Wednesday, December 05, 2012
I love my parents very much. I think we all do as kids. I love them more as an adult however. It isn’t so much the lessons they taught me growing up as it is the consistency they have shown through all these years. I try to put myself in their shoes in regards to my weight. I wasn’t always this way. I wrestled at 158 pounds as a senior, one win away from qualifying for the State tournament, which was my goal for the season. I was an All-Conference football player and an All-State baseball player. I did all of this as a short 5’6” individual. I did it with heart. I had the heart of a champion and my parents knew this about me. I didn’t quit….ever. My Dad always told me I needed to have more juice than the other guys “in the 4th quarter.” I trained hard. My Dad and I worked out together. My mother watched all of this happen and I am sure she was glad she had a potentially successful young man with the whole world in front of him.
Several years ago, I cannot recall exactly how long, I had come home to visit my parents. I do not remember how the conversation started, or what prefaced the statement my father made, but he had said we do not have anything in common anymore. He may have invited me to go biking or running, both things I had not done for some time. My weight was gaining on me, literally. He knew it; my mother knew it and they had no real way to tell me I had to change. That comment stung a bit. It was depressing because it was true. We couldn’t do the things we enjoyed together in the past because my weight got in the way. I am sure that hurt him, even as he was cavalier in his delivery. I was changing in ways he didn’t approve of but as a young adult, it is hard for parent to parent, per say, and have the advice be taken in a good way. My Mom was stuck unconditionally loving me because I was her son. This was the ultimate rock and a hard place for both my Mom and Dad. I put them there which was hard for me to deal with.
When I moved back to my home town in 2007, I felt somewhat energized to be around family and familiarity. It was August. Summer time is always a good time to be anywhere I suppose. A couple of months after arriving I received a post card in the mail indicating I was being inducted into my high school’s sports Hall of Fame. I was being inducted with other friends; friends I had not seen since graduation in 1991. I was about 330 pounds. I will always remember the other All-State baseball player inducted at the same time was a running back on our football team. He was always in great shape. He ended up going to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, became a pilot, went to Top Gun, married his high school sweetheart, and the list goes on. How would I follow that story during an induction ceremony? My success story is limited. I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted to. I was unrecognizable on so many levels, not only to me, but to family as well. How does a guy with a heart like mine destroy themselves? I am sure it was a question that nagged my loved ones for many years.
My parents are snowbirds; travelling to Arizona for the winter. I have not discussed Ideal Protein with them. I have discussed too many things about losing weight with them in the past. They leave in a month and are gone for 5 months, or 20 weeks. Even at a 3 pound weight loss per week clip, that is 60 pounds. That is nothing to sneeze at. That is noticeable. A more realistic number, 5 pounds per week, would be a 100 pound weight loss. Even more noticeable. I know I am doing this program for me, my wife and my kids. However, for everything my parents have had to put up with, I am doing it for them to. I do not want their last memory of me to be where I was; morbidly obese, diabetic, hypertensive; a walking death trap. I want them to know that there is still a champion inside me, as there always was. I want them to know that The Prodigal Son has returned. It’s the least I can do.