The last time I met with my doctor, he showed me irrefutable proof that I’ve been taking in close to 4,000 calories per day for years. Though my doctor is a general practitioner, his area of interest is diabetes. He’s spent a good amount of his career researching caloric intake and its effects on the human body. There’s no reason not to trust his calculations.(1)

For the first time, it was easy for me to put my weight into proper perspective, which went something like this:

Holy shit! I eat twice as much as most nutritionists recommend! No wonder I’m roughly the size of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man!

So I set about trying to lose some weight. My initial goal has been a certain line that most people aren’t aware of. I remember football commentator Al Michaels saying of a defensive lineman, “He’s always been big, but he got into a little trouble during the off-season when he edged up over 300 pounds.”

That’s right, folks. Defensive lineman in the NFL – the really, really big guys whose job is it to push other really, really big guys out of the way – are supposed to be less than 300 pounds.

Which meant I weighed more than a lineman.

He's celebrating the fact that there's someone on planet heavier than he is.

He’s celebrating the fact that there’s someone on the planet heavier than he is.

I don’t remember how long ago I crossed the 300 threshold, but I do remember feeling very disappointed in myself that day. And every day since then, when someone would comment about some other fat-ass over 300 pounds – and it’s always 300 lbs; that’s the threshold for some reason – I would keep silent in my shame.

Goals should be reasonable and involve small steps. So while my overall goal is more much larger, my first goal was to get below that shame threshold.

Today I stepped on the scale, which like a recent ex can bring happiness or pain depending on its mood that day, and saw that I’d hit my goal. I wanted to jump, to dance and scream and run naked through the hall.(2) Instead, I stepped off and back onto the scale, just to make sure.

I got the same number! Squee!

This time I went and got Ashley(3) and told her to watch. I stepped on it for a third time and got the same number! She gave me hug and said she was proud of me, which was awesome!

So, dear reader, for the first time in longer than I can remember, I weigh less than 300 pounds. Not by much, only a few ounces, but it counts. I feel accomplished and proud and, while maybe not light as a feather, at least light as a defensive lineman.

Which is a start. A good start.(4)

  1.  Plus, you know, I have memories of eating like a whole bag of chips and topping that off with a nice, big bowl of ice cream and then maybe a dozen Oreos for dessert.
  2. Which, honestly, even at less than 300 lbs. would not at all be a pretty sight.
  3. After putting clothes on.
  4. Ashley and I are moving this weekend, but if I have time I’ll try to talk about how I’ve gone about losing said weight.

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