Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Large" And In Charge

Weekly weigh-in: 217.0
Weekly weigh-in: 215.2
Loss: -1.8
Total loss: 76.3 lbs.
Emotion: Large/In Charge

So there I was, in a place completely foreign to me: a fitting room.

As a guy, I’ve always had a pretty simplistic approach to shopping. I saw something I liked, I grabbed my size and made my purchase. Sometimes, it turned out that the size (always either XL or–preferably–XXL) was a little too snug, but usually it was okay. The fashion industry seemed to be embracing my former fat-assedness by making just about everything in double wide-load.

Now it seems all my shirts are too big, and I didn’t know what to go grab. So I actually went shopping and tried sh*t on. “Large” seems to be the size that looks least like a mistake on me right now, and I’m still not completely comfortable with the idea.

Speaking of “large,” I’d like to thank everyone for the XXL-sized reaction to my finally posting some before-and-after photos. I knew that I needed to do it, because I do want readers to take the “weight loss” part of this blog seriously, even if I seldom do. But I wasn’t expecting the outpouring of compliments and well-wishes that I received. Honestly, I was expecting a weight gain this week just from my swollen head.

Speaking of gaining, Chris at Chris’ Challenge thought that I hadn’t won enough feminine weight-loss blogging awards or told enough embarrassing secrets about myself, so he slapped me with the Gorgeous Blogger award, which has the same sort of blah-blah and rules as all the other awards. I’m supposed to tell you six things you don’t know about me, so strap in…

1) I once spent $120 on an antique G.I.Joe doll, even though I’m not a toy collector. It just looked exactly like me. I mean, exactly. It was freaky.

2) The first time I went snow skiing was with Anita and her family, who were all pretty experienced skiers. I took one lesson and then was let loose on the mountain. During the lesson, I just learned “The Snowplow,” which is basically just putting the tips of your skis together in kind of a pizza-slice shape and pressing outwards to slow down to a gentle stop. Easy peasy, huh? Anyway, our condo was at the end of one of the mountain's longest runs, and you had to take a lift to the top to get over to our side. “You sure you can do this?” Anita asked as we sat at the lodge and I drank beer after beer to steel my courage. “You can take the bus around and meet us there.” I shook my head, “I’ve got this.” As we were riding up the lift, I was sitting there in the cold, biting wind and wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into. Things started off okay, with everyone racing down the mountain and me trying to do my back-and-forth snowplow nonsense. But then a funny thing happened. I started picking up speed. I passed the other beginner skiers. I passed the intermediate skiers. I passed Anita and her family, who cheered me on. I passed dudes who were bent over in perfect form, their poles tucked beneath their arms (mine were flailing around like I was even drunker than I was). It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying to slow down; I was in full snow-plow, and blowing snow behind me like… well, a snow blower. I was digging in so hard that I was leaving a trail of bare earth behind me… and still I was gaining speed. And then, out of nowhere, I was airborne. “This isn’t so bad,” I said, and then a split second later, my mouth was full of snow and I was cartwheeling down the mountain, a giant snowball with arms and legs (the skiis and poles went who knows where). Anita said it was the most spectacular thing she’d ever seen. Who knows? It may have been what sealed the deal with us.

3) When I was young, my mother Shirley was a typist for a court reporter, so she had a sleek IBM Selectric typewriter that I learned to type on when I was very young. It was pretty sweet, let me tell you. You just brushed a key and it typed. By the time I was in high school, I was typing over 150 words a minute, so I decided to take Typing for a no-brainer “A”. Two problems: the school had just bricked up all the windows in that classroom because they were converting the building to central air, but the system wasn’t working right yet and (b) it was the last year before the school changed over to electric typewriters. Yes, it was manual typewriters (geez, that makes me feel really old just to type that). Anyway, the very first speed test, I took off and was flying through the assignment, just absolutely tearing it up. When I finished, I looked up and realized that I hadn’t made a single impression on the page. I basically had to re-learn to type in a sweat box. Worst. Class. Ever.

4) One of the most harrowing three months of my life began when I noticed a lump on the side of my neck. I thought I had slept on it funny, so went to the doctor to see about getting a muscle relaxant. “That’s cancer,” the doctor told me. “I’m 80% sure of it.” I made an appointment with an oncologist and they confirmed my worst fears: “It appears to be Hodgkin’s Disease,” he told me. They did a biopsy, and I got the call later in the week from a nurse: “The test came back negative. Please get in touch with the doctor.” With a deep sense of relief, I made the call. “Oh, you misunderstood,” he told me. “The test was negative. We couldn’t get any information from it.” I saw several more doctors and finally went in to have them cut me up and look around. Once they sliced me up, they quickly realized that it was simply an infection that was pushing the muscle up, which explained why the lump was so hard. Everything was A-OK, and I got a tough-guy neck scar that was extremely intimidating (“I got in a knife fight with some gang-bangers.”)

5) In junior high, my formidable juggling skills landed me a roll in the big school play, some crazy circus story. My best friend Van and I had to wear gold sequined Tarzan outfits and stand in front of the stage juggling in the big finale. Van and I had a bet on which one of us was going to mess up first, so we were both working really hard not to let any balls hit the ground. During most of the rehearsals, I was the one who’d flub up, and Van would laugh and laugh. So finally during the big performance before the entire school, there was Van and I out in front of the stage, doing our thing. I glance over for a quick look-see, and spot Van scrambling around. Turns out he dropped a ball and it hit his foot and took a wicked bounce out toward the audience. Well, I busted out laughing, but managed to keep juggling because that's what kind of trooper I am. What I didn’t realize was that I had backed up a couple of steps and was guffawing almost directly into the microphone that was on the piano accompanying the song. Anyway, my laughter basically drowned out thirty people singing on stage, and the entire audience just busted a gut laughing.

6) I’m sitting here watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with my daughter Pisa as I write this, which really isn’t a secret, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have guessed it (okay, you might have guessed it).

The next part of the deal is that I’m supposed to name 7 other blogs that should get an award.

I’m going to pull the old bait-and-switch here, and instead award seven individuals with my own “Really Sh*tty Weight Loss Blog” award which recognizes those weight loss blogs that have… well, their own special aroma about them.

Mommy2Joe at Did I Just Eat That Out Loud?
Karen at *Fitcetera*
Lucas at Petite Flower
TJ Renee at TJ's Weight or the Highway
Anne at Carb Tripper
Chris at A Deliberate Life
Candice at Life According to Candice

Allow me to quote the rules for the Really Sh*tty Weight Loss Blog Award:

First off, there’s no passing it on to five, ten, fifteen bloggers. You don’t see Kate Winslet get handed an Oscar and then having to go give duplicate statues to Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron and Phyllis Diller. If there’s somebody you really want to recognize for their sh*tty contributions to the weight loss community, please feel free to do so. But it’s not a requirement.

Speaking of requirements, you must (like the Oscars) write an eloquent acceptance speech in which you name five… no ten… no seven things you admire about the person that gave you the award. That may sound self-serving, but… well, now that I think about it, it’s incredibly self-serving. My award, my rules.

Congrats to the worthy recipients, and thanks again one and all for your over-the-top sentiments about the pics. And as Caractacus Pott so eloquently put it in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, "You'll find a slight squeeze on the hooter an excellent safety precaution, Miss Scrumptious."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Congrats with the loss! The typing story is too funny. Have a great day!

  3. I'm in stitches here. I love your blog. I really really really do.

    Not so funny was the three month cancer scare. I've been through that; it's a nightmare. I'm so happy that everything turned out to be OK. Yay for the cool neck scar. :)


  4. Congratulations on the loss. Have a particular hobo in mind or were you just going to wing it?

  5. Good job on the loss this week! Hip Hip Hurray for going shopping. I am in need of a shopping buddy if your ever in my neck of the woods. Im so use to grabbing for those XXL tags that I don't seem to know what will look good on me. :( I wasn't born with that shopper gene like most women. lol

  6. First ... CONGRATS!!!!! Great stuff! I guess your head did not contribute but maybe after you get those compliments from the award people, it will swell & come back to haunt you with a weight gain next week!! JUST KIDDING! I would not wish that on anyone!

    I loved all the stories but the typing hit home! I had to take that in high school & back then, well, women were expected to be good at this stuff. NOT ME as I sit her & type with a couple fingers! Luckily I had an easy teacher that let us grade ourselves. I barely could type 15 words a minute with 14 mistakes!!! I could have given myself an A if I wanted to but I did not..... I think I gave myself a B for trying under extreme pressure! :-)

    Also related to the cancer story... UGH, that must have been awful for you. I had a somewhat similar experience telling me I probably had breast cancer & turned out not to be, thank god!

    Glad you are fine & continue to lose!

  7. Congrats on your nice loss!!

  8. Woohoo Good Job on the loss, love the skiing story!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Nice loss! Glad you got some new shirts. I remember having lost 50 pounds (prior occasion) and my clothes were flapping around me like I was a scarecrow.

  11. Well, I don't even know what to say. I mean, my first inclination is to make some joke about typewriters, but honestly, you caught me at a warm and fuzzy moment. So, thanks for the sh*tty award, and I'll tease you twice next time.

  12. Loved the typing story! Reminded me of my shorthand class. Yes, I can take shorthand. I believe I got up to about 120 wpm? Never, ever in my life have I tried to use it - it went way of the do-do bird, but back in the day, some thirty plus years ago, it was a sure-fire way to get a good secretarial job. Sheesh.

    Anyway, get ready to hang some skin on the hobo and leave the hooters alone. Congrats on the loss and the milestone

  13. I definitely think the next "after" shot needs to be in that gold sequined tarzan outfit!

    Congrats on the loss, and loved the stories--hilarious as usual.

  14. lol, now to see the comments about jack the recipients dream up!

    i totally get the antique g.i. joe appeal :)

  15. Way to go on the lose. Loved the summo picture. I love when you write about yourself, cracks me up. Skiing is on my list of things I've never done but want to do now I'm not so sure lol.

  16. good numbers, mister.
    awesome picture too!

    :D really enjoyed this post. you are a gorgeous blogger...

  17. I have tears running down my face from laughing so hard at your snow skiing story...really wish I could have witnessed that. :)

  18. Good loss, again! Loved the skiing story. Further confirmed my thoughts that I'm definitely never going to try skiing.

  19. Congrats on the loss Mr. Sh*t. You're looking good!

  20. Living here in a ski town, I loved that ski story! Sounds familiar, but I was about 10 when my first all-out snowplow went bad. Now, its not so bad, my kids just call me "grandma" as they pass me on the slopes.

    Are you sure L is not too big? You appear to be verging on M territory, be careful!

    And way to go on yet another scale victory! Have you ever posted your secrets for success? What do you eat and what kind/amount of exercise do you do every day? Give up the goods!

  21. I am very upset that I did not receive the award!!!

    Two pics in three days. Wow, like where this is going.

  22. Great loss, Jack, congrats. I was at a web-design class in Illinois when I got a call from the dr that I needed to come in that day to have a scan done on my breast because a lump showed up in the mammogram. There I was, several hundred miles away from home, by myself, and get that dropped on me. I had to tell them I couldn't come in until Friday (it was Monday), and had a whole week to drive myself crazy. It turned out to be fibrous lump, nothing to worry about, but it was a stressful week, for sure.

  23. Dude - Jack - you are the best guy I know.
    Thank you for the Really Sh*tty Weight Loss Blog Award!
    It is a true treasure, coming from you.
    I will always strive to make you proud.

  24. Wowee! A sh*tty award for me?! WoOt! Thanks, Slim.

    That's one reason why Hubman has not gotten me on skis yet. I know that's exactly how I'd end up. HA!

  25. lol, thank you for the award, the perfume is sweet indeed. I will accept my sh*tty award tomorrow, I find I need the time to properly extol your virtues.
    I skied once....just once.

  26. LOVE the glimpse into your life.
    Chitty Chitty Who KNew?
    Was Cheaper By The Dozen the followup?
    It's a crowd fave around here...

  27. Congrats on the weekly loss! Keep up the good work. Love the pic!

  28. I LOVE this post!! First up - suuh-weeeeeet!! on the loss - nice work Mr Sh!t!

    Your answers are by far the most entertaining I've read in a while (not that cancer is in anyway entertaining, but since this one turned out ok, we'll gloss over that point). The skiing might as well be me, as I have an uncanny talent for falling over with spectacular style and grace .... not! And not just skis - I can do falling off snowboards, windsurfers, mountain bikes, the pavement ... jealous??? You should be!

  29. wow.. that would be a scary 3 months! love the stories. Hubs and I watched "Babe" last night.. and we don't have kids. :) We actually own chitty chitty bang bang too. If he reads this.. i'm betting that movie's coming out tonite. :)

    Great list! and I agree.. L's must be too big on you!

  30. New to your blog and loving it. Nice results, and hilarious stories. I remember taking typing the year they were switching over to computers, so half of it was typewriter and half was computer - like they weren't sure if computers were going to take off and wanted us to be able to use a typewriter, heh.

  31. HI Jack!

    I linked to your post in my blog today! I have read your blog for a couple of weeks but I am the loser who doesnt comment! :(

    Please check out my post! You inspired me to write it!! and I sincerely thank you!!

    keep it real, jen



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