June 30, 2011
This week: 185 lbs
Total lost: 51 lbs
To goal: 15 lbs
What a week. It feels like the home stretch has begun. I can only thank you for supporting me thus far and hope to see you at this finish line.
As of today, another fiscal quarter ends which means another contract extension and security badge.
You guessed it. Time to compare ID photos again:
Before: September 2009, when I returned to Ottawa after a back in year in DC.
March 30th, 2011. 2 1/2 months into program.
June 30th, 2011. 15 lbs to go.
Never has being a loser felt so good. My trainer told me this week that when, we stopped using conditional words like “if”a long time ago, I reach my goal, I will be the biggest loser at the downtown location of Free Form Fitness. I have to say it’s weird to be called a “loser” in complimentary way, but i’m getting used to it. Since FFF, like most personal training companies, wants to use my success to promote their business, I’ve been going though old photos of events at my office for the “before” photo. There’s a couple that I’m considering that I will show once I reach my goals.
Don’t worry, no shirtless pictures of man-boobs akimbo running on a beach like David Hasselhoff.
I’ll save that for the “after” photo 😉
One thing that hasn’t gotten old yet is the reaction of friends and family who see the difference in me. I’ll say to someone I know and they’ll look at me like I’m a stranger. When I say, “It’s me, Michael,” they’re floored. Number one question: “Where’s the rest of you?” It never gets old.
They’re have been a couple of little victories the past couple of weeks. I won a golf shirt at the Speaker’s BBQ a couple of weeks ago. It’s a men’s size small. It fits. It actually fits. A size small fits. Mind you, it doesn’t fit well, but a few more pounds off and I’ll probably where it in public. I need more casual clothes. My new pledge to not launder clothes, piling them for charity instead, more than one size too big is taking a toll on my summer casual wardrobe. Depending on the style of the shirt, I’m either a large or medium. There’s a few larges I bought recently that after wearing them I realized I should have bought medium.
The other victory was just today. A friend of mine is getting married, I’m a groomsman, and we went together to get fitted for the tuxes after work today. We waited until today, because it was the last day before an additional $20 rush order charge would be applied. Actually, I waited until the last minute to make sure the measurements would be accurate. He can come up with his own excuse.
Waist: 34 inches. When I started: 40 inches
Suit coat: 38 When I started: 52
Shirt: 16 When I started: 17.5
I’m not sure if this is the summer you will see me mugging for cameras on the beach like some wannabe cast member of Jersey Shore, though. One of the consequence of weight loss is something that most of friends who have had children are all too familiar with: stretch marks. I’ve been slathering Vitamin E cream on a couple of times a day, but I’m not sure much will help until after my weight stabilizes when I meet my target goal. More than happy to take suggestions from those who have dealt with this before. Until then, despite being the smallest I’ve been since entering adolescence, I’ll be looking like the old man from Metallica’s Unforgiven video under my shirt for a bit. Like everything else, short term pain for long term gain.
That last paragraph might have been a bit TMI, but it actually leads to an answer for one of the most frequent questions I get, “What’s the hardest part?” It’s actually writing this journal. While I won’t hide the fact that I have the gift of gab, I’ve never been comfortable talking about myself. It’s probably why I jaw on incessantly, to talk about anything BUT myself.
I know what you’re thinking, for someone in politics, the profession of shameless self-promoters, this is a rather odd confession. Such self-promotion is, believe it or not, goes against my nature. I always feel like Tony Soprano when he first attends a therapy session with Dr. Melfi and starts talking about Gary Cooper. A line describing Tony from the last season is one I’ve embraced for myself, “a relic from a pre-therapeutic society.” I’ll talk about anything, just not me.
Maybe its my upbringing. My maternal grandfather, Donald MacEachern, always exuded a quiet strength. To us grandkids, he was a paragon of Scottish virtue. When he spoke, we hung on every word. I can remember when he travelled from Sydney to Fredericton, to attend my high school graduation. It was one of the last times he would leave his beloved Cape Breton Island and it meant a lot to me that he made the trip. We had a terrible thunderstorm the day before graduation. The power was out. Dad was using the barbeque to make the graduation dinner he promised, fish and chips, and trying not to burn the house down in the process. Donald, “Grampie” to us young’ins, started telling the stories of growing up in East Bay. We listened to him for hours, even after the power returned. He probably talked about more about his life that night than I had heard in all the years prior combined. The funny thing is, he never had to tell us he was great. He showed us. He was a carpenter who, like many Canadians, was conscripted into World War II. He served in an engineering corps, defusing explosives on bridges that were left behind by the German retreat after D-Day. He was wounded, came home and resumed his carpentry career until chronic asthma forced him to retire. The entire time keeping quiet on his time at war to assuage our grandmother’s fears their sons and grandsons would be inspired by tales of valour of the last war to join the next one.
So why do I write this? I’d like to invoke my standard explanation, which will probably end up as my epitaph, it seemed like a good idea at the time. It still does. I wanted to make sure those whose most regular contact with me is virtual, i.e. through Facebook, that I’m in fact quite healthy and not suddenly losing weight in photos, etc., due to an illness. Primarily, though, I wanted to create a greater sense of accountability for myself. By encouraging me, you’ve helped me drag my arse out of bed at 5 am to make a 6 am workout or go for a Sunday run when it was -20 or, like last Friday, a tornado. A couple of people have told me through private messages or in person my success and frankness has inspired them to be more active. They’ve, in turn, inspired me. It’s weird to for someone to tell me I’m “inspirational”. It’s not like I’m Rick Hansen, one of my personal heroes, or anything. Don’t get me wrong, if one of you read this and decided to defuse your own personal ticking time bomb of a body, I’m glad to have been of service. I just hope I don’t take my success for granted.
It’s been really great so far and hope we stay on this journey together until the end.