A picture, it seems, really is worth more than 1,000 words.
For better or worse, the picture at the right is me. The other picture was me perhaps 15 years ago. I don’t remember exactly when the old picture was taken. My wife found it this weekend while she was going through some of her things.
I needed to see it.
You see, about 15 years ago or so, I tipped the scales at 360 pounds, the heaviest I’ve ever weighed. Since then, I’ve whittled away a little at a time. Sometimes my weight has bounced up and down, but I’ve never eaten my way back to 360.
Still, I’ve been really frustrated lately with my inability to reach and maintain my goal weight. To do this would mean finally resolving my issue with food, the thing to which I turn whenever I feel angry, anxious, sad, stressed or frustrated. It can be a vicious circle.
Adding to this frustration is the fact that my blood pressure has crept up. It’s just high enough — and has consistently stayed there long enough — that my doctor is going to want me to start taking meds the next time I see him. I’m sure of it.
My inability to fix this myself really angers me, which only makes me want to eat more. And not being able to stop this kind of emotional eating — even when I know I’m doing it — frustrates me even more.
But seeing this old picture was a good reminder of good changes:
- First of all, why didn’t someone — before I finally figured it out on my own — sit me down and say: Chris, buy some clippers and shave off what’s left of your hair. It will look better. It can’t look worse. Trust us.
- That beard didn’t look nearly as good as I thought it did.
More importantly, the Chris in the red shirt couldn’t have ridden a bicycle 100 miles in a day or 3,000 miles in a summer. He wouldn’t have even tried. He was a pretty sedentary guy.
If nothing else, that is no longer true. As I write this, my butt and shoulders are sore from the weights I lifted Saturday, which included:
- Bench press — 3 sets of five repetitions with 205 pounds.
- Squats — 3 sets of five repetitions with 225 pounds.
- Dead lifts — 3 sets of five repetitions with 225 pounds.
Today, I led an indoor cycling class at the Muscatine Community Y. Monday, I will lead a group fitness class.
It’s hard to know where you want to go if you forget where you’ve been. I needed the reminder of that old picture. It will help motivate me to keep going forward. And to never give up.
The alternatives aren’t pretty.