By Rick E. Hale
I don’t think people ever really understand just how powerful stress can be. Stress can drive people to the bottle or drive them to fill their bodies full of dangerous drugs. Basically, stress can drive people into all forms of self destructive behavior.
Shortly after my wife and I got married, we were told that my wife and I would never be able to conceive a child of our own because she was diagnosed with a very serious women’s health issue called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS for short. If we wanted to conceive, my wife would have to endure all kinds of special medical procedures that could very well put her health and life at risk.
You may be wondering why I’m telling you this; it was because of this stress that I was driven to myself destructive behavior. Neither the bottle nor the drugs was what I indulged in to take away the pain, but rather it was food. When we started the process of trying to have a child I weighed 195 pounds. When I finally woke up and saw what I was doing to myself six months ago, I weighed just under 310.
It’s a sad truth, but we live in a very image-obsessed society; people really don’t care if you have an above-average IQ. They really don’t care if you have great manners. All a lot of people care about is whether or not you look good. I have always considered myself to be somewhat of an outsider and have always danced to the beat of my own drum. That’s probably why when I was fat, I got in this frame of mind that there was nothing wrong with me; everybody else was just being a gigantic asshole.
AT NO time is it ever OK to discriminate against a person due to race, religion, or sexual orientation; however, it does appear to be OK to berate, shame, and treat overweight people with as little respect as possible, and I definitely experienced this. Take for example: Seven months ago the missus and I were in a local bookstore in Gurnee, Illinois. I was standing in line ready to make my purchases and noticed that I was next. As I started to approach the register, the hot blond manning the register looked at me with disgust and said, “I’m sorry sir, I have something to do.” Alrighty, no problem. So I walked over to the next register and began to lay my purchases down on the counter.
As I did so, the female cashier quickly reopened her register and took the next person in line. As
I walked out of the store, all I could think was, What the fuck, was I just a victim of some kind of
discrimination? However, the deciding factor to lose weight didn’t come for about another month when
I had ‘The Dream.’
My grandmother, who was 100% Cherokee, always taught me to pay attention to my dreams because in them I would find the truth. I have always followed that advice. I woke one night to get ready for work, when the memories of the dream I had during the day came back to me. I found myself entering a funeral home and saw a large crowd of people crying as they gathered around a casket the size of a piano.
As I wandered around the room, I noticed that these were my family and friends. I came up to my wife and her friend Kelly and asked, “Who are you crying about?” Kelly pointed to the casket and said, “All you had to do was lose weight.”
I looked down at the large form in the piano-sized casket to see myself laying there. I was dead, and holy shit I was fucking huge. As the memory of the dream faded I looked at my myself in the mirror and said aloud, “I better do something and quick.”
Today, as I sit at this computer writing this, I have lost 53 pounds. I have gone from a size 50 waist to a comfy 44, and I really do not plan on stopping there. I know you may be thinking . . . Wow who gives a shit. Tell us about ghosts, monsters, and UFOs. I just really felt that I should share this with you, the reader, because maybe you’re dealing with the same struggle that I dealt with, or maybe you’re tired of being treated like a piece of garbage because you happen to be larger than the average person.
I didn’t lose this weight because I want to be accepted by the image-obsessed populace. I lost weight because I once got some sage advice. After all, how can we explore some of the greatest mysteries known to man if we can’t get our fat asses off the couch. It’s boring just sitting in front of a television vegging out to someone else’s adventures when we could be having our own.