Where were you when you decided not to fight anymore and just be fat? I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, butt naked. I was about 32 years old, had quit cigarettes six months earlier, discovered food tastes good and my once humming metabolism crashed.
Someone had shown me a picture they’d taken of me a few weeks prior, unawares – I had a double chin.
A double frickin’ chin. The same guy who weighed 130 pounds, dripping wet when I sobered up (I was skinny and quite sick for 22). A double chin.
I stood in front of that mirror, staring at my gut, which six months earlier had been a six-pack. What to do? Nowhere to rollerblade safely, no way I’m running, could maybe ride that cheap big-box mountain bike around the block, but who would ride a bike to lose weight?
I guess you’re just going to get fat, I said to the mirror.
That decision didn’t sit well and hung on for less than 24 hours. I went running for the first time and never looked back. I never did get fat. Never was obese, never did fully develop that double chin… I could have, very easily. All I had to do was accept that decision to let myself go. All I had to do was accept the notion that there was nothing I could do, it was inevitable – because metabolisms slow down at 30, running is bad for your knees (it most certainly is not unless you were seriously injured previously), and it was just in my genes.
Fortunately, after getting sober, my tolerance for bullshitting myself took a serious nose-dive. I knew none of that was true, they were the lies I told myself so I could kick back and relax. I wanted to believe them, I hoped that I’d buy it, but I couldn’t. They were lies, half-truths at best, and I knew it. No amount of mental tap dancing was going to change this.
I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror when I decided I’d let myself get fat. Where were you?