Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I think that for every person who loses a significant amount of weight, there comes a time when you see the first dividends that really mean something. For me, I think that time came this weekend in the form of Old Navy.
Now Iíve always given Old Navy kind of a bad rap, and I think that itís because it really was entirely useless to me up until a couple of weeks ago. I couldnít wear any of their clothes, and trust me, having to go into a store where literally nothing is of any use to you really sucks. But a couple of weeks ago, I found that I fit into a pair of 42-inch jeans. Not only that, they cost $22! Were you aware, dear reader, that there are places you can buy jeans for $22? If so, then you likely inhabit the world of the normal-sized. At the time, though, I tried on some shirts and it just wasnít happening, so I took the small victory of cheap pants and was on my way.
This weekend, I returned with a vengeance. I not only found several shirts, a couple of sweaters, and an awesome wool coat, and somehow spent less than $100. What is happening?! Iíve discovered a couple of things about myself: One, I really like dressing nicely. Two, Iím a little bit of a hipster. Wool coats? V-neck sweaters? However, I think Iíll be all right, so long as I keep the V-necks shallow, and always ALWAYS wear a shirt underneath. Also, I have to keep the beard off now, but thatís fine. I happen to think I look much better without it.
Iíve spent much of my life dressing like a slob. This wasnít entirely intentional; I also spent much of my life having my wardrobe determined by what fit me. Check that, by what covered me. At 440 pounds, thereís really not a lot that ďfitsĒ in the traditional sense of the word. Iíve spent almost no time looking sharp, and now I want to make up for that. Not only that, Iíve only scratched the surface. Old Navy is relatively welcoming to larger people. Iím 301 pounds. When Iím small enough to shop at places like the Gap? I would absolutely love for my identifier to go from being ďthe fat guyĒ to being ďthe well-dressed guyĒ. And itís only going to get easier.
I suppose I should do some reflecting this week. Iím very likely to get under 300 pounds in the next few days and it really is a huge milestone. So what do I know about myself now? Well first, one of the most notable things anyone has said to me is that I look ďlike a normal-sized personĒ now. Itís true; there are plenty of men walking around at 6í3Ē and in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. Itís overweight, to be sure, but when I was 440 pounds, it wouldnít matter what I did, people saw that big fat guy. Really, I wouldnít mind being skinny some day, but being normal is a huge deal.
Another thing that Iíve noticed is that, despite writing a blog about losing weight, I really donít like talking about it to people face-to-face. People that havenít seen me in a while donít recognize me, and they ask me whatís changed. Without fail, I say the beard or the glasses. Why is that? If I had gained 100 pounds, that would be reasonable to leave out, but having lost it is a good thing.
In many ways, I donít consider myself to have done anything particularly impressive. I eat right and I exercise; millions of people do that in this country every single day. Lots of them have eaten right and exercised for their whole lives, and theyíve always been fit. Iím extremely happy that Iíve been able to stick with whatís right to do and that Iíve seen the fruits of that labor, but in reality, Iím like a deadbeat dad thatís strung together six straight full child-support payments. Itís doing the right thing, but it wouldnít take long to go back.
And going back to the previous point, I really like dressing well. Iím going to throw in another plug for Old Navy here (even though my attempts at becoming a Tapatio endorser have gone nowhere). They have really good clothes for dirt cheap. Have you ever been to a big and tall store? Itís awful. Everything is ridiculously expensive Ė if you want a band t-shirt as a regular person, you pay $18 at Hot Topic, but us fatties spend $38. Nothing is what you would call stylish. Itís either two years out of style, or infinity, because it was always goddamn hideous. I spent $65 for a sweater once. I spent $13 for one at Old Navy. F*ck you, Casual Male. My visage shall never darken your doorway again!
So hopefully tomorrow will be the day that I leave the ranks of the three-billers once and for all. The next completely esoteric milestone for me will be 275 pounds. This isnít an important number because itís 25 less; itís an important number because when I was in high school, I wrestled in the 275-pound weight class (albeit while weighing 225-230 pounds at the time) and for some reason, being light enough to qualify is a weirdly big deal.
For now, Iíll keep on doing what Iím doing. Iíll eat right, work out like a motherf*cker, and the next time you see me, donít be surprised if Iím wearing something better than youíre used to. After all, as ZZ Top says, every girlís crazy about a sharp-dressed man. (Hey, new karaoke idea!)