I quit my job today. Actually, I gave notice at work that my last day will be Thursday 8/26. (Just couldn’t hang in there that extra Friday.) I’m taking drastic action to realize some serious changes.
When I take an honest look at myself today, there isn’t one aspect of my life I’m satisfied with. I’m an intelligent person stuck in a dead-end, vacuous job. I’m a caring person who does nothing substantial for anybody else. I’m a former soldier (US Army 2000-2005) who is 60+ pounds overweight. I’m a world-traveler who wastes way too much time on the couch with remote in hand. Also (in case you don’t see the picture yet): I don’t do a good job of keeping in touch with my friends, I don’t write nearly as often as I should, I rarely see my parents who only live 40 minutes away, I don’t walk my dog long enough, and my carpet always needs shampooing. Now you see me? I’m too lazy to struggle free from my lazy cocoon of lazy.
Or I was too lazy.
Now I’m ready — after several birthdays passed without me changing, year after year of broken New Year’s resolutions and biggest Loser contest drop-outs–I’m ready.
So what’s the first step?
This weekend I’m supposed to go with a friend to Buffalo to meet his family and friends. But I’m not going. He invited me over a month ago, and I clearly remember sitting at my desk and writing down a plan to lose 20 pounds before the trip. To me, being under 200 pounds takes me from the obese category to just overweight. Not based on anything scientific like BMI, just my opinion. But I didn’t put the plan in action so, of course, I lost zero pounds. Aaaand I’m not going. I don’t want to have to see myself in the pictures beside the normal-sized people. I don’t want his family staring at me trying to figure out why he’s spending time with this fatty. For a minute I considered asking what his mom weighs. I figured if his family’s fat, they’ll be less likely to look down on me, right? But that’s a bad idea. How do you word that? “Uh Jeff, about your mom…does she wear a two-piece bikini or a swim skirt?” So, I say again, I’m not going. (He’s mad, but he’ll forgive me.)
This isn’t the first time I’ve called in fat for something. I’ve backed out of ski vacations that would’ve required a miracle to find a ski suit that fit me, various Mint Condition/Eric Roberson/Chrisette Michele concerts because I didn’t know what kind of seats the venue had, and–one time–Christmas because of my weight. Or more exactly, because I didn’t feel comfortable in any of my clothes. Really, I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. I feel like I’m always wearing a fat suit, all bulky and jiggly, that slows me down and makes me bump into stuff that is closer to me than it looks. So the decision is simple. Time to get in shape.
What’s that got to do with quitting my job?
Nothing. I quit my job to go back to school with a double-major in English and Chemistry. But I figured, while I have some extra time on my hands (planning not to work as long as my savings lasts) why not start on my fitness journey NOW? So I am committing myself to putting in serious effort to lose this extra weight/albatross I carry around.
Do I have a goal?
I’m 5’9″. Today I weighed in at 224 (included some lady bloat). The semester is August 30 – December 17. 16 weeks (plus the 2 weeks before school starts). My goal is to lose 58 pounds by the end of the semester. It’s an aggressive goal, but it can be done. The pants that fit me today are a size 20 (uugh). I’d like to be in size 12 before school’s out.
OK, I lied.
My fitness journey actually does have something to do with me quitting my job. I’ve stopped and started getting fit at least once a month over the last five years, including losing and re-gaining 2 sizes last fall. I can muster the motivation to start, but not the perseverance to continue. I see a little success, then slip back into bad habits that got me here in the first place. I’ve also dropped out of college so many times that a former classmate is now a professor. Very demoralizing. So today, August 12, 2008, I quit quitting. I have a plan. I’ll stick to the plan. And I’ll break out of the cocoon that’s keeping me lazy.