Three years ago today I was flat on my back in a hospital bed. Had I not received any medical intervention, I would have been looking at the last three or four weeks of my life. My nick-of-time treatment bumped the odds to fifty-fifty that I’d see whatever blockbuster movies were coming out that summer. In the weeks leading up to this point, I’d been suffering chronic headaches, coughed all the time, and burned with daily fevers between 101 and 103. I lost my appetite, my hands would shake while opening pointless bottles of cough syrup, and my heart was constantly running at 110 or more. I was tired, miserable, and sick. This is what I call a Medium Irritation.
In case you’re wondering what a Large Irritation would be, I reserve that designation for the time when I find myself in a muddy trench, out of bullets, with flesh-eating zombies fast approaching and explosives detonating all around me. It’s all about perspective, people.
So in that light, today I am suffering from a Small Irritation. In fact, it’s not even a Small one. I’d probably have to magnify this one twelve to fifteen times for it to even start looking like a Small Irritation. You guessed it. I’m talking about weight loss: that stupid, futile topic that we keep coming back to over and over again.
A Tale of Two Years
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of rapid weight loss, it was the age where the weight wouldn’t budge, it was the epoch where eating right wasn’t the slightest struggle, it was the epoch where eating two-pound baked potatoes was the norm.
For as long as I’ve been doing this weight loss thing, it’s never failed to amaze me how consistently inconsistent the process is. For fun, let’s take a look at a chart. This was the famous Diet #113. For anyone feeling nostalgic or if you’re just plain bored today, check out these posts:
Quickly, here’s my Diet #113 chart, covering most of my busy 2014:
In spite of the few ups and that one long plateau there, I’d call that a good year. By Thanksgiving I was down twenty-two pounds. Not only that, but I have to keep reminding myself that my Diet #113 starting point was already in Onederland: that place I thought I’d never get back to when I started the blog in 2008.
I made it through Thanksgiving. I made it through the week I spent with my sister where custom dictates that in very difficult times we double our caloric intake. I went up a couple pounds, but that’s to be expected:
Unfortunately, right after that I began making Chex Mix and it was all over. I ended up gaining sixteen pounds over the holidays, in such stark contrast to the successful months leading up to it. I couldn’t believe The Switch could shut off so instantaneously and (as near as I can tell) permanently:
On the bright side, sure, I didn’t “gain it all back.” And on the brighter side, I saw some evidence last week that The Switch might be on again soon. And if I step back and look at the entire lifetime picture, I can’t forget that I’m still down fifty-five pounds from my all-time high. It’s all about perspective, people.