The Fattest Guy in Paris

This blog may have very little to do with photography. But it has everything to do with me. And it’s a good story.

I don’t really worry about numbers so much. Someone asked me old I was the other day and I wasn’t entirely sure. I guess I could probably get it within a year or two, but I’d probably have to do a little math to get it exactly right. And I’m not saying that to make myself feel younger. I just really don’t pay attention. I’m certainly not doing the things that a guy “my age” is supposed to do or is supposed to have done. I’m living my life in my own way. No one’s pre-fab mold seems to fit.

Another number I haven’t been paying too close attention to is my weight loss. I find that jumping on a scale every day is a little unnatural and it’s better to get on once a month and see a change rather than every day and see not much of anything. Yesterday a woman I work with came up to me and said she was talking to some of her colleagues and they noticed as I passed them the other day, I didn’t even look like me from the back. It’s true. Every once in a while I look down and notice there is less of me. It’s good.

I’ve had to buy new clothes recently because the clothes I was wearing at this time look ridiculously huge on me now.

So what’s all this “The fattest guy in Paris” stuff all about? Well people always ask me how much weight I’ve lost and I always had a rough idea of somewhere around 50 pounds in less than a year. It was easier to measure inches lost because i keep having to cut new holes in my belts. I told someone yesterday it was about eight or nine inches, but I cut another hole in my belt this morning and it’s actually eleven inches now.

Somewhere over the winter I noticed my digital scale stopped working. It was old. So I bought a new analog one with the old fashioned dial. But when I stepped on it, it didn’t match what my digital scale was telling me… by about 15 or 20 pounds… and it wasn’t even in my favor. Okay, no matter, I thought. I’m still cutting holes in my belts, I just must have started off heavier than I thought.

I left it at that.

Last night I went to visit one of my friends at the bar she works at. It’s a sports bar and full of things that don’t interest me, but we were talking earlier in the day and she said it would be slow and boring, so I told her I’d stop by and keep her company for an hour. I ordered a light beer and a salad. The salad was actually pretty good for a sports bar. We talked and I noticed someone walk by with an absolutely beautiful huge pizza that looked delicious. Just the kind I used to love.

We talked some more and I left to go home with the pizza still in my head. I’ve been doing really well lately. Watching what I eat, but not making myself crazy by depriving myself of little things here and there. But this one was a struggle for some reason. I arrived home and immediately threw some water in my steamer and brought it to a boil and put some corn and carrots in there. They were very good.

And I read for a while and went to bed.

I got up this morning very proud of myself for fighting off that strange moment of weakness. And I decided to get on the scale. Another five pounds lighter. Nice. So I decided to do some math and try to really figure out how much I had lost. 40 pounds? 50? I remember what I weighed the last time I got on the old digital scale and the difference when I got on the new one. Using the difference i recalculated what I must have originally weighed and then how much I had really lost in the last year.

Not 40. Not 50. But somewhere between 75 and 80 pounds! Wow.

I guess that makes sense considering the inches we’re talking about.

I still have a very long way to go. If I lose another 80 I’ll be as thin as I’ve ever been in my adult life. And I’ll still have a bit more to go after that to be a truly healthy man. But I know I can do it. It took me a couple of decades to get to be where I was a year ago, and I really am motivated to erase that damage in as little time as is healthy for me. So in addition to walking four or five miles a day, there’s also a morning workout that even though it’s in it’s beginning stages seems to be going well.

Last September, Morgan and I went to Paris and we both had life changing experiences. Even though I had begun to lose weight, I half jokingly said that I was the fattest man in Paris. Not a distinction I enjoyed.

We’re returning to that beautiful city this summer to create amazing photographs. But this time when I step onto the tarmac, I won’t be that man. Still bigger than I want to be, but much thinner than I was when I battled to climb the 300 steps to the top of Sacre Coeur.

So I can cross off the phrase The Fattest Man in Paris from my vocabulary forever.

I love my life and I’m thrilled that every day I’m going to be around a little longer to enjoy it… for years and years to come.

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