Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things I don't understand #61...

...How both those pictures could possibly be me.

Yeah, this. Throughout the life of this here blog, I've tried to stay away from this particular topic, for whatever reason. But after numerous requests from various sources(and the fact that topics sometimes are hard to come by) I decided to relent. Many of you know this story, as you lived it with me, but just in case...

Both pictures are indeed of me. The first from about 8-10 years ago (I really don't remember) and second is much more recent. So yeah, I was a fatty. Bordering on morbidly obese (High Five, Wendy's!). About 7 years ago(maybe 8?), my roommate at the time (Eric) wanted to join a health club, but he didn't want to go check it out by himself. So I agreed to go with him. Next thing I know, I'm also a member of a health club. I think the high fees combined with the fact that earlier that year I had been told by a doctor it'd be a good idea to drop a few, ensured that I would actually use the membership.

Use it I did, pretty much 6 days a week, at least. I'll spare you the stories of peeing blood, realizing the red stuff on my towel was coming from my shirt which was actually blood coming from me, and the like; but suffice it to say I did not do it half-heartedly. Now despite the fact that I was at the club 6-7 days a week, sometimes for up to 2 hours, I never grew to like it. Even though I run several times a week, I have never experienced "runner's high". And never have I looked forward to working out. The one thing I did like? The results. That I actually knew the efficacy of what I was doing helped a lot. So over the course of about a year and a half to 2 years, I went from (this is fairly embarrassing) about 320 lbs. to a low of 191. I now sit at a smidge over 200. Of course, the years since have seen me yo-yo a little. But as much as I don't know how I let it get that bad, I know I will never let it happen again.

A couple of random observations from a guy who used to be really fat. One, after losing weight, you get treated better. I still remember one of the first times I was in a department store after a precipitous loss in weight. I had never been asked if I needed help that many times in my life. I actually looked around for hidden cameras, thinking it must be some sort of joke. It wasn't, that's how the non-fat(or I guess I should say less fat, because I'm still pretty big) are treated. Also, you've never seen disappointment until you've had to tell a person the bad news that the way to loose weight is to eat less and exercise more. Seriously, once someone finds out or just gets up the gumption to ask how you did it, they look at you like you're the Wizard of Oz (pre-curtain-pulling) because you've obviously been let in on one of the great secrets of the universe. But when they find out the uncomplicated yet difficult truth, they look like you just notified them of Santa's questionable existence. I now have a pat answer for when I get such a question. I warn said person they probably won't like it, and then I tell them, "I got off my fat butt, and stopped stuffing my fat face." Although, the more you're off your butt, the more face-stuffing you can still enjoy, but you know what I mean.

Oh, and I should also warn you, since I once was fat I retain my license to make fun of fat people. I can freely roll my eyes when I hear excuses that include phrases like "poor metabolism" and "big boned". Sure there's some truth to them, but in the end, the thing on the opposite end of the fork from the food is you--a sentient, free-willed being. Oddly enough, I used to think I was big boned. Until I did the wrist test, and realized I wasn't big boned...I was fat. Finally, one last story of post-fatdom. Not being able to walk around a family reunion anonymously; or the time I ran into a guy I grew up with, and he just blew me off because he had no idea who that guy was who knew his name. No, this occurred at the aforementioned health club.

At this point(year 3 as a club member), I had lost all the weight I was going to lose and was in maintenance mode. Well, as anyone who's ever been a member of a health club knows, you get to where you recognize the regulars, whether you're an introvert like me and do everything possible not to talk to them or not, you still find yourself exchanging numerous knowing nods. Well, on this day, one or the other regulars--a 50-ish guy in really good shape--who I had never shared a single word with approaches me at the water fountain and what resulted is the following exchange:
Not me: Hey, doing ok?
Me: Yeah, good. How are you.
Not me: Fine. So you've lost quite a bit of weight haven't you?
Me: Yeah, you could say that.
Not me: Yeah, you're a bit of a rock star around here. Everybody's amazed how well you've done. How much did you lose?
Me: Well, actually it was about 100 pounds, maybe a little more.
Not me: Man! That's great! Yeah, you were a bit of a porker, but now you look great!
Me: (smile creeps across my face as I realize that the truth just leaked out) Yeah, I guess I was a porker.
Not me: Well good job man. I just wanted to let you know people noticed your hard work.
Me: Thanks. (Still wearing somewhat quizzical smile)

That was the first and last time I ever talked to him. And now you know the famous "Porker story".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things I don't understand #60...

...How history keeps repeating.

So we ran that dumb race again. Obviously, someone brought a camera this time. Also, we ran a complete mile (Yeah us!). Two new people showed up (Andrea and Tommy). And two other people wussed out (Eric and Patrick). And we ran at a different track (J.J. Pearce vs. SMU). So all those things were different. But unfortunately, one important detail remained the same.

Bryan still won.

I didn't let him get away until the second lap, though. So that's something. But get away he did. And I'm still a tad unclear how it happened, but that doesn't really matter now. It really bothers me that I continue to allow him to back up his braggadocio, but what's a big, fat, slow, white guy supposed to do? So here are the final times as precisely recorded by our official time keeper, Kurt (Andrea's husband):
Bryan - 5:53:68
Jason - 6:13:77
Andrea - 6:29.86
Tommy - 7:02:90

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things I don't understand #59...

...How something that looks like that could be one to the most perfect dishes I've ever enjoyed.

* Warning * Vegetarians Beware!!! * Warning *
What you are looking at is a dish named the "Belfast Burger Bomb", or just "The Bomb" to us insiders. Despite it's somewhat irreverent European name, it's birthplace is actually the very non-European suburb of Frisco, TX, at a very fake pub called the Irish Rover. This "burger" changed my life. I put that in quotes because its construction puts the categorization of burger into question. Here's how it's built. A bottom bun. A good quality patty of beef. Next(This is where things get tricked up a bit), comes a big pile of french fries. Yeah, I know. Then, it is topped with a very nice version of chili. And finally, cheese is added with no regard for human life and melted perfectly. Yes it is a heart attack waiting to happen. And yes, it is glorious.

What seems to make it so perfect, is that it's the first chili burger that actually delivers on its potential. It seems almost anyone who likes burgers and likes chili has at some point succumbed to the raised skirt and perfumed inner thigh of the chili burger only to be disappointed. I think it's because the ingredients combine to overwhelm the taste buds in a messy, meaty overload. I think the key for "the Bomb" is the fries. It acts as the perfect mellowing agent and allows you to complete the dish...and then be overcome by a meaty euphoria. If you haven't had it, I'm sure you think I'm crazy. But this dish makes me want to open a restaurant just so I can make it and serve it to others.

Oddly enough, it was discovered on accident. Bryan and I were at the Rover as is our custom after many a FC Dallas game. He had mentioned he wanted to eat light, and I began scouring the menu. When I saw it, I suggested it immediately, knowing Bryan's true temptress, chili, and that the opposite of light had to be something called the "Belfast Burger Bomb". I figured he would just deliver a failed smile and order something featuring grilled chicken. Well, obviously he didn't because neither one of us has ordered anything different in the almost year since that fateful night when after taking the first bite he looked at me with tear filled eyes and said, "Thank you, this is great." So I guess I should thank God for Bryan's weakness of the flesh.

P.s. Speaking of burgers. It has been decided that something will be brought back to life. Several years ago, my roommates and I embarked on a quest to find the best local burger place. Local being the Dallas area. After about 2 years of having a burger for lunch almost every Saturday, we stopped. Mainly because we felt we had exhausted all the possibilities. But now it has returned. So if the thought of massive quanta of burgers interests you (or just hanging out with me on a Saturday) you can inspect this site for further info.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Things I don't understand #58...

...Why we continue to play with fire.

That's right, the second round of a one mile race now being affectionately (yet ironically) tagged as "The Magnificent Mile" will be run Saturday morning at 9 A.M. The first time around there were four of us, which really seemed like way too many people for me likely to lose to. Now all we've done is added two more people to assume the role of my defeater. Even better is one of them is a girl. And all indications are she's not slow. BTW, I'll still be the biggest and oldest person making their way around that track. I can't wait...

Now if you recall how the first race went down, Bryan took off and we never really got close to him again. He has already promised that he will attempt to repeat that feat, just at a quicker pace this time. This is problematic for me, as my strategy had been not to let Bryan out of arm's reach this time around. And now I have to worry about if I blow it out too soon, I'm going to hit the wall just as some sprightly chick goes flying by me. Plus, there's always the threat that this will all be more than my fragile form can take and I'll just drop dead, right then and there. This is serious.

The one thing I can promise this time around is that we will run a full mile...Or 1600 meters...or four full know what I mean. It'll be official...or at least more official. I've even heard the timekeeper might not be blind this time. Once again, I ask for your prayers that I might live to tell about it. And by all means, if you like to witness this first-hand, be at the J.J. Pearce track in Richardson by 9. Even better, bring your running shoes. Registration is still open.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Things I don't understand #57...

...Why I bother at getting and/or staying in shape.

As you may or may not know, I am single... a.k.a. unmarried (sorry Mom). And if we're all being honest here (you look pretty honest), I'll admit that I'm not totally against the idea of being married someday...or at least finding some human of the female persuasion that's willing to admit she might be romantically linked to me. But sadly, no luck. So several years ago, after taking a very honest and extensive self-evaluation I realized I was way too smart, way too funny, and way too charming (I also scored high marks for humility) that the chink in my armor must be my level of fitness. I took efforts to change that, to varying degrees of success, but that's not the issue here.

You see, last week Manuel Uribe, former world's fattest man, got married. Seriously? So all the running and lifting and exercising and pseudo-healthy eating and fast-food passing and no soft-drink drinking, what's all that for again? Apparently, I could check in at almost 600 pounds and not harm my chances of landing a fairly normal looking chick. I'm sure this is just one more indication that I have no understanding of true love (as if), but come on! He lost almost 50% of his body weight and still tips the scales (more like renders inoperable) at 570 pounds. So before I return to that fabulous porker lifestyle and suggest you buy stock in some of my favorite fast-food establishments, I'd like to talk to all the single ladies out there.

Hey, how you doin'? I'm not trying to get in the way here or anything like that, but I just wanted you to know how your wedding might be different if you marry me instead of your 600 lbs. potential mate:
- I will be able to arrive at the ceremony in a car instead of on the back of a flatbed truck. If you have a flair for the dramatic, I could even arrive on horseback. Try finding a horse to carry your 600lb fiance.
- Instead of wearing a white shirt and a sheet wrapped around my legs, I'll wear pants. Truth be told, I can pull off a pair of flat-front slacks pretty well.
- I'll allow you to put a ring on my finger...because my size exists.
- The aisle will not have to be 8ft. wide to allow the bed I been in for 6 years straight. I'll be able to walk...and stand next to you. Unless you prefer me being rolled in. I'm very accommodating.
- At the reception, there will not be a team of doctors flanked by armed guards positioned between me and the wedding cake at all times.
- No swaying to the music here, we can actually dance. (Though poorly, despite being <500lbs., I am still a white dude.)
- The Guinness Book of World Records will not have a representative present in case the armed guards fail.
- Consummation of the marriage will be physically possible.

So I've included a video just in case you need visual confirmation of what I just told you. And if you're able to get through it without laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, then you're a bigger man than I.