Wednesday, February 17, 2016


What is my weight loss goal? How will I know once I'm finally in shape?

Again, I picture how things were when I was 15. I know cannot reasonably expect to be in that kind of shape again. I've done myself a few injuries which make it unlikely. I've taken on a few responsibilities I refuse to ignore, because I've set a few goals which are linked to dreams I refuse to give up.

And so I think of it like this.

All my life I was taller than anyone my age. I didn't have a growth spurt which put me over the top - I just had a head start. For a 5th grade class assignment we measured everyone's height; that's how I learned I was 5'8" (I was ten years old). Similar events lead to someone measuring my height about once a year, so I know that I grew at a steady pace of two inches a year . . . until the age of 14, when I hit 6'4". That was the age I stopped growing for a while.

Texas high school football is no joke. Because of my height advantage the coaches decided the best place for me was on the line, and linemen are further required to bulk up as much as possible. One coach gave me a specific weight gaining diet to follow (not that I was thin to begin with, mind you), and they had me weight training six days a week in the off season. I don't know how much muscle I gained, but I still bear a six inch patch of stretch marks from the inside of each bicep toward my chest.

Some years later I learned that such weight training can divert the body's resources away from growing height and into growing muscle. This explains why I stopped getting taller just as I started bulking up, about 4 years before most people stop growing. I consider myself lucky; life at my height is frequently uncomfortable, awkward, and inconvenient as it is. If I grew to be the 6'8" or 6'9" the doctors predicted… well.

Besides, I do enjoy the irony of being 6'5" and having stunted my growth.

When I was in high school sports I was weighed obsessively. Every August brought Two-A-Days for the football team (practice from 7-10:30 am, and again from 4-7:30 pm, for two weeks). We were required to log our weight before and after every practice, presumably so the coaches could identify drastic changes as a warning sign that someone was about to drop dead, so maybe ease up. Wrestling season had me weigh in for tournaments twice a week before every meet and tournament. This is how I know I never weighed more than 210 pounds in those days.

These days I tend to hover around 270. Somewhere between that ages of 18 and 22 I gained an inch of height, but I lost a lot of muscle mass since I don't lift like I used to, and haven't in years. So when anyone tells me "muscle weighs more than fat," the first thing I hear is You could easily stand to lose about 70 pounds.

Is that my goal? Well, no. If all I wanted to do was see a lower number on the scale, I could just cut my fucking legs off. Yes, the only statistic I post on my daily photo is what the scale reports, but that doesn't mean that's the only thing I'm tracking.

No comments:

Post a Comment