Threshold

| 104 Comments

There is still a whistling in my ears. At this point, and I do not recommend this as a home remedy, it takes me a shot of Scotch to get to sleep. See, my Gastric Bypass means alcohol hits me like a cannonball, so between the kitchen and empty shot glass and my bed is sufficient time for me to be legally unable to drive.

I lie down, and find I do not care about the constant noise that constantly whistles. Whistles whistles whistles. I dream that whistle. I wake up to that whistle. That whistle is my world. That whistle consumes me. I am hearing it right now.

Plus we're struggling with a conversion to Voice over IP from work. (The less said about that, the better.) And my blood pressure is sky high, and my stress level is high.

Before you ask? Yes. I am seeing the doctor at 2:45 today. Because I am not an idiot.

And yet? I am happy. Hell, I am ecstatic.

And it's all thanks to The Simpsons.

Long term readers know I have lost a ton of weight. The Adipose Ninja, we call it, because I've lost more weight in pure fat than a human adult male trained in the arts of ninjitsu would have. For the record, we are in the ballpark of 200 pounds down. (We're not near the wall of that ballpark, yet, but we're starting to think about it.) This is astounding. My health is a thousand times better. I fit into things. I can shop at the Gap... if I can come up with a credible reason to want to shop at the Gap. There is far to go, and there is additional surgery needed (remember kids -- buy a t-shirt so Unka Eric can get large folds of deflated skin hacked off his torso!), but it has been a staggering, smashing success.

Only... I've still been above 300 pounds.

Yeah, do the math. Take a moment. Then stare at the screen in slack jawed horror at how much I clearly weighed before all this started. Go right ahead! It's fun! I'll wait.

300 is a big number. It's a perfect bowling game, in fact. And for people who haven't been morbidly obese, it seems impossibly huge. I have spent years coming to terms with that. (Hell, when you've broken 450, 300 doesn't seem so bad to you.) But there's that damn Simpsons episode.

You know the one. Homer discovers that the Nuclear Plant has a policy of setting up disabled workers with telecommuting. And he discovers that if a worker is fat enough, he is considered disabled for the purposes of that policy. And so Homer begins eating. And eating. And eating. His rule of thumb is if he rubs a fried food on paper and the paper turns transparent from grease? Eat it! (When nervous about eating fried fish -- fish allegedly being good for you -- Homer rubs it on the wall of the restaurant. The wall turns clear and birds start flying into it. I've eaten at fish places like that.)

He get huge. Monumental. Colossal. He starts wearing mumus exclusively, because pants just don't come in that size. He can barely waddle. He is one gigantic huge tub of lard.

The magic weight he needs to reach in this monumental obesity -- this "oh dear Christ he's coming right at us" fatness?

You guessed it. Three hundred pounds.

I don't look like Homer, currently. I'm wearing jeans that sat in my bureau drawer for years, unable to be worn due to fatness. I can wear 2XL shirts -- not small, by any stretch, but considered "normal" in today's world. I can walk. I can even run. I fit into booths again. I don't break chairs I sit in. I don't overflow chairs I sit in.

I do not. Wear. Mumus.

But that episode mocks me. Because it was so funny. And so true. I've been the shape Homer is in the episode. I've always worn pants, mind, but they were pants of frightening size. I went through a long period where I had to wear suspenders because belts just weren't an option. I know from that.

I've nearly died because of it.

And I took extreme measures to correct it. And it's not just the surgery. The surgery is a gigantic kick in the ass, but it's not a panacea. The surgery would do nothing to stop me from drinking chocolate milkshakes every waking hour of my life. The surgery would make it hard to eat six dinners in an evening, because I'd have to do it over four or five hours, but it could be done.

And make no mistake -- pre surgery, it was nothing for me to put away that much food. Nothing. I would do McDonald's drive through after a hard day, and I would get three or four extra value meals, because I was tired and stressed out and the food would make me feel better. If that sounds like I was using it as a drug, you're right. I would flood my body with carbohydrates and saturated fats, and my body would release hormones that would regulate my metabolism and my hormones. Like heroin, only heroin addicts get skinny. By the end, I couldn't walk into a convenience store without coming out with pounds of crap. There's been a lot of contributing factors that got me to that point, but once I got there I was keeping myself there, and I was out of control.

Those cravings and habits don't magically disappear when you get a gastric bypass, kids. And yes, you go through withdrawal. If you've never actually cried while watching a Taco Bell commercial, I envy you.

Does it sound pathetic when I say that? It should. I was pathetic. Don't make any mistakes about that. You know all the mean-ass jokes people love to say about fat people? I deserved them. I still do.

So. The surgery gave me an immediate, sharp negative consequence to binge eating. (And said consequences are horrid, I can tell you.) It gave me a governor to replace the mental one I lack. But there are ways around it. A lot of ways around it. And yeah, they'd kill me even faster (sugar is not my friend, now), but the old me wasn't exactly keeping myself from dying.

Only... the old me took the steps to do what he had to do to live. He saw the right doctors. He got the right recommendations. He did therapy. He then went on -- I swear -- a year and a half crusade with his insurance company to be able to get the surgery.

After all of that... and after the surgery itself... I would be damned if I was going to let myself slide back into the pit. It was too damn hard to get there, and this was my last chance. I broke the habits. I went through the withdrawal. I cried at commercials for food I never much liked in the first place. I forced myself to exercise. When things turned problematic, I went back in, found out why (the sugar sensitivity/latent dumping), and made an even more restrictive diet change.

I did it all right. And I lost weight. Tons of it. Huge amounts. And got healthier. And happier. I got more energy. Better energy. I became... well, human.

People don't stare at me when I walk any more. I look human to them.

I look normal.

And I tell myself that. And I try to believe it. You get so used to being a freak of nature that it's hard to believe you're not, any more. But I can't deny the differences in peoples' attitudes. The differences in people's bearings when they see me. Little kids don't giggle at me any more. Tell me that's not a change.

Only, this little voice in the back of my head kept saying, over and over again "yeah, but they'd let you telecommute to the Nuclear Plant, wouldn't they? Mister Burns of all people would pity you enough to let you park your fat ass on the couch and let a bobbing head bird push the Y key on your terminal while you watched Days of our Lives.."

And I'd argue with that voice, but I knew it was right. For all I've done, and no matter what evidence my eyes said, I was still over three hundred pounds. I was still pathetic.

Yesterday morning, I weighed myself.

I gave it a day. These things can vary tremendously from day to day. But no, this morning, I was able to confirm.

I am 297.5 pounds. Soaking wet.

If you'll excuse me? I have to head over to the nuclear plant. They don't let me work from home any more.

104 Comments

I have to say, congrats.

Though I've never weighed as much as you apparently did at your peak, I did top 350 at one point in time. I realized that I weighed nearly 3 times as much as the girl I was dating then and decided to make changes. I've managed to get down to 275 and I'm still working on it.

Keep up the good work.

You're my hero, Eric. One of them, anyway.

And man, that was an awesome episode.

As someone who has been 300+ for basically his entire adult life, congrats!

Mind if I ask what exercises they have you doing exactly?

Congratulations. I know what it's like, because I've been there. I was never that heavy, but two years ago I weighed 206 pounds. That doesn't sound like a lot, but I'm a short guy with a slight frame, so I looked fat. After two years of watching what I eat and exercising every day, I now weigh 140 lbs. Just keep plugging away, man. You'll get there eventually. You're doing a good job. Keep the faith, brother.

You have the best attitude about yourself of Anyone, Ever. This is why it's impossible to mind when you're happy about your successes and achievements--you fucking earned them! I'm a bleeding-heart liberal; I haven't seen that Simpsons, but if you said you couldn't find it funny because it was too painful, I would've nodded understandingly (not gone on a crusade for sensitivity or anything, but still). But you're a critic; you can appreciate that it was funny, totally separate from its relevance to your life. And you can turn that pain and shame you felt around and downright celebrate when the implications have changed. That makes you a rare and exceptional (denotatively the same, connotatively different) human being. I still remember finding out about all this; I think it was in January, when you fell down. I still remember how deeply moved I was (taihen kandoushimashita--now that I'm back in America I really miss putting things in Japanese, please excuse me). Today you did it again.

Congratulations! (Omedetougozaimasu!)

And you know, I hope, that most of us are here cheering you every step of the way. Even if we don't always post about it.

Good work Eric! Keep it up.

I encourage you to check out the (free) excel spreadsheets that John Walker makes available as part of his "Hackers Diet" book. They're a wonderful way of tracking and graphing your weight trend by smoothing out your daily weight. I find them very helpful even though I don't use his diet regimen.

Find them about halfway down this page: www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet (I am not affiliated with the guy, just like his spreadsheets)

Congratulations.

I've been hovering around 300 for years, but it took me about as long as your present age to arrive there. I usually wear 2XL (that's the Snarky tee size I ordered) but I've indulged in 3XL once or twice and liked it. I'm 6'1" though, so we're talkin' John Goodman dimensions rather than Maury Chaykin. And I don't order multiple Extra Value Meals unless I'm driving through for myself and my wife. I know I ought to lose as much as a third of it (I weighed 180 when I graduated high school), but I don't have the motivation you have on the necessary emotional level.

It's weird. When you're a kid or a teen or a tween, you see ridiculously unhealthily large people and you say to yourself, "I wouldn't let that happen to me." Next you're closer to fifty than forty and you look in the mirror and say, "Woah, pushing it. When did that happen?"

You are the man!

I used to weigh 320. Weight watchers and excersize helped me get down to about 270... and then I lost my job, and have crawled up to being around 300 now. I'm trying to get back into excersizing, but general life stress (there's this roleplaying convention I"m running next weekend) and problems with my legs have slowed me down.

Multiple happy meals? Wow. You go. Have a carrot.

Immediate edit: I used to weigh 360, not 320. My brain no work, Friday poisoning.

Probably wasn't intentional, but I can't help picking up John F.'s multiple happy meals thing--I totally think that if I were ever in your (very serious and awful and not ordinarily to be joked about) previous life situation, I would be like "I'm fat and I need 6 toys! Now!"

I recently turned 25. Done with college, finally in the working world, good job - finally my life can begin!

Then I decided to weigh myself on one of those cool talking scales they sell at BB&B.

190lbs.

Huh... That's funny... for the past 10 years, I've been exactly at 170. And I haven't changed my eating habits. What the heck happened?

My teenage metabolism went away and I gained 20lbs, that's what. So I exercised, ate right, counted points (thank you, Weight Watchers), and did the entire health food thing for 6 months. Down to 180. Sweet! I can cut back and enjoy life a bit more!

That was last month, and I'm back to 190. Ugh...

Back on the 25 points a day for me. And the teenagers in my complex wonder why I'm so mean to them...

While you may not have lost as much weight as you would like, what you've done so far is an amazing accomplishment, and you have every right to be proud and happy for yourself. Just let those good feelings of success keep you moving towards your goal, and there'll be no stopping you!

I'm also curious what exercises you were/are doing to help you lose weight. Always good to know what worked for other people.

Man, now I really might just have to buy a Snarky to help you out. Great entry, dude.

Oh, and on an unrelated note: siwamangmu; 日本語を書くならちゃんと書かなくちゃ! ;) But seriously, what were you doing in Japan, if you don't mind my asking?

Sweet! I didn't know this thing would take the characters! 夏は滋賀県の琵琶湖のそばにある彦根という町で留学したんです。(そのへんの景色はすごいです!)三ヶ月ぐらいしか勉強しなかったけど、前日本に行ったことはなかったからめっちゃいい経験だったと思います。私の日本語はもう下手でていねいすぎて学生っぽいですが、専門だから頑張ります!And I guess since Hikone's in Shiga-ken, I should add something like ええ、ちゃんと書けばいいやろう。I've never learned much about the various -bens, but "yarou" was hard to miss around there.

(Uh, sorry for the off-topic-ness of all this but I guess putting a translation would be more polite: This summer I studied abroad in a little town called Hikone, on Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture, the scenery is awesome there, I only studied for three months or so but since I'd never been to Japan it was a really great experience, my Japanese still sucks, is too formal and very student-y, but since it's my major I'm doing/going to do my best!) And those who can read it, please laugh at my mistakes and correct me.

And now I wanna change my name to Siwamangmu.

Congratulations Eric.

Yeah that simpsons episode always confused me. 300 is often presented as the weight at which a person is an immoble blob of fat. I haven't quite figured out why though. I usually weigh in at about 290 (and peaked at about 300,) and yeah, I'm fat. I wear a 42/44 and 2XL and I'm 5'10". But I am not Homer Simpson "He's comming right at us" big.

Good luck with the rest of the weight loss. And the money for the cosmetic portion (yes I realize that it isn't entirely cosmetic, that there are some serious medical and quality of life reasons to remove the excess skin.)

あかんあかん。本当は仕事せなあかんちゅうのに、ここにもう一人日本で留学した人がおるってわかったら指が勝手に打ちに行った :)

なるほど。いいところで留学したようだね。三ヶ月しか勉強してないわりには大したもんだぜ。俺は三年以上日本にいたのに同レベルでしゃべれそうだから。間違いとか全然なかったし。ま、強いて言えば「日本に行ったことはなかったから」の「は」は「が」の方がいいけど、そんな細かいの気にしないでいいだろう :) 丁寧すぎるとか学生っぽさとかをもっと勉強して、もっとゲームや漫画を楽しめば克服するはずさ。俺の書いた一段落目なんか「あずまんが大王」の大阪のしゃべり方を丸写しコピーしたようなものだ :) 進歩方法はいろいろある。頑張ればいい。諦めるんじゃねぇぞ!

Apologies for the digression. Hope no one minds us Japan veterans chatting it up a bit. Or that I, unlike siwangmu, don't feel compelled to put up a translation of what I just wrote for all to see :)

And yes, I will now definitely be buying a t-shirt to make up for any transgressions I may have perpetrated by this fun, but admittedly unneccessary foreign-language conversation.

You can always tell the ex-Japan folks: Assloads of hiragana. Not that I'm one to speak, I can barely remember how to ask where the toilet is.

Eric, look at it this way: At least you weren't at the point where Jerry Springer had to show up to cut a hole in your wall to take you outside.

Seriously though, while it pales in comparison, I am constantly struggling to get to somewhere near my ideal weight and stay there, so I know how frustrating it can be. Thankfully (??!), my large intestine has recently placed some stops for me, so if I can work up the willpower to work with it, I may succeed. But the arrival of the magical 35th year means I have to work twice as hard to do it.

Just gotta say: Keep on keeping on.

Hi Eric,

THis is my first time posting here, and just wanted to say good for you for recognizing that something needed to be done, and freakin' doing it.

Congratulations! That is damned impressive.

I'm really proud of you Eric! Sending you an e-mail now!

????????? ????????????! ??????, ?? ?????. ?????????!!!

I have actually seen the Simpsons episode mentioned in this post, and it is pretty damned funny, I'll admit.

I'll also say that, to be honest, I don't really consider 300 pounds to be "fat," as my brother weighs 300+ pounds and he merely looks chubby. Then again, he's 6'4", and that kind of makes of difference.

Anyway, don't have much to say that hasn't been echoed elsewhere in this thread. Just keep up the good work!

Also, congrats!

I'm needing to tighten things up a bit myself--I've been edging closer and closer to the 200 mark (upwards, that is)... that's big for me, anyway. I think working at a bakery has been my downfall. @_@

But yayy biologically nudged self-control!

C'mon guys, it's not terribly polite to talk in a language foreign to the other readers/listeners. I know you guys are just chatting about sundries, but there are enough avenues for foreign language practice that are more appropriate.

As for weight - I was never quite as large as Eric, but I do know how agonizing a food commercial can be. I once participated in a medical study which required me, on three seperate occasions, to go 72 hours without eating any calories. Among other things, you never realize how inundated we are with food advertisements until you aren't allowed to have anything to eat.

Serious congratulations. I've been in a very difficult battle with my own weight ever since a kneecap getting shattered ended my football career.

(It's easy to be in decent physical condition and nearly 300 pounds myself when I was playing middle linebacker and working out every day. When you can't do any strenuous workouts for 5 months, lose your good habits, and can't play football anymore? Oof.)

It's scary. It's a constant fight, and I definently know all about getting tempted. (It took diabetes to scare me straighter, if not totally straight.)

Congratulations. It's probably one of the hardest battles out there, and you're winning.

Good luck, and don't forget that a lot of us faithful readers would be happy to lend advice or support.

I just wanna know: where the hell is this GAP you can shop at? I weigh 260 and I tend to leave those stores (any store in the mall, actually) frustrated and humiliated.

Fortunately, now that I'm 40, and working from home, I carry an actual license to wear plaid pajamas all day.

Congrats on the weight loss, man. You deserve to be healthy.

Joey

www.moderntales.com

Way to go Eric! It's an incredible feat to have accomplished as much as you have.

Eric:

Congrats on your weight loss. Keep it up. I myself started really packing in some pounds once I left work and started going back to school. This past summer, I bought an exercise bike. I use it nearly every day, and I am seeing plenty of benefits with it. My stomach has shrunk, my appetite has gone down, and I'm also eating right. I was getting close to 200 and now I'm down to 185.

I know how tough it must have been to resist eating fast foods, but you're thinking long term, and you're doing things right.

Have you seen "SuperSize Me"? My wife and I saw it and it really opened our eyes to fast food in general. I swear it'll change the way everyone looks at fast food. If you haven't seen it - watch it. Now I'm scared shitless of McDonalds, and refuse to eat any fast food whenever I can help it.

You're an inspiration Eric. I know it hasn't been an easy road for you. I hope that you felt every bit of joy imaginable when you say that number this morning. You earned every last bit of it.

I'd like to offer up my moral support too, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do that. See, though a lucky combination of genes, a very careful mother, and the ability to ignore hunger for hours when staring at a screen, I've developped into the "skinny geek" girl variety (my boyfriend calls it "petite"). So I can't really sympathise except by saying "Sucks to be you".

...but in a *nice* way. If that's even possible.

I myself eat pretty deeply from the "Chocotastic Group."

Yet, myself, I suffer from the opposite problem of Eric. I weigh 110 pounds. I'm too skinny. I am waaaaaaaay too skinny. Girls smaller than me can pick me up. And I don't mean that in a good, "I'll see you for coffee" kind of way. As in actually lift me off the ground with relative ease. Luckily, I'm not so tall I suffer from the "beanpole" effect.

Although, of course being ridiculously skinny has nowhere near the stigma of being even slightly fat. Quite the opposite, stupidly enough.

Congratulations!

And if you want some help with the VoIP thing, and 'yall are using Asterisk, drop me an email (cduffy at spamcop dot net) and I'll give you my phone number, or just provide advice. (There's an anti-moonlighting clause in my contract, so I can't do any outside work for pay -- and sorry, other ssorted netizens -- I'm not offering to help the whole world, just Eric).

I've commented a time or two before, but I really wanted to hop on and make a point of offering a hearty "Congrats!" to you, Eric. My mother struggled with her weight my whole life and has only now reached her target weight at the age of 53. She's doing MUCH better in nearly every aspect of her life now that she feels better not only physically, but mentally as well.

I'm currently going through my own struggle on the issue although the scale is much smaller. All through my teen years I weighed between 140-160 pounds depending on the time of day, direction of the wind, humidity, etc. Now I find myself weighing in at a near constant 180 and it all seems to be living on my tummy. The first time I sat down and rested my hands on my gut was a real eye opener.

Now I just have to figure out what the heck it is that I should do to get rid of this poundage. I'll echo the others who've asked what exercises you've been doing. Any feedback at this point is a good thing.

And congrats again.

Last month, three days after finishing school, my uncle-in-law walked up to me at a family picnic and kiddingly poked me in the butt and said, "What happened?" I replied "Three years of graduate school, at 10 lbs a year. If I lose this, they'll take my degree away." I'm not morbidly obese, but I'm 173 lbs (this morning) on a 5'2" frame and when surrounded by family and friends who are in the 130 lbs or lower range, it's no picnic, either. It's taken me a month to lose three pounds to get to 173. I can remember a time, less than 10 years ago, when I thought size 10 pants meant I was fat.

Eric, what you've done is amazing. Congratulations. And thanks for sharing your story with us -- you probably didn't set out to be an inspiration, but you've accomplished it anyway :)

It's official. He totally wins everything. Eric? Totally wins. Everything. He wins.

Joey: I don't know where Eric's mythical Gap is, but large ones in major metropolitan areas (at least in the US; don't try this in England) will do the upper end of mens' sizing. In addition, one occasionally lucks out and gets shelved returns from the online shop, whose range is greater.

Alternatively, there's Old Navy.

That's my all-time favorite episode of THE SIMPSONS.

(Though it's tied with the Frank Grimes episode. And the Larry Burns episode.)

There's really nothing I can add, so allow me to simply reiterate: Good job; congrats.

Hey, five more pounds and you'll hit the weight I spent most of grad school at! You can DOOOO EEEET! :) (Thanks to the Doctoral Thesis Diet, I actually graduated at 260, though. Try writing a few theses! Then nail them to someone's door, ring the bell, and run off giggling.)

A topic very close to me right now.

I have to admit, I have.... *issues* with obesity. I can't help looking at the morbidly obese and wondering how they could possibly have allowed themselves to get like that. It's alien to me, the willingness to watch yourself get fatter and fatter and fatter and fatter and yet keep on shoveling down the Happy Meals. A slow, grotesque form of suicide.

I'm watching my parents do that right now.

But, I've been rather fat for a lot of years myself. I was never "lean" even when I was in the military, and I gained about 50 pounds within a few years after I left.

I'm a short guy, and a few months ago, I got on the scale and saw that I'd passed the 200 pound mark. And that was IT. Something in me went "This has to stop. Now."

I've completely changed my eating habits, and taken up exercise as part of my lifestyle. Not a "diet," but the way I eat from now on. So far I've lost about 25 pounds, and I won't stop until I am down to where I want to be... and then I'm going to start bulking up the other way, with muscle. I've already got muscles and definition all over, and pants that were too tight a couple of months ago are now too loose. I still look a bit on the pudgy side, but I *know* I'm going to keep going until I am lean and healthy. I don't eat the crap anymore. I just don't. No more fast food, no more pastries and ice cream, no more "partially hydrogenated" anything. I was a perennial snack-muncher, and now I can walk past leftover goodies left out after an office party and not even feel tempted.

You just gotta do it. There are no excuses.

Eric, congrats. Part of me wonders how it could possibly have been "easier" to go through a horrible, expensive surgical procedure with unpleasant and lingering side effects than to change your lifestyle, but I am glad you are getting where you want to be, one way or the other. Hopefully you will make the decision you need to, to work on your health proactively with lifestyle changes as well.

Eric, congrats. Part of me wonders how it could possibly have been "easier" to go through a horrible, expensive surgical procedure with unpleasant and lingering side effects than to change your lifestyle,

Via the only critereon that counts: nothing else worked. Up to and including the clear self realization that I was killing myself.

It might be biochemical. I don't know. Or psychological. Or an addiction. It's not lack of willpower. It's not lack of desire. It's not lack of hatred of what's become of you.

What it's a lack of, I don't know. But I lacked it.

The surgery forced the lifestyle change I wasn't able to otherwise force. And that gave me sufficient tools to force the other lifestyle changes that had to go with it.

"Easier" isn't the word. When nothing else has worked, you take the shot at the moon.

You just gotta do it. There are no excuses.

I'm going to try hard not to be confrontational about this, but we have very, very different attitudes. Your above statement could not be less relevant or useful to people who suffer with things like this. I've never had to worry about my weight, so that's not my angle on this, but, in my case, I find it indescribably difficult to get out of bed in the morning, go to appointments, make appointments, fulfill my commitments, organize my life, etc. It's something I constantly struggle with, and it means that for me, something as simple as a phone call can take an enormous act of will. that doesn't mean I don't need to use the phone like everyone else, and it doesn't excuse me from fulfilling my responsibilities, but it informs who I am. Some people are good at some things, some at others. I find complicated math and physics concepts incredibly easy to learn--in that way, I'm gifted. But I would never turn around and tell a kid with a math-related learning disability, who had to kill himself just to pass algebra and graduate from high school, that it should come as easily to him as it does to me. Because that thought it patently ridiculous. You're probably seeing the link I'm drawing here; for you it was easy to decide you needed to lose weight, make changes in your life, and lose it. And you think it should be that easy for everyone.

It isn't. Get used to it. And possibly rethink whatever think it was that said it made sense to come in here showing scorn for how Eric did it, suggesting "hopefully he will make the decision he needs to to work on his health proactively with lifestyle changes as well..."

Did you even read this post? I very much hope I am misinterpreting you somehow, because you seem to be suggesting that he has NOT made lifestyle changes, very, very difficult ones. I'm losing my cool here a little bit, I realize that, but when I read your post I got very, very angry for Eric's sake, because I felt that if I were him, I would be deeply hurt to read something so callous and dismissive and with so little comprehension of the struggle he faced. You did not have to struggle. Does that make you better? Depends on the reckoning system, I suppose. It sure makes you luckier. I've tried to be calm and explain why I'm writing this and why I responded emotionally in the way I did, because I know Eric would hate it if I came on her and screamed at you, purportedly for his sake. He's a big boy(no pun intended), he can handle himself. But your words hurt me, too, because they hit that close to home. You are judging something that you do not understand. I suppose it's admirable that you are as frank as you are about it, acknowledging your conflicting feelings on the subject, and I don't want to create a climate where you don't think you can say things you really mean, but luckily I don't think I can create any climate here by my lonesome, so I'll feel free to express how very vehemently I disagree with the spirit of your congratulations to Eric.

(Since I began writing that and took a break to try and be calmer about it, Eric did chime in and respond in his own right, so for the record, I wasn't ignoring that)
(And I had meant for my next post to be a response to ANT about Japan, but this was too compelling a subject not to respond to).

Great episode, Eric. That could not have been easy to share and yet, you did. That takes some serious courage, but so did taking the steps to lose all that weight.

Awesome that you've met another personal goal and here's hoping you meet a few more.

hm..

First, Eric! I'm so proud of you, man (and boy how pompous that must sound, since I'm a total stranger and why the fuck should you care that I'm proud of you?). But still, proud all the same. Cause, y'see, you took the steps.

It doesn't matter what steps those are, when you're as off-kilter as you were. Not really. Sure, sure, liquid diets are hella hard on the body... but if supervised closely, they're not as hard as 200 extra pounds (much less 300!). Nor was the pre-surgery you easier for your body to handle than the process of surgery, etc.

Not only did you take that hard (oh my god how difficult it is) first step, but you've followed through. You've changed your diet, tackled what some call the sugar addiction (albeit not 100% by choice), and exercised.

As a gal with a weight problem, not because I eat too much, because I don't, but.. well, lots of reasons, I can appreciate how hard the first step was. And the second, and the third, and the 800th. Good show, man. I'm so glad you're not in danger of death from your weight anymore.

You went and made me get all teary, damn you. Good show, hon. Keep on keepin' on, we care about you, and you just have to stick around a bit longer.

Siwangmu -- Amadan and I go back a long way. In fact, he's edited me professionally before.

He can be a touch... blunt... about things he believes. But you also learn to read between the lines a bit with experience. And I honestly believe he is A) happy for me, B) congratulated me, and C) related my essay to his own experiences -- both in his own right (discovering that despite a lifetime of diligence he has to deal with some of these issues himself) and in seeing people he loves deal with them (or more to the point not deal with them, with potentially frightening consequences.)

The hardest thing in the world is seeing how someone whose experiences and perspective are alien to your own does things. When Amadan says he can't understand how someone could let that happen, he's being -- I think -- absolutely forthright. I don't think he was saying "why didn't you just eat less and exercise." He was expressing how alien it was to him that I couldn't -- that it was "easier" for me to get the surgery (not that it was easy, or lacking trauma).

I appreciate the defense, by the by. But I think everything's cool. ;)

Okay, decided to split the comments in two.

32_footsteps: dude. those two or three posts of Japanese characters weren't painful, were they? I just sorta went (hmm, those characters look neat) and moved along. Why are you telling them what they can do Eric's site? They were having fun, and I seldom begrudge fun.

I've never been anywhere near that kind of weight, but I can understand. For as long as I can remember, my dad has weighed in at about 300 pounds. Seeing all of the problems it has caused him, I told myself I'd never let that happen to me. The big problem is that I picked up his eating habits (Not to mention that small Arkansas churches I go to have amazing potlucks, but anyway). I recently weighed myself and realized I'd jumped about 20 pounds without even noticing (stupid metabolism changes). Thankfully, I've realized it and hopefully I can avoid gaining so much in the first place. And either way, I can look up to you. Good job, Eric. Congrats and thanks.

You're probably seeing the link I'm drawing here; for you it was easy to decide you needed to lose weight, make changes in your life, and lose it. And you think it should be that easy for everyone.

You're very wrong, on both counts.

A choice is still a choice, whether or not it's an easy one.

I think Eric got my meaning.

Amadan: I think he did, too, and I'm glad of it, as well as being very reassured by Eric's response, learning that he took your comments just as kindly as you (I hope) meant them. You and I see this differently, but I don't really see a need to go into it in extreme detail, so I'm willing to not argue it further, if that's alright with you. Besides, I can always live out the argument vicariously by talking to my Dad... USMA class of 1968 and raised in 1950's Ohio to boot (not making fun of him, but for me it would go "raised in 1990's California to boot" and be just as informative)... try explaining to the retired Lt. Colonel that you have trouble making it to all your classes...

William G. - We had plenty of kanji in there too. Just cause hiragana is the first thing Japanese students learn how to write doesn't mean it's not also commonly used by people who know what they're doing :)

32 - I know, I know. I apologized for the disgression, but you're right in that there are certainly better avenues for foreign-language conversations. Can't promise I'll never use Japanese here again, but I will keep it discreet.

larksilver - Thanks a ton for sticking up for us. But really, I don't want to detract from Eric's totally deserved moment of glory here anymore than we already may have, so I was planning on not using it again anytime soon anyway. I do appreciate your help though.

And to get things back on track; Eric, sorry again about any detraction. For what it's worth, this entry really did convince me to go and buy a Snarky t-shirt, in the hopes that it'll help you with your next operation. We're all cheering you on with your continued success. Keep kicking that scale's ass.

*cheer* Go, Eric!

Heck, at 290, depending on height and build and whatnot, you're probably pretty normal looking. My husband was right around 250 before he took up mountain biking, and he's well under six feet, but built like a Tolkien dwarf, so he didn't register as "fat," he just looked solid. At 290, you still have weight to lose, sure, but you're definitely in a respectable neighborhood, and unless you're four feet tall, I'm guessing you're lookin' like a big guy, but nothing extraordinary.

So, err--congratulations on being physically unremarkable!

I, meanwhile, will remain secretly convinced that you are a small green dinosaur until I actually meet you in person...

Congrats, Eric!

My weight seems to be creeping up recently. I need to find some sort of regular physical activity. Aikido doesn't fit into my schedule anymore.

Ursula -- nowhere have I claimed otherwise. I just happen to be a small green dinosaur currently weighing 297.5 lbs. soaking wet. ;)

Siwangmu, I've been where you are regarding Amadan's comments. When my husband turned 24, (almost 5 years ago) he decided he wasn't drinking caffeine anymore, and he stopped. Went from 64 oz or more a day to zero, and has had maybe half a cola since. Had me baffled. He did the same thing about two years later with alcohol. Just stopped drinking it. No cravings, no pain, no cheating, just no caffeine and no alcohol.

Whereas I can be eating a cookie and thinking, "Man, I need to stop eating these cookies" and pick up another cookie. My husband says, "What are you doing? Just don't pick up the next cookie. In fact, put that cookie down." And if I'm told to do so, I'll do it... most of the time anyway. (Seems I don't like being told what not to eat.) But if it's just me, well, cookies exist to be eaten, so not-eating the cookie as foreign an idea as eating the chair. As Eric alluded, whatever that thing is that my husband has that says, "Okay, we're done with cookies," I lack entirely. I have no idea how to "just stop that". On the other hand, he has no idea why "there's a cookie, it must be eaten" is as natural as "I must put on clothes to go to work". Makes for some interesting fights. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I did start eating chairs... at least then he'd understand that we're wholly un-alike on such matters and stop trying to mould me -- and vice versa ;)

Seriously, Eric, congratulations.

Just today I realized how much moving from an active job to an office job has affected my weight. Those 2x shirts don't fit so well anymore. That's ok.. I have an elliptical machine and a plan.

Kirabug - I don't know how your husband did it. I recently tried to go off caffine... I broke on the second day of the headache and went to the convenience store next door to buy a Coke. I may try again, but that's an addiction that's got me firmly in it's grasp. I think I will try eating better first.

As far as excercise that works, what works for me and what worked for my mom is as simple as taking a walk. My mom started doing this several years ago in an effort to get into shape. She started by walking a half hour every day. When she got used to that, she bumped it to an hour. Then she started increasing her distance in that hour. She now walks six miles, every day, one hour a day.(Barring really bad weather.)

I, having recently moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, no longer have the Galveston seawall to walk on. It gets COLD here, so I have an elliptical machine to do my walking on when I can't go outside.

Hmm.. how did this turn into a ramble about me? Blah. Congratulations, Eric, well done, sir.

For those of you who've never pondered the logistical nightmare that is a pair of really, truly enormous pants, I present you with Uncovering the Flaws in the Big Pants Paradigm, by Benjamin Hutchins and dearly departed Eyrie Productions patron saint Derek Bacon.

Congratulations, Eric; three years ago, my SO nearly went down the type-2 diabetic route and managed to stave it off with similar serious dietary restrictions (since loosened) and proper exercise. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people take proper responsibility for their own medical condition. :)

My congratulations as well. I wrote out another personal saga of obesity, but I think I'll just delete it and summarize: 6'4", weighed in at 336 last month. Have been pretty much that weight all of my adult life, except for the period between 1-1-03 and 1-1-05, wherein I dropped 100 pounds (physical labor job) and then gained them back (mmm, double cheeseburgers). I'm still weirdly glad to know that I COULD keep it off with not too much effort, though.

(Big & Tall stores should have huge "THIS IS NOT PRE-SHRUNK COTTON" signs for idiots like me. I can now barely fit into what was my favorite shirt for a couple of weeks.)

Larksilver, read my post again. I never said that they can't bust out a foreign language here. I never even said that they shouldn't (although admittedly that's implicit). I just said that it isn't terribly polite to do that. As some may have guessed, I've done my share of language study in the past. I learned a while ago that it can leave people feeling uncomfortable.

As for caffeine addiction, I went through that myself in college. I was constantly feeling fuzzy-headed and was having trouble sleeping. I figured those were signs of fatigue and drastically cut back on my caffeine consumption. I started getting things lower in caffeine, nursing them to draw them out, and getting fewer of them. Some people like to quit cold turkey, but I scaled back and found that it worked quite well for me. I now frequently go through the day without any caffeine (not to say I don't indulge, but I only have caffeine after 9 PM if I need to stay awake for something).

oooh, caffeine. I have, on several occasions, de-caffeinated myself. But somehow, I always end up back where I was two weeks ago, drinking 3 cokes a day and allll those extra calories. We're back down to a strict one-first-thing-in-the-morning thing, and soon, I swear I'm switching to tea for that, so that I'm not getting all the sugar and crap. Really! I can stop anytime. er.. yeah.

32: I noticed a tone of "tsk, children, you can't do that here" and found it odd, since it's not your forum. Thus, the comment.

Picture this: you're at a party with some friends. In walks another friend, just having arrived back from Japan. Fred over there, having also been in Japan for a time, greets him in Japanese. They have a 2-second interchange out of excitement, and stop themselves before they get totally carried away. Everyone kind of grins (or rolls their eyes) and the party continues, or it should, without further mention of it.

Now I ask you this: who's more impolite, the two guys who burst into Japanese for half a tic, or the guy who fusses at them for it, when it's not even "his" party? If the host didn't mind... ah, well, you get my drift.

Now, let's stop talkin' bout this, mmkay? This is the Skinnier-saurus's (bother, that's hard to say either way) post, and we're bein' rude, all of us, to derail it.

Congtats Eric. Being a big guy myself I understand how you feel, though not at all to the extent that you do I'm sure.

I weighed at my most 320. I remember when the scale stopped sliding past the 300. That was a very good day indeed for me.

I worked out extra hard and ate extra good and celebrated in a healthy way by going out dancing that night. I may be a big guy, but I can still get down :)

Congrats again, Maybe this won't mean much for a random guy on the internet, but, I'm proud of you Eric. Because you've accomplished something. Because even if it took far too long to get to that point, you realized what you wanted and needed, and you grabbed the bull by the horns and you went for it.

And really, THAT is what it's all about.

And if you can read this snark and thing "F you Fatty" then I have only one defence. The PA defence. This Snark's not FOR you.

\/\/

Congratulations!

It really is hard dealing with how differently people treat you after you lose weight. I want to scream at them and beat them for being shallow . . . but I can't.

that is a rant for another time and place

Once again, I am glad to hear that you are well on your way to achieving your goal weight. I hope the next doctor's appointment about the ear thing goes well.

Lark, you're reading context into my statement that isn't there. I was being as polite as I could about it, and I think you're being a bit brusque about it.

Of course, the funny thing is, I've encountered that situation several times before, with the exception that Japanese wasn't the language in question. And when it's a quick word or two, then it's not really a problem, though I don't like to indulge in it myself.

However, when you get people who start actually initiating a conversation, then it does start feeling uncomfortable. And you know, if telling someone that they're not being polite outside of their own party/forum/house/yurt/whatever is in fact impolite, then you're not being very polite either. If anything, you're criticizing me for doing what you're now indulging in.

Also, it's a cute trick to basically lecture someone on a matter and then say the topic should be dropped. It's often used to try to get the last word in on a subject. I'm not one to let something drop when I feel I'm not off-base, though.

Hey, look, it's Eric! Yaaaaaaaaay, Eric!

'scuse me, I did say we were all being rude in this situation.

and I didn't say let's drop it so I'd get the last word. I was merely trying to do what you obviously completely ignored.. which was turn this back to ERIC'S POST. sheesh. Drop it already.

This is the warning shot before the warning shot. I'm not saying that the posts are getting personal, but they're getting dangerously close.

There is no benefit served in copping the tone of comments for us.

Nope, had to cancel that entire rant. Let's try this instead.

1. Eric, congratulations on this milestone. We're rooting for you, of course.
2. Weds, I can picture that stern look. Goes perfect with the glasses. Hawt!
3. De onwetendheid is ongemakkelijk.

So, Eric, on another health related issue; how did your doctor's appointment yesterday go? Good news, I hope?

hehehehe, I'll bite :

3a) maar voor sommigen een zegen.. :p

Anyways, congrats Eric. :)

On to the bicentennial party.... ;)

Aaaand yet another faceless netizen registers specifically for the purposes of congratulations.




So, hey, congratulations. ;)




I'm afraid I fall into the camp of "if it's there, why in the world would you not eat it?" and have since my marriage 6 years ago floated up from 130 lbs. to about 190 lbs. (I'm told about 150 is supposed to be my target weight.) My birthday is next week, at which point I start a (well, again, less "diet" than "permanent lifestyle change") that kick-starts with 2 days of water, protein shakes and a number of multivitamins and dietary supplents. Kind of a whole-body cleansing type thing. The change of attitude is of course the most difficult part and I've been spending the last couple of weeks struggling to re-align my mental compass...




All that to say I found this particular Snark both timely and inspiring. So again, congratulations, and thanks.

Dang, that HTML did work at all as expected. Oops. Apologies.

Dang, that HTML did work at all as expected. Oops. Apologies.

It takes a few comments to scope out how Typekey reads HTML, especially paragraph breaks. We've all been there.

Whoa. We can quote??? Dude!

It takes a few comments to scope out how Typekey reads HTML, especially paragraph breaks. We've all been there.

Indeed, it's practically a rite of initiation around here.

Congratulations, Eric. Here's to the rest of the journey, and your future health. Cheers.


2. Weds, I can picture that stern look. Goes perfect with the glasses. Hawt!

You know you're doing something right when people get turned on by you exercising your forum moderation powers. :)


My birthday is next week, at which point I start a (well, again, less "diet" than "permanent lifestyle change") that kick-starts with 2 days of water, protein shakes and a number of multivitamins and dietary supplents.


?? What kind of "lifestyle change" diet is this? All that will do is give you a quick drop in weight from mostly lean body mass (i.e., water and muscle), and lower your base metabolic rate, which will allow you to lose weight at first (again, mostly LBM unless you are also combining the diet with exercise, and not just cardio), but will rapidly hit the point of diminishing to no returns as your body adapts to the "starvation mode" you are putting it in.

Amadan - My, you are a blunt one, aren't you? It seemed pretty clear to me that the two days of water, vitamins, and shakes is not the lifestyle change, but only a precursor sort of ritual to begin it. He's not going to live the rest of his life like that, so why not let him begin it how he likes? Besides, not everyone agrees that "starvation", or fasting, is a bad thing to do once in a while. As he said, the idea is to cleanse his body, and some people like to fast now and then to do just that. And even if it is a mistake, why not let him make it for himself? People learn far better from experience than from just being told what to do, and that includes trying things that may or may not work.

Bottom line: This person has resolved to make a positive change in his life. Please don't shit on his chosen method.

Amadan - My, you are a blunt one, aren't you? It seemed pretty clear to me that the two days of water, vitamins, and shakes is not the lifestyle change, but only a precursor sort of ritual to begin it. He's not going to live the rest of his life like that, so why not let him begin it how he likes? Besides, not everyone agrees that "starvation", or fasting, is a bad thing to do once in a while. As he said, the idea is to cleanse his body, and some people like to fast now and then to do just that. And even if it is a mistake, why not let him make it for himself? People learn far better from experience than from just being told what to do, and that includes trying things that may or may not work.

Bottom line: This person has resolved to make a positive change in his life. Please don't shit on his chosen method.

Yes, I am a blunt one. But I wasn't shitting on his chosen method, just pointing out that it has definite drawbacks and is probably going to be ineffective if he's using it the way his post suggested. Now if he's aware of all the risks and educated about the physiological effects of a "fast" and knows exactly what he's doing, hunky-dory. But a lot of people, unfortunately, are sold on a wide variety of fad weight loss methods which prove ineffective and even detrimental, long term. If someone told me "I'm going to lose weight by going on the cabbage soup diet" (yes, this is a real "diet"), I'd tell him why that's probably a bad idea. And if he tells me he is aware of all the negatives but is still determined to do it anyway, well *shrug* at least he was warned.

It's GREAT if someone is resolved to make a positive change in his life! But I'd hate to see him trying to do so with a method that will not work, and thus condemn himself to failure and disappointment.

All of which is true. However, it didn't sound like he was using protein liquid et al as a primary weight loss, so much as a "demarcation." A sharp break from his habits, if you will. Two days of "I'm not touching anything" followed by a more permanent set of dietary decisions.

That seems like it could be a good idea -- not because of rapid weight loss those first couple of days (there probably will be a rapid weight loss, but it will almost certainly be water weight) but because it creates a sharp psychological break between "everyday life until now" and "the new routine."

The followthrough's the hard part, of course. Isn't it something like 35 days of sticking to something before it becomes legitimately habitual? I don't remember. Regardless, good luck, cencithomas!

Hey, starvation! That's a subject I know all about (I got paid over two grand for a medical study involving it, which I think I mentioned here previously).

It's true that if you go on true starvation, you hit the law of diminishing returns - very rapidly, in fact, losing about 20% of the weight on the third day that you lost on the first. (At least, assuming that the percentages I noticed during the study were fairly consistent outside of myself.) However, that was under the case of actual starvation, meaning zero calories eaten. If you do eat during this time frame (even a reduced amount, which is presumably what the surgery makes Eric do), then your metabolism doesn't go into a sharp drop. Sure, it does drop a bit by default, but it tails off at a higher rate of loss than actual starvation, which means a steady rate of weight loss.

Actually, all of this has me wondering a very pertinent question. Now, I'm going to assume that you have a target weight range in mind, Eric. What happens when you hit it? Do they operate again and enlarge the amount of stomach space? Do they just let you keep getting skinnier? Do you just try to eat more often to compensate for the reduced capacity for food? I'm going on the assumption that if you continue losing weight at this rate, you're going to hit the target range fairly soon. What happens then?

It'll never come up, 32. In fact, my goal weight isn't "skinny." (It's still 20-40 lbs above the Harvard scale weights, not that I put much stock in them.) And it's going to be very hard to reach it.

Gastric bypass, when everything is properly followed, is effective to about seventy percent loss of excess weight. The last thirty percent is another deal entirely. Your metabolism adjusts. Your methodology still involves taking in calories after all. And, as we've said before, this isn't a magic bullet or panacea. It's just one step.

And, it's not impossible for me to gain significant weight back. Some people do.

The lifestyle change component is real. If I want to hit goal weight, I need to have significant exercise be a part of it. I need to not only eat little, but eat the right things when I do eat. The bypass saved my life and got the ball rolling. The rest is wholly up to me.

(And no, I have no intention of ever "expanding" my stomach back. While the procedure I got is reversible, there's really no reason to ever reverse it, and plenty of reasons not to.)

It's true that if you go on true starvation, you hit the law of diminishing returns - very rapidly, in fact, losing about 20% of the weight on the third day that you lost on the first. (At least, assuming that the percentages I noticed during the study were fairly consistent outside of myself.) However, that was under the case of actual starvation, meaning zero calories eaten. If you do eat during this time frame (even a reduced amount, which is presumably what the surgery makes Eric do), then your metabolism doesn't go into a sharp drop. Sure, it does drop a bit by default, but it tails off at a higher rate of loss than actual starvation, which means a steady rate of weight loss.

Yes, but we're just talking about differing rates at which you "plateau."

Basically, whenever you reduce your caloric intake from what it was, your body will eventually become accustomed to the new level and stop burning excess fat. If you are accustomed to eating 2500 calories per day, and then drop it to 1500 calories per day (which is almost certainly much too sharp a drop), you will lose weight rapidly at first, and then less rapidly for a while, but eventually your metabolism will stabilize at a 1500 calorie per day intake, and you will stop losing weight.

If you drop from 2500 to 2200 calories per day, the same thing will happen, but it will take a lot longer.

There are various methods for figuring out how much of a calorie deficit you should run and how long in order to lose weight, but optimal strategies include "cycling" your intake so that you are not running a calorie deficit indefinitely (basically, you want to prevent your metabolism from adjusting to the lower rate, because that's when it goes into fat-storing mode). And of course, exercise. A weight-loss program that does not include exercise will fail, period.

Part of which underscores a necessary component of significant weight lost: medical supervision.

Before embarking on a significant -- even positive -- change of lifestyle, you need to have a (relatively good) doctor check you out, see if there's anything lurking under the surface, and be a part of the progress.

Let me give a real world example. Back at the end of 1999, I decided it was time to get in shape. I couldn't walk a couple of hundred feet without wheezing. I was a mess. And I was certain it was because I was fat and never exercised. My immediate reaction was "I need to start a diet and start exercising every day." My parents said "yeah, but go see a doctor first." So I did.

Which is how I found I was in progressive congestive heart failure. Had I started exercising and weight watching et cetera for a few weeks first... well, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

(More traditionally, heavy weight loss can also include gall bladder problems, liver problems and kidney problems as your metabolism shifts and keytones fill your blood. It's a good idea to monitor those things.)

In re: Amadan's comments, yes, if you cut your caloric intake by any significant amount, your body will adapt to the change eventually, and you will stop losing weight. That's why pure dieting tends not to be effective for long-term weight loss. I think a lot of people go on diets because it's the easiest method of losing weight. It's always easier to stop doing something than to start doing something. In order to keep losing weight once you start dieting, you need to exercise. Exercise ramps up your metabolism, which allows you to continue losing weight. Even walking a mile or two will help. When I started losing weight, I drastically slashed my caloric intake, but I also started working out, and as a result I lost about two pounds a week. Dieting is, at least for me, easier than exercising, which is why I think it is the first choice for people who want to lose weight. In Mr. Burns's case, exercising wasn't an option. Which is why, like he said, it is important to speak to a doctor first. But even very modest changes in lifestyle can have profound effects over the long-term.

It's always easier to stop doing something than to start doing something.

For values of "always" equal to "not always."

Congratulations Eric.

I'm not as big as you are, (natural weight is about 220 or so), but in high school, I intentionally put on weight to play center/nose tackle in football, got up to 345, and just from my personal experience, once I quit playing football, it's a cast-iron bitch to lose that weight.

It took me about five years, but I've been down around 235 for the last five years, and feel a hell of alot better.


Good luck, with the surgery and all, I have a few friends that have had gastric bypass and the follow up reshaping surgeries, and for them anyway, worth every penny.....

I had to come on board to say congratulations on reaching a personal milestone. I'm dealing with a weight problem myself, though it's one that people don't take very seriously. I'm trying to gain weight, because at 5'3", 85 pounds is not healthy. People say, "oh, just eat a lot of butter, fried foods, sour cream." I'm trying to gain weight, not clog my arteries with fats. It's frustrating when people don't understand, even if they mean well.

Anyhow, I admire your strength, Eric. Cheers.

Thanks for the post, Eric. I research appetite regulation and obesity, but it all seems abstract and clinical from my perspective. Posts like this help me get an idea of what my work _really means_.

Some evidence suggests that you're right when you refer to your overeating as an addiction like drug abuse. I recently read a neat review on the subject. Satiation is believed to be linked closely to the reward pathways in our brain, which involve the same dopaminergic neurons that addictive drugs screw with. In fact, drug addiction may be a good clinical model for overeating.

Trying to fix your body's metabolism might be as hard as giving up certain addictive drugs, but if you continue to take it as seriously as you're doing now, you can do it.

I currently have an active job as a carpenter, but will soon be entering a university to continue my education. In prepartion for this change from active to mostly-sedentary (won't be that back, actually; big campus), I've been trying to effect some lifestyle changes to prevent weight gain...

It's hard. So congrats.

Wrote a long post, but really it's just a matter of congratulations for Eric.
Also: just started thinking that once you've lost 200 pounds you'll have lost me and I am definitely not ninja-like, So as cool as ninja are how heavy do we have to get before we can upgrade to samurai or something? Actually pirate would probably be more in keeping the net-meme but they are substantially heavier.

I've always wondered how people muster the amazing willpower to make such changes... and I'm gathering here that most of us never do. It seems most people come to a "do or die" moment and work from there.

As for my own story, until a few months ago, I was a bit above underweight on the BMI. Then I grew a ton but didn't gain any weight. Suddenly I was 110 pounds and about 5' 8" (That's 17.3 on the BMI, pretty far underweight). Now I'm 132 pounds (20.1 BMI), for no reason I can discern. I guess I'm just bulking up naturally or something. I really should eat better and exercise more, I need to put some muscle on these tiny limbs.

I weight 240 pounds and I hope to lower my weight down to about 200 pounds by the end of year.

To go to a little under 300 pounds from 500+ pounds, my goodness. That is an accomplishment. Congratulations.

Now can we please talk about something else? I think I've gained about 5 pounds reading through these nearly 100 posts...

Yes, *nearly* 100. Has the comments section broken 100 before?

Amadan wrote:
?? What kind of "lifestyle change" diet is this? All that will do is give you a quick drop in weight from mostly lean body mass (i.e., water and muscle), and lower your base metabolic rate, which will allow you to lose weight at first (again, mostly LBM unless you are also combining the diet with exercise, and not just cardio), but will rapidly hit the point of diminishing to no returns as your body adapts to the "starvation mode" you are putting it in.

Actually I was hoping to redirect my whole food budget and supplement the drop in lean body mass with a nice daily dose of CRACK.

No way, man. Heroin's a lot more effective at losing weight and it's the "in" thing this year. Be fashionable AND lose weight with a nice healthy heroin habit. (Side effects may include ending up looking like Keith Richards.)

Beautiful! Congratulations.

I'd just like to say, congratulations on the weight loss, Eric!

And congratulations on 100 comments! DOUBLE WHAMMY

Aw, dude! You double-posted! I call no fair! :)

We will, of course, just keep on a-doing this until Eric posts a new snark, and then start all over again. I think it would be fun to chart topicality as a function of post number. ;)

But then you'd have to quantify topicality. What's the SI unit for that, anyway? The tangent?

Let me add my congratulations, Eric. It is a serious accomplishment, with lots of tribulations involved with gastric bypass. My hat is off to you.

I just wanted to address something that people have said, that obesity is a slow form of suicide. I disagree.

Really in my opinion, obesity is related to hedonism. Food is a pleasure vice, and carries the possibility of a pleasure addiction. In this regard, it is the same drug, alcohol, or sex addiction. In some ways it is easier, but in one way it is harder. You can give up alcohol and drugs completely. You can even give up, (God, no), sex. You cannot give up food.

A food addict has to live with vice moderation for the rest of their lives. They have to continually consume and yet not indulge. It is hard, hard, hard. My sympathies to all so afflicted.

Myself, I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. In high school I weighed in at 210. Since my first full time job to present, I weigh in at 250-270. It's hard work.

Kudos Eric, to you.

After nearly a hundred voices chiming their collective congratulations, adding my own seems a bit like showing up an hour late to the party and still singing "Happy Birthday" anyway.

Awkward? Maybe. But I didn't even get you a damn card, much less a present.

So congratulations, Eric. You chose to make a significant change to your life and you're sticking with it. The milestones may not always be so clear, but that doesn't make them any less important. Congratulations to you.

You look like a monkey and you smell like one, too.

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