During my "productive housework" Sunday afternoon, I came upon a "before" picture. I had needed a "before" picture, to document the progress I have made since May 2005, when I started Weight Watchers and made my personal store of fleshly reserves less ample.
I had always assumed that a "before" picture should be easy to locate, as photos from a trip to Sanibel Island in Florida a month or two earlier had been the thing that made me say to myself "my goodness, that cannot be a healthy amount of weight to carry" and sent me on my current path.
Yet I had not been able to locate the Sanibel "before" shot that sent me running for the exit from rotisserie-half-chickens toward the cooling solace of several ounces of roast turkey. It's true that I had found some rather dark shots of me sitting in the botanical garden at Coral Gables, but the ill-fitting-shirt glory of the actual inspiring picture has been lost to posterity.
Sunday I found something even better than the Sanibel "before" shot. I found a picture of me from a different trip, sitting in a patio chair outside our hotel in Grand Bahama.
I look pretty cool, really, but the aspect is not so much mongoose as walrus. It is the definitive "before" shot.
When I showed it to my wife, she said "did you look like THAT?".
We neither of us are the kind of people who obsess about people's weight. Although it's nice enough to look thinner rather than more overweight, I get a bit cautious about getting too caught up in that sort of thing, as I think the superficial elements of our culture manage to both salute over-eating and stigmatize people who look overweight.
I do not plan to be the person who gives up smoking and then rails at those still caught in nicotine's clutches. Mark me down as "let's stop hassling overweight people", if for no other reason than that I have myself experienced the discrimination applied against overweight people.
I did not look that much different when I weighed more than what I weigh now. There was just more of me. I was like the blues song about being built for comfort not for speed.
But just as Sanibel led me to think it cannot be healthy for a fellow with high blood pressure to carry so much weight, this Bahamas picture reminds me that I had reached an unintended place with my health. I am glad I changed.
I'm also glad that my newest goal--better organization--led me to something to salute my prior goal--successful weight loss. Before you know it, I'm going to be extolling virtue. If I can find a scanner, I'll upload "before" and "after". It doesn't matter that much, really, "before and after", but it's a kind of punctuation. Perhaps you have to put a period on a life's passage, or at least a semi-colon, to move on to the next phrase.
I worked a hard and good day today. I have goals and plans and things to do. All I need is to fulfill a few daydreams, and perhaps find a good sci fi to read.