Yet another holiday season is upon us, and again I reminisce about the joy this brought me as a super heavyweight back in the day. So many indulgent treats to help succeed in my quest to gain mass and strength. This holiday season will be much different than those years, or even my past couple. This holiday season I am at an eighteen-year low in bodyweight. In fact, I'm within 10 pounds of my bodyweight during my very first meet. This took a great deal of hard work, which I will not sabotage, but at the same time, I'm not going to completely deny myself either. During this season I just can’t seem to help but reflect on last year and my days as a super heavyweight. It leaves me thinking, laughing, and happy about the good, the bad, and the ugly!
It is hard to say what I miss most about being a super heavyweight during this season. The food and goodies top that list, but if I'm being specific, I have to go with eggnog and white fudge covered Oreos. Of so many awesome treats and foods, these are still ones I have trouble turning down. It is currently the last day of November and I have not had any eggnog at all. I did break down and have a box of white fudge covered Oreos. I had full intentions of making that box last a few nights, but instead, it lasted one. Instead of my normal and honest approach of sitting down to eat the whole box, I tried to only take a few at a time. You could say continuing to get back up to grab three more at a time burned some of those calories off. My dad theorized that this is a good thing — just do it and be done. I will go with that; makes sense to me! Usually by this time I have had gallons of eggnog and boxes of those damn little white cookies. It would be so easy to do this again this year, but I am really looking forward to cracking into the 270s with weight loss so I focus on that goal.
The most amusing thoughts from this holiday season are when the memories eventually turn to thinking about how different I am this season than in years past. We are talking about a time I would easily drink half a gallon of tasty eggnog and down a whole box of the damn white fudge covered Oreos after a huge dinner. Currently, I am down from an all-time high of 397 pounds and long-time competitive weight of 385 pounds. I now weigh 285 pounds. I am down from wearing 5XL shirts to a weight where I can fit into 2XL shirts but usually still wear 3XL (I hate tight clothes).
I am wearing a 38 to 40-inch waist in pants down from a size so large I don't even remember it because I gave up wearing pants back then. I seem to remember some 46 or 48-inch pants, but it was always the legs that were the problem. I still chuckle every time I see myself in the mirror and, believe it or not, I noticed I actually have a neck again. This is probably what allowed me to get off my CPAP and disqualifies me as being huge (by my own rules). This physical change has not happened overnight, but when I stop to really recognize it, it is just crazy! My day-to-day life has even changed because of this.
These changes start first thing in the morning. I no longer have to do any stretches before my morning poo. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I cramped up trying to wipe my own ass. Even getting right out of bed I can reach everything easily. This may seem like a small thing, but anyone who has cramped up on the shitter knows how bad that sucks! Trying to get the cramping muscles to relax so you can finally finish the job at hand is beyond frustrating. Along with this line of thinking, it is also incredible to not be pooing six to seven times a day — not to mention how sore your bum gets wiping that much. It is not hard to just get sick and tired of pooing when you do it that much. I think I average two or three a day now, which I suspect is still above average but not crazy. Sometimes it's the small things that mean so much.
As I mentioned earlier, I am wearing more normal sized clothes and this is actually really nice, even for someone like myself that hates spending money on clothes. These days I actually have a few pair of pants I find pretty comfortable. Yeah, I agree that a nice pair of sweats is the most comfortable, and yes, I do still have my nice pair of going-out sweats. I'm just saying, it is nice to be able to wear pants when I want to. Being able to buy shirts anywhere is pretty damn great, too. It's nice that I can actually find some nice shirts that fit my chest without having a yard of extra material to roll up behind my back in the midsection. I used to struggle to find hats, because even my melon was huge back in the day. It has definitely shrunk, because it's much easier now to find a hat that doesn't look like it's sitting on top of my head.
Then there are the cell phone issues. I can now hold it up to my ear without my arm falling asleep or getting pumped up. I have not decided if this is a good thing or not because I am still not a big phone guy. I got in the habit of just using the speaker and I am good with that. Even things like texting are easier; I swear my hands and fingers have thinned out some too. This is not to say I don't still get aggravated as hell with all this damn modern technology, but it is easier.
Even at my much smaller size, I do admit to having some issues getting in and out of many different vehicles. But I have to say I now own a new Dodge Dart. My sister-in-law thought this was very amusing at Thanksgiving and was still laughing at the thought of me getting in and out of it. Honestly, it is not that bad anymore, but at 385 pounds it would have been a full-on training session every time. Hey, it is new, reliable, and gets great gas mileage. I think I have less than a few thousand miles on it after almost a year. I still have my truck, Jeep, and motorcycle. The motorcycle beats all for comfort and gets the most miles on it. Like clothes, sometimes it is just nice to have the choice.
One of the biggest changes from being a super heavyweight to now is watching the scale. I used to watch it to make sure I was not losing weight. If I was thin I had to pick up the eating. At the time this was not always the best news. Now I watch the scale, fighting to keep losing weight and to hit my goal weight. This is tough after so long, because I think my body adapted to be huge, and it seems to take a while to adjust. For instance, every time I lose weight I seem to jump back up five to 10 pounds the next day or two. Then it slowly comes back down until I hit a new low, at which point it jumps back up again. It is a battle of wills: what I want versus what my body wants. Sometimes I realize how pissed I get when my weight goes up or does not drop like I want, then I realize the irony of it all and it makes me laugh. Life is about change and new goals.
It is surprising how many excuses I lost along with my weight. The biggest, of course, is my excuse to eat the tastiest but also crappiest foods. I can no longer say, “I have to eat this way cause I could never get the calories I need if I eat healthy!” I am so sad to see this excuse go; I have to eat veggies and fruit now! The clothing or dressing nicely excuse is also gone. No longer can I say, “They just don’t make clothes for guys this size that aren’t fat slobs.” Yeah, it's nice to dress up every now again, but if it comes up, that excuse is no longer available. No longer can I spend my whole weekend in bed attempting to sleep and rest with the excuse that it helps my main goal of recovering the best I can for powerlifting. No longer can I use the excuse that cardio is bad for my all-out one-rep strength for powerlifting. Life changes as our goals change.
It definitely seems I am no longer huge. I don’t even have to buy two seats on a plane anymore, and although one seat isn’t totally comfortable, I do fit. I can fit in most public bathroom stalls and don’t have to bend the little dividers between the urinals. I buy clothes in regular stores and no longer use a CPAP machine. I no longer order two meals when I go out to eat. I can actually find hats to fit my head. I always knew this day would come, and there is definitely some sadness in it, but overall during this gradual process, I have learned to accept it. It is my choice and improves so many other areas of my life that got neglected to be huge. I will never regret those years, though, and will look at them with fond memories.
So this year, the holiday season does not have many reasons for me to be indulgent. My excuses of the past that let me go to extremes and live in excess during the holiday season are now gone. I am definitely sad about some of this, but at the same time, I am really happy with the changes in my life this year. I will always remember the past holiday seasons as a super heavyweight and smile. Now I only hope that there are lots of other up-and-coming super heavyweights who will pick up where I left off. Who will enjoy the chance to pack on extra mass? Who will have great training sessions fueled by large meals, lots of leftovers, and tons of holiday treats? Super heavyweights, use the gift of the holidays to become bigger and stronger in the New Year.