In June 2019 I weighed 435 pounds; on August 9 2021 that number had fallen all the way down to 180…255 pounds lost in 26 months! When the journey began in earnest I had fantasies about 250…230? Woulda been sweet. Really, getting near, or under, 300 seemed a big ask. (Turned 56 in October of 2020, and for most of my adult life I have been one kind of fat or another; extremes less offensive than others, but generally, as my nature tended to trend: gluttonous.)

I am no self-hater, but try to own my shit. That being true, my version of "tough love" is probably cuddlier than most…I attended no gym, expensive or otherwise…though did seriously consider (off and on) the Bypass Gastric surgery my doctor had suggested in April 2016, when I first moved back home to Chicago. Every year he’d bring it up, causally yet pointedly: “Lap-band, my friend, you need it.” I eventually went down that path, met with the surgeon and his minions; took their instructions to see more doctors-dieticians-psychologist…my mantra became: “Stay open; say yes, before thinking no.” Ultimately one nagging thing begged my observation: “If my head ain’t right, it don’t matter what they do to my body; and if I can get it right: I won’t need a surgery to fix the rest!”

Nothing came easy, time had to be indulged, steps taken, a journey begun, decisions made and then made anew; plans augmented, designs altered…and then all decision-details-epiphanies had to be committed to over and over again; a daily pilgrimage of faith and resolve.  

Either way, it has been a voyage-ride-excursion, a real scene, man…welcome to it.

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