My Weight Roller Coaster

I was born a little thick baby.  Not too big, not too small.  I guess at six pounds, I was a little bit bigger than most twins, but nothing special.  Being a twin, I always had that reference point.  I was the thicker twin.  The "big one".  My brother was always the "skinny one".  In all actuality I was kind of chunky.  Like five ham sandwiches away from being a fat kid.  Luckily I loved to play sports and stay active.  If the internet would have been around I would have been a fat ass for sure!  But it wasn't and I wasn't.

My family called the weight "baby fat".  My chubby cheeks and big legs were filled with baby fat.  Doesn't that just sound cute?  The problem comes when I become an adult and my body is surrounded by "grown up fat".  Then "Tiffany From Across the Street" came into my life.  That was the summer that I turned 13.  I will never forget that summer.  It was in Chicago.  I had just gone through a crazy year.  My parents were done pretending that there was a possibility of them getting back together.  My brother and I had said we want to live with Dad.  We finished the school year out in Chicago and in turn found out that all schools aren't created equal.  Side note: America really needs to get the education system fixed.  I helped my teacher sound out words in English class.  I feel for those kids.  Anyway, I got in a few fights and was going through that awkward phase of growing up as well.  At the same time the image of my father as a hero was rapidly disappearing.

But that summer Tiffany was going to be at her grandparent's house which was across the street from my Granny's house.  We lived at Granny's house.  Tiffany From Across the Street was pretty.  Things were looking up.  I don't remember the details of it.  We somehow ended up "going together".  I fell in love.  Really, it was puppy love.  But it felt real.  Everybody knew I was a goner.  Every day would be spent at Tiffany From Across the Street's.  We talked about nothing.  I really can't tell you a thing about her now.  Except her birthday and that she could sing.  She had a beautiful voice.  One day she wouldn't come outside.  I thought my world was ending that day.  She came to her window and sang Monica's "Don't Take It Personal" for me...

Yeah.  Deep stuff, right?  I missed countless lunches and dinners hanging out with Tiffany From Across the Street.  Granny would call, but I would ignore and go without.  Granny called it "living off of love".  That was how I shed the "baby fat".  Thanks Tiffany From Across the Street!

I got back to Miami after that summer ended.  Everyone commented on how good I looked after shedding my "baby fat".  I was liking the responses.  I didn't think about how it happened (living off of love).  I kept the weight off by being a teenager.  My metabolism was high.  I ate like a caveman but my weight stayed off.  I wanted to gain weight.  I was trying to sneak and play high school football.  I started lifting weights and taking protein.  Now I was gaining muscle without fat!  Maybe this was just my new body.  This was awesome!

Going into the military after high school was even more kind to my body.  Baby fat was in the rear view mirror.  Hello man muscles!  I was now getting chiseled and working on specific parts of my body.  Hell, I was at a level then that I was willing to maim my nipples in order to highlight my body!  I never thought about the regular physical training and free gym access that is a part of military life.  This was just how my body was now.  Adult me was just a natural beast.

But military life ends.  Mine ended at the ripe age of 24.  I was going to apply my lessons to civilian life.  This beast was going to conquer the world!!!…

Have you ever felt some of your body unnaturally resting on another part of your body, only separated by sweat and lint?  Well I have.  This was the first part of my realization that I was getting fat.  My chest meat was now sagging and sliding around onto rib fat.  You know it's getting bad when you wipe moisture from BETWEEN your chest and stomach.  I used to wipe it with my thumbs.  Yes, I know it's gross.  But that still wasn't enough.  I partially blame Swedie for not telling me that I was letting myself go.  Here she was studying to become a Personal Trainer while her husband looked like he was becoming a competitive eater.  Thanks for nothing, Swedie!  I still felt handsome.  I hadn't seen pictures, so maybe that was it.  But my wake up was around the corner.

I'll never forget my distant cousin at my family reunion walking up to me and hugging me.  My mother stood next to me and said I was one of the twins.

       - Peaches (my mom's nickname), this one of the twins?!  Hey, baby!  You wasn't fat the last time I saw you!

Really?  I was fat?  My self esteem crashed into the ground and burned.  I went to the gym almost immediately!  I wanted to wear a tank top when I went into the water at the beach.  But that's a dead giveaway.  How had I let myself go?  Was it really that much of a difference in civilian and military life?

That was either my low point or high point depending on how you want to look at it.  My weight has gone up and down since then, but never back to that point.  I have become more conscious of what I eat since I'm not the beast that I used to be.  My metabolism isn't up there any longer.  My highest points were when I had bosses that treated me to lunch almost daily.  My lowest was actually when I got the flu one holiday season.  I wish I could bottle that flu and sell it.  Besides looking like I wanted to die, I was looking GOOD.  At my fattest, I lived in San Antonio.  It was hard to find sidewalks there, but easy as hell to find a fast food restaurant.  Go figure, it's one of the fattest cities in America.

Now I'm in Sweden and I like what I see in the mirror.  I still want to make some improvements, no doubt, but I am satisfied with my body.  Sweden is the perfect place to stay in shape.  There is almost a peer pressure to it here.  Almost everyone I know does something to stay in shape.  People talk about their training.  If they don't go to a gym, they play a sport or run or something.  Then there's the public transportation.  I swole up because I walked to the garage, drove to work, walked to the office.  That was my commute.  Now I run to the bus/train (CPT gets me every time), sprint walk to work.  There are also bike routes all over.  You can plug it into your GPS!  Walk, drive or bike.  It's insane!  And there are sidewalks just about everywhere.  This place is good for me and my bad habits.  Especially considering my wife won't tell me when I swell up.  Maybe if I get angry about it she can sing some Monica to me.  Until next time...





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