SOBER CITY – Day 244


Sober City – September 1st, 2011
Change. It’s something a lot of us want or need badly in our everyday lives. We strive to look better, feel better, act better, be a better person than we think we are now. To transform into something different in search of a happiness that might be eluding us in whatever present state we are currently in. When the changes desired are minor adjustments, all it takes is a little time and motivation but what do we do when the changes we want to make seem way too big to ever be possible? Usually nothing. That’s what I did. I literally could not imagine a scenario where the changes I wanted (and ultimately NEEDED) to make would ever happen. As far as I was concerned, the person I had become would be the person I was from now on. Overweight, depressed, unmotivated and unattractive (in my eyes). I was dripping with cynicism and self pity and I was learning to accept the uncomfortable shit world I created for myself while complaining about it to anyone who would listen. I didn’t see a way out because there wasn’t one. I wasn’t letting there be one. I was settling for a life of less, truly believing there wasn’t anything more, when in reality there was a whole universe of more just waiting to be had. All I had to do was feel worthy enough to have it.
I feel like it’s important to stress and reiterate just how impossible I thought this was. I spent my whole life struggling with my weight and last December I had reached a new high of 177 lbs. I would always fluctuate 5 or 10 lbs here or there but this time I had let myself slide over the course of 3 years further than ever. The emotional weight I carried after my dad got sick (and died 11 months later) had physicalized itself on my body and was dragging me down in more ways than one. Anyone who has ever dealt with weight issues knows how all encompassing it can be. It goes way beyond a vain desire to look good. It’s about self confidence and mental well being and it can completely define who you are. It shouldn’t, but a lot of the time it does. Some people can own it and that’s a beautiful thing but sometimes you just feel like shit and can’t get past that ugly image you see in the mirror. Sure, it’s mind over matter but when it’s your mind that’s the matter it can seen impossible to change that mirror. But you can. Believe that shit! Seriously, if I did it at 31 after being absolutely CONVINCED I never could, then anyone can.
That’s why I had to attach this picture. I used to watch those stupid late night weight loss ads with all those “before and after” pics and I wanted one so bad. I even spent more than a few late nights googling different weight loss pills and super quick exercise programs (all of which are bullshit) searching for an easy fix while knowing fully well there wasn’t one. You lose weight by burning off more calories than you intake. Simple. Math. I hate math but you can argue with it. So what did I do? Well, I was way too lazy to go to the gym every day, so I figured cutting out all the calories from booze could help. Step one. Then I figured I could slowly cut back on shitty foods and not diet but just be aware of what I was putting into my body. Step two. (I also stopped eating meat but for different reasons). I did about 4 months of that alone, still not stepping foot into a gym and I figure I lost about 15 lbs that way. Then one day I finally felt good enough to force myself into the gym, and believe me I still had to force myself. Nothing crazy, just a couple days a week easing myself in to a routine. Step three. Then I started going more and more until I found myself going everyday. Not doing crazy workouts everyday mind you, but at least showing up for cardio. Then it just happened. I was finally getting addicted to it. Me! It’s ridiculous. You have to understand how much of a couch potato video game geek I was (and still am in some ways), me going to the gym everyday is a god damn miracle and a possible sign of the coming apocalypse (2012 at a rapture near you). Yet, here I am none-the-less.
I took my “before” picture in early January and took the “after” picture roughly 6 and a half months later. It shocks me. Every time I look at it I can’t believe it’s real…but it is. I’m now exactly 8 months into my year in Sober City and as of today I’ve officially lost a total of 40 lbs. I’m not telling you this to gloat about my accomplishments or fish for pats on the back, I’m telling you this because the person I was a year ago needed to hear it and there’s a good chance someone else could benefit from my story. This happened to me and it can happen to you. You just have to MAKE it happen. I promise you it’s never too late to be who you want to be. Just be prepared to buy a whole new wardrobe. Cheers!


One thought on “SOBER CITY – Day 244”

  1. 8 months later, I still say that nothing is sexier than a sober vegetarian! Joe MacLeod version 2011 has been an overwhelming success. Congratulations to the you a year ago, and the you today. You both deserve it. And genuine thanks for sharing. I really enjoy your narrative style. If I could choose anyone in the world to share coffee and conversation with, it would be Dexter Morgan. That said, you’re on my list of worthy thinkers, too.

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