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Weight Loss: A Changing of the Guard

INTRODUCTION
I’ve had weight problems for most of my life, but not in the way one would think.

In high school, I had great difficulty gaining weight. I could eat 1,500 calories just for breakfast, then go for more. But I remained so painfully thin.

Approximately 6
A high school convo, where a Scottish woman teaching us about Scottish culture asked for vounteers to wear a kilt. Many consider it akin to wearing a dress. Obviously, I had no problem with that.

But then something happened along the way, as is the case for most people, when my metabolism slowed down. It’s not something you notice right away.

As a result, I ballooned up from about 125 to 280 pounds.


FIRST INSPIRATION TO LOSE WEIGHT
In 1991, I was working 14-hour days, sitting at a desk all day and had been doing so for the past two years. Every day, the “roach coach” would drive up. This guy had snacks, candy, breakfast burritos, and he also showed up with enough money to cash out all of our paychecks, so we could spend more.

I was drinking at least six full Cokes every day, as well as two jumbo-sized Snickers bars, and a full box of Hostess cupcakes. Sure, no normal person should eat like that. I was stress eating at my desk all day. Everyone was.

So, I weight 280 pounds, and the guy who works next to me is in a similar bad state. He’s in the middle of telling me this joke, when he turns blue and falls out of his desk chair. I dialed 911 right away, and he was at the hospital within 15 minutes.

What happened?

The doctor told him that one of his lungs had collapsed. The cure for what ailed him was to stop sitting at the desk so much, get out and exercise.

He and I would show up at the office before sunrise, and we left after dark every day, so the advice made sense.

When my co-worker returned from his stay at the hospital, he went straight to the boss’ office and quit, right on the spot. I was a little shocked, because I wasn’t expecting it. I was sad because I’d miss hanging out with him all day. But I knew it had to be done.

I also knew what I needed to do for myself, because my workload was about to double.

The next day, I walked into the boss’ office and told him that I was quitting. He responded by sliding open his thin executive drawer from his huge desk, pulling out his checkbook and pen, opening it up, looking me in the eye, and declaring, “Give me a number and I’ll make it happen.”

This was the guy who gave me a raise, after one year, of $0.25 per hour. Whoopie.

After he said what he said, I replied, “You just don’t get it, do you, Chuck?”

He was essentially ready to write a big check in exchange for me working myself to death. He knew that I would have worked hard enough that I’d not be able to cash that check.

I walked out.


GETTING HEALTHY THE FIRST TIME
The day I quit that job was the same day that a Karate instructor rented a space in a special area in my apartment complex. It was supposed to be a community center, but he turned it into a dojo.

I went down and told him about my situation. He encouraged me to sign up.

I got my butt kicked for a year, and got up to 3rd level purple belt, before taking things up to the next level to train to become a police officer. At the time, I was very naive about the police, what they did, who they were, and other details. I actually believed that they protected society.

I was not so bright back then.

The day of the physical test had arrived. The test involved doing 20 pushups in one minute, 20 situps in one minute, 10 pullups, and running 1.5 miles.

All of these activities get you points.

We pair off, and I am ready to do my push-ups. I have been training for a full year, so NOTHING was going to stop me.

Before I was finished with the first pushup, the instructor supervising called at me, “STOP! Your chest touched the ground!”

I told him that it did not, and he took me around the corner to explain the situation to me.

“You see that woman over there? She’s not going to do well on anything arm-related. But women only need 80 points to pass, so she will get her points by running the 1.5 miles in under 9 minutes.”

He continued.

“And that black guy? He only needs 70 points to pass. Hes’ going to get all of his points in his arm work, and then WALK the 1.5 miles.”

He finished with ME.

“As for you, as a white man, out of a possible 100 points, you must score 105 points. We give the extra 5 points if you’re a veteran of Desert Storm, and I can tell by looking at you that you’re not a veteran of anything.”

He ended that shit conversation by telling me that I’d be able to apply again after one year. I didn’t want to wait one year, so I asked him about LAPD.

“Yea, you can get into LAPD…. if you’re a crippled lesbian Asian woman… HAHAHAHHAAHHAAAA!”

And that was when I realized the true nature of the police, and never revisited that idea, ever again.


GAINING WEIGHT BACK
I got myself another office job. It was a horrific place where I suffered a great deal of emotional abuse from my boss. I stayed there 5.5 years. At the time, things between me and my future ex-wife were also really bad, and highly abusive toward me.

As a result, I gained a great deal of weight.

The 90s were very ugly in general, so I won’t spend too much time here. It was dysfunctional and destructive. At least I didn’t get up to 280 again, and stayed around 245.

When I escaped the clutches of my ex-wife, I fled to Texas, where I lived with a woman for a few months. During that time, I had home-cooked meals and NO access to fast food or junk food.

I left her after two months, moving back to California to get resituated with my mother. By the time I was ready to leave and get my own place again in Hollywood, I had somehow managed to get all the way down to 183.

This would not last very long.

Spending lots of time being either unemployed or under-employed, I had lots of stress eating in my time. Junk that was easy was all I would eat.

I wasn’t eating very often, though, so it sort of balanced out? But junk is junk and it still does damage.

By 2005, I had gotten up to around 220-225.

Mid-2005: At Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA, taking a break from working at MySpace.

It wasn’t my worst, but it was about to get worse. I dedicated myself to MySpace, working at least 12-hour days, 7 days per week. I was also drumming in 3 bands AND filling in with a few others, AND I’d have my son over for weekends.

High stress, low exercise, and once again I had money to spend on junk. There was also FREE JUNK in the kitchen! We even had a machine to make Margaritas.

Behold! The MySpace Margarator!

The MySpace HQ would move from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills, which would be the final nail in my diabetic coffin. There was NOWHERE to walk to for eating. There was a MySpace cafeteria, but they served dishes consisting mainly of bread or pasta, both of which are not good long-term.

This was where I developed Type 2 Diabetes by 2008, but I would not find a competent doctor to diagnose it until 2016. Between those years, I thought that I was just slowly losing my mind.

In 2011, I got hired at Lynda.com, where we had a great cafeteria, and yet I was still gaining weight because I had started eating poorly at home, plopping in front of the TV and wolfing down a whole box of ice cream sandwiches.

I also made bad decisions, one of which was helping a “friend” who claimed to have cancer, but was lying. I would pay my bills and then send her every single penny. I found out 9 months later she was lying. I had lost a great deal of weight by not eating much.

Late 2013: I had been sending her money for weeks, and already showed signs of weight loss.

Of course, finding out it was a scam threw me into a state of depression. I would stay in this horrible state from mid-2014, up until just a matter of months ago. The better part of 8 years was where my depression ran amok, in spite of having help from professionals.

This time, nothing was bouncing back easily. I will not be taking you down this road. Long story short over these 8 years, the best I could do with regard to weight loss was to get to 240-245.


MORE RECENT YEARS
I would sit at 245 for the longest time. Earlier this year, I had a plan that I called “The Snickers Diet.” What this involved was attempting to eat healthfully, but the only snacks I could ever have was Fun Size Snickers.

According to a health website, I could eat 3 of these every day. So I started doing that, cutting out ALL OTHER junk snacks. No more ice cream from a tub or anything unmeasured by someone else.

3 Fun Size Snickers. It would be measured adn consistent. And I’d not be denying myself.

In recent months, the weight started dropping off. I was at about 235 the last time I went to see my doctor. We talked about the weight loss, and I told him about my Snickers diet.

He said, “Makes sense. The goal is to regulate, measure, and take in fewer calories than you utilize.”

Cool! My Snickers diet was approved by my doctor. He liked the idea that I was sticking with ONE snack, that it was measured, and that I knew precisely what I was eating.

In recent months, the weight started dropping, even though I didn’t add any significant exercise to my routine. I will, however, break up my time sitting at the desk by going to play with Tibo Bat. He brings toys to the desk all the time, so I stand up and play, or throw a ball, before going back to the desk.

It works for both of us.

The pounds started dropping, so I started weighing myself every morning, after visiting the restroom and before getting dressed or drinking any water. I wanted to weight myself — and only ME — not my shoes, clothes, or anything I’ve consumed.


WEIGHT LOSS GOAL
I do have a goal in mind, and that goal is to get down to 183, which was what I weight in mid-1999 when I returned to LA. I really liked how I looked and felt at that weight. But we’ll see how things go.


MAJOR CHANGES
I started noticing that I couldn’t eat as much as I used to eat. With Type 2 Diabetes, one is tasked with eating 5 small meals per day. I’ve noticed the size of these shrinking significantly.

My stomach feels tighter internally, as if I ‘ve done situps.

But something interesting has happened in the past week. I have lost cravings for things like cheese. I also have not had a Fun Size Snickers in about five days. As I write this, I have a coffee container full of them, and I have NO interest in eating them. The idea of eating them feels disgusting.


MY CURRENT STATE
As I write this, I have reached a major milestone in my weight loss journey.

Taken on the morning of November 4, 2022.

Yesterday, I decided to put on a shirt that was too tight to wear, to see how it fit.

Wearing my Jerry Maguire Video Store t-shirt. It has to be THE most dysfunctional romantic movie of all time. It’s a long story that I may tell again someday.

I had also pulled out my Kung Fury jacket, which I had purchased in 2016 to support the making of the movie. Even though it’s XXL, I could barely put it on without being afraid of ripping the shoulders out, AND I could not zip it up.

April 22, 2016: Excited that I just got the jacket, but privately bummed out that I can’t fit in it very well, and can’t even zip it up.

Here’s how Kung Fury fits now!

True Survivor!

IN THE END
All of my clothes are now falling off me, which is a neat thing, but it also tells me I will need to find some smaller clothes.

I am currently trying to sell this Kung Fury jacket for $500 [Only 1,000 were made], to try to help finance that. It’s listed passively on Facebook Marketplace, but message me if you’re interested. I also have my PayPal donation link at the bottom of almost every entry here on my blog.

All of this weight loss reminds me… in 2005, a guy I worked with named Tom B. told me that if I could get below 200 pounds, that he would give up cigarettes. I’m 17 years late, but maybe I need to send him a message.


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

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Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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