Ruminating on Fifty



I’ve been waiting to write this kind of post for the past two weeks. I’m approaching a milestone in this whole journey that is equal parts exciting and enraging.

You might be able to tell from my opening salvo that this probably won’t be a very funny post. I’m bout to get deep on you jerks. Look at that picture! That man’s a thinker! What’s with the Dalmatian pig? Why is he effeminately crossing his legs? These are the things that weigh heavy on his mind. God bless him, he’s gonna get to the bottom of it.

Alright, fine. I’ll give you a couple of chuckles before putting on my serious glasses and stoic fez. Click here.

Funny right? You entertained? Good. Let’s get on topic.

I am mere days away from reaching the weight of 185 pounds. I’ll give all those keeping Excel spreadsheets on my progress a quick moment to do the math. That’s right, I’ve dropped 50 pounds since May 1, 2009. Go ahead, applaud, be amazed, send me a celebratory fruit basket. I deserve it.

Done congratulating me? Good, cause here’s the twist – I freakin’ hate it when people mention that I’ve lost weight.


Don’t get me wrong – the whole point of my starting to run was to lose weight. I mean, I started this blog with a three-part epic about how I got fat (here, here and here). And I appreciate the genuine excitement that people have for my weight loss. It’s just that every time somebody tells me how good I look, I think about how much I let myself go over the past eight years.

As I put it so nicely in an earlier post, I never really thought of myself as a fat guy. A little overweight? Sure. 50 pounds overweight? No chance. Not until last May.

So I started running, but about two months in, around the time that Mike and I hatched this plan to run a marathon in 2010, losing weight was not the priority anymore. But that’s what people notice. Somebody that hasn’t seen me in a couple of months immediately notices the weight loss.

A couple of weeks ago, after a well-meaning friend gave me a complement, I realized something that was pretty sobering – If you didn’t know me in high school, the only Paul you know is “Hefty Paul” or “Jolly Paul” or “Hot Dogs in Pockets Paul”. This slimmer Paul is completely foreign to you. Hell, even those that knew me in high school got so used to “Hefty/Jolly/Hot Dogs Paul” that they don’t even remember when I was slim.


Did I bring it on myself? You bet I did. I got fat and I didn’t care. I still get on a scale every morning and check my progress. I write friggin’ posts about losing 50 pounds. And you’re supposed to believe that I don’t want you to comment on my weight? What can I say, I’m a complex person.

To grind this post down to it’s essence: That fact that I’ve lost weight means that I had extra weight on my body. The fact that I lost 50 pounds means that I was 50 DAMN POUNDS OVERWEIGHT. That fact that I have to run 350+ miles to look like a normal person bugs me to no end.

The truth of the matter is, I do care about losing weight. I care desperately. I feel great. I’m terrified that I’ll gain the weight back. I don’t want to think about how bad it got there earlier this year. I want those 50 pounds to disappear into the ether. I want people to see me and say, “Yup, there’s Paul. Man he’s annoying.” I don’t want them to say, “Yup, there’s Paul. Man he’s annoyi… hey… Didn’t he used to be fat?”

I want 185-pound Paul to be the status quo. That’s when I’ll consider my weight loss a success.

I guess that’s going to take time.

4 Responses to “Ruminating on Fifty”

  1. Nathan Says:

    Dude. I’m 30 lbs. lighter than on Jan. 1, 2009. I absolutely relate and while I’ve still got a bit to go, I love this blog. Rock on.

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