

Right now, humiliation seems to be my greatest motivator. That’s why I display the photo above.

I am determined to return to the 170-pound stud-muffin of yore. Not to attract the ladies, but to be once again the self I really am.

Many years ago, in the first years of a happy marriage, I gained sixty pounds. That was more of me than my wide-eyed bride had bargained for, so I shed the poundage.

Here’s my plan to return to a proper weight: days of abstaining from food alternating with days of small, healthy meals to keep my metabolism from believing me to be starving. In other words, abstaining Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are meal days—with Sunday for splurging. This is just what I did years ago to lose sixty pounds.

The “meal day” menu will be very routine and repetitive. This way, I don’t have to think about what to have as my next meal. No temptations to eat something off-plan. I simply eat without thinking about it, having prepared much of it ahead of time—on Saturday.

Here’s what I must keep telling myself in the months ahead: "I once lost 60 pounds . . . I ran the New York City marathon . . . I know how to do this, dammit . .  . I can, I will!"

Forget about bon appétit. Wish me luck.

(The photo was taken two weeks ago for my new book. It’s called Saints and Poets, Maybe, and will be out early next year. OMG, I’m yuge!)


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  • commented 2016-12-11 22:26:05 -0500
    170 eh? That is a good goal, but I am worried about your three days “off.” But you are a man of strong will, so you will succeed. I am approaching low 170s as I write (though I just polished off some scallops and shrimp (oops… sorry) Of course, you know why I have also lost 5 inches of height – NOT a solid plan for losing weight for sure. Moe and I would love to see you in the new year – have you over for a tidbit or two. I guess that might be best on a Sunday, eh? Later, Bill
  • commented 2016-12-11 20:47:32 -0500
    you can do this!!
  • commented 2016-12-10 19:37:53 -0500
    Good luck….
  • commented 2016-12-10 18:44:55 -0500
    I’m fully confident that you will do it!
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  • commented 2016-12-10 08:02:43 -0500
    Best of luck!