So the time will eventually be here when I am able to take part in any activity that I want to.
Being fat has excluded me from so many things that I have wanted to do over the years. Some because of my physical size and weight and others because of a natural instinct to want to protect myself from the possible ridicule that might come my way after the fact.
I’m sure you’ve seen big men and women on shows such as Springer or Kyle, showing off and extolling the virtues of being fat, how it is their right and it is a wonderful way to live their lives etc. Now that may well be true in their case and good luck to them but don’t let this have you thinking that all overweight people love to be the centre of attention, I for one certainly don’t like the spotlight.
I may have said before nowadays I am a bit of a wallflower, which is a surprise considering I spent the first 35 years of my life being a focal point. I was a confident, headstrong and an up for anything kind of person. I loved to sing on stage, I loved to have people be aware of me and know when I was around. I would happily do night club door work, I sold cars and everything in my life was centred on being the larger than life guy until I actually was larger than life. Now, it’s a much different story. I don’t mean I skulk around unnoticed but I certainly don’t shout or draw attention to myself. I keep out of the public eye as much as possible and I put a good deal of this down to self-image issues that stem from my weight.
I have had mental health issues for years; not particularly bad ones but mood swings were the main thing. Uncontrolled anger for no reason, periods where I lacked motivation and often feeling low unless I was keeping the brain busy. Just the usual everyday stuff that effects us all but I had no way of dealing with it. I am told this kind of behaviour is pretty standard fare in overweight people and it is not unusual to be prescribed Prozac before invariably things improve. I still have dark days but on the whole things are better. However, there is side affects that come from Prozac and although never talked about clinically many individuals have told how once they started to take the drug their weight started to creep up without any notice being taken by them. Now I am sure this isn’t always the case with everyone that takes it, but it certainly was the case for me. I wasn’t clinically obese until I had been on the drug for a few years.
I am not saying that Prozac robs you of personal care or ambition; in most cases it helps give you the strength to carry on each day when things aren’t particularly great in your world. However in my case, I am certain that it took away the little bit of a stop button that I may have had when it came to my weight gain. I am sure the drug stopped me worrying about being overweight until the overweight got out of hand and even then, I didn’t actually worry about it. I was aware there was a clinical problem and now my doctor and Bariatric team are helping me address it. Yet weirdly even with all of the furore that goes on with the course of treatment I am on, I’m still not that worried about it because Prozac subconsciously protects me from myself (my weight) by making me happy enough to stay in, reducing my exposure to the outside world to an absolute minimum thus reducing the chances of ever having the issue raised. It is a terrible way to live, behaving like a hermit but I am certain becoming insular is without doubt a by-product of weight gain.
So I have now decided that after the surgery and the following weight loss it will be time for wholesale change.
I have a bucket list of sorts, not to do before I kick the thing but more to do with the chance that now I possibly could.
I list and explain for you below.
1. Drive a rally car: For my 40th birthday I was given a days driving at a very highly regarded rally school and when I enquired, I was told I could not partake in the day until I was under 18 stone in weight. Well this was tried for but never achieved and I have still not managed to get my backside twitching whilst performing a Scandinavian flick. Watch out Paddy Hopkirk…..
2. Drive a race car: I never really used to be into this until I started to follow my brother to the racetracks of the UK and watch him practise and race in classic race cars. Being the very generous man he is, I am sure he would let me have a go if I proved capable of the task but I would need to be half my size to get in them and that’s where the problems would start. I haven’t been half my size since I was 14 years of age and back then there wasn’t a pick of fat on me. With that in mind, I think driving any car round the track would be brilliant and if it’s a classic so much the better, but probably best not a Morris Minor….
3. Build a track day bike: And race it around the track. You see the theme here I’ve started, pretty much all to do with petrol…. I would love to buy and an old sports bike and strip it down to its bare bones in order to ride on a track. Now the cost of this isn’t great but what stops me is what would I look like in a set of leathers, that’s assuming I could find some that fit. It would be like the letter D had decided to go racing……
4. Restore and old Lambretta scooter and ride it in the summer looking like a cool young Jimmy out of Quadrophenia…. Yes, I know the cool ship has sailed from my dock many years ago so in a bid to retain a modicum of the stuff, I certainly wouldn’t attempt to do this one until my belly was all but gone.
5. Finish my Tattoos: I have several tattoos and although I do like them very much, I have become a touch needle shy and thus still have some unfinished work in a few areas. Why wait you ask? Well my logic is that if I am smaller, the needle won’t have to travel as far in order to cover my shrunken body so I won’t be exposed to quite as much pain. Probably doesn’t work like that, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
6. Go out: For the past several years my social activities really have been limited to the bare minimum. I have become happy to stay at home and watch TV, to listen to music, to read and especially to write. I freely admit I have let my friends down on many occasion’s because the thought of going out and in a crowd people is often too much for me. So from weight loss day onwards I shall start to accept invitations when ever I can and no longer only limit myself to my local pub across the street and that’s only once a month at the most I will have you know ☹
7. Return to football matches: Size makes the prospect of travelling in crowded transport a very unenjoyable thing. I cannot stand for long at all so I need to assured of sitting down. This is never a guarantee unless I travel in first class and then the cost of the day out goes up. Once I am at football, it is always a much longer walk than I can manage and then sitting in the stadium (even though the Emirates is a modern and spacious place) is to me like being squashed into a sardine can and I am only aware of crowding out my neighbouring seat and ruining their afternoons entertainment. So I either need to lose weight or start supporting a team that no one goes to see so I get a seat for each cheek…
8. Go on holiday: I haven’t been for a proper holiday for many years now, I would imagine in the region of fifteen. The travel is the first thing that puts us larger people off as with going anywhere, then the fear of DVT because I can’t move in the seat and finally, when I get somewhere nice and warm and get to the pool, who wants to be blinded by a beached white whale…
That is about all there is really. I just want to be normal again and start to live my life and I am positive the weight loss surgery is what will help me to do all of the things above. I am sure it will be a great help in overcoming my issues of self-image and this will let me learn how to once again be sociable. I’m not expecting a miracle and if none of the above things actually happen well, I don’t mind, because the thing that will make me most happy is being able to walk without pain and feel like I’m gliding down the street.
Now that’s not too much to ask is it?
The actual Huffington Post blog can be found here