Weighing in on a Weighty Issue

326.  There is nothing overly special about this number other than it was my number. It was my very own special number which defined who I am, especially important where my health was concerned. You see 326 was how many pounds I weighed the day I got tested for diabetes. There was a time when I would not have told you this due to embarrassment.  We have a stigma in this country when it comes to weight. Which is kind of strange when you consider that three out of every four men are overweight. 68% of all Americans are either overweight or obese and 35% of all Americans are obese. Or in other words, less than one third of Americans are either at normal weight or below. Yet we are so self conscious about the little number which pops up when we step onto the hated scale.

But when you see me it is obvious I’m overweight. Does it really matter whether or not you think I weigh 270 pounds for 326? We are so worried about what is obvious. I remember an incident when I was at Kroger’s shopping one night. A woman and little boy were following me down the aisle shopping at the same time I was when the little boy said, “Mama  that man is fat.” The mother was horrified and apologized. But I said, “Don’t worry about it, he’s only calling them like he sees them and he’s right. If I don’t like it, I can lose weight.”

Isn’t it interesting that considering nearly two-thirds of us are over weight, we all worry about people knowing the number? I get why people don’t share. I really do. Hell, I was one of them.  I recently joined a weight loss challenge with several of my friends and we all report our weights individually to one person who compiles the data to protect our anonymity.  And I don’t blame anybody for doing so. It is even a lot worse for women. Women are constantly being bombarded with images of women who look nothing like them.

Which leads me to this post. I came to a decision. I’m overweight. All of you know it. It’s no secret, so why does the number matter, other than as a sign post of where I was, and where I will be once I get the weight off? In my case, I have no choice. I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and I have to slim down or face some dire consequences.  When I report my weight for the challenge, I now do it for everyone to see. My wife even called to ask if I meant to share my weight with the rest of the group and she was surprised when I said I did.

I have a new number which is 310,  thanks to a changed diet and a lot of working out. Should I have done this years ago? Like my weight, the answer is obvious: Yes. With the poor health wake up call, I’m finally getting control of the pounds. The only difference is now I control the number instead of it controlling me. .

2 thoughts on “Weighing in on a Weighty Issue

  1. “face some dyer consequences.” Should be “dire consequenses.”

    Good for you, Tony. I need to drop some weight, too. My number fluctuates, but it’s around 180 at the top, and that’s too high for my height. Unless I can figure out a way to get taller, I need to lose some pounds. Thanks for being so upfront about it. Maybe you’ll inspire me! You know how you always do!

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