As we all know, I share a lot on this blog. Personal stuff. Thoughts. Incoherent typing that even I will fall asleep while reading. But I still share it because I think there’s at least one person out there that’s just as crazy as I am and may relate. The archives of MCF house blog posts that discuss getting my groove back, realizing I didn’t want my old groove back, millions of weight loss promises and resolutions. You name it. But none of them have ever had the impact of what happened to me Saturday night while I was out with my family.
Saturday, March 5, 2016, my family and I (two sons, wife, me) had a day together. We got up late, started out with lunch at Famous Dave’s BBQ, then headed to Lebanon for the wife to do some shopping for our boys some Summer clothes. Everything was good. We made our way back to Murfreesboro, eventually back to Smyrna, and by now it’s around 8pm. Everyone is hungry because the last time we ate was around noon. We end up going to IHOP. That stands for International House of Pancakes, for those that don’t know. They serve breakfast plates as well as lunch and dinner options all day.
We’re seated in a booth at the very end of the aisle, yet right in the middle of a bunch of tables. My wife slides right into her side. Our soon-to-be 2 year old slides into his high chair. Our 11 year old starts to slide in by I stop him and say that I’ll go in first in case he has to go to the restroom. As soon as I look down at the table, I realize that it’s going to be a tight squeeze, but I’ve already committed to this so I have to see it through. I make it in all the way to the end by the wall of the booth. It’s tight. Very tight. So tight I felt like I couldn’t breath. I’ve never had claustrophobia, but if that’s not what hit me all of a sudden, I don’t know what it was. I had to get out of there.
I make my oldest move and I step aside as he slides in first. I slide in as far as I can go on the edge, have one leg hanging out and my other leg crumpled beneath the table. I’m still squished in and the big baggy hoodie I’m wearing makes it look like my fat is spilling over onto the table (honestly, part of it was I was so tightly poured into the seat. I was horrified. My blood pressure was spiking. The table was digging into my gut. My wife noticed my discomfort and looked around. She said she’d ask the waitress for a table. My reply was:
“No, this is fine. It’s embarrassing enough, I don’t want to make a bigger scene by moving.”
What I didn’t realize was how ridiculous I must have looked. There were stares, averted eyes and hushed whispers. Giggles. More stares. Etc. Maybe I was paranoid, maybe not. Either way, I was so glad when we got out of there. Seriously, folks, I couldn’t even lean in to sip my tea from the straw because I couldn’t move. I had to lift it to my mouth, crane my neck out and sip.
Now, let me say this. I know I’m a large person. I know I’m over weight. I know I need to lose weight. But up until recently, I’ve never been embarrassed about it. I’ve always been the one to crack jokes about my weight right along with everyone else. It was good for laughs. It was good for deep heart-to-heart talks about health and weight loss. It was a discussion point.
But over the last month, two incidents have caused me to actually be ashamed of myself, and embarrassed for my family when I’m around. The first was two weeks ago at church. They were updating the family register and wanted to take our picture now that I am going there. The photographer stood us in front of a wall and grouped us together. When I saw the picture a few days later, I was sad for my family at what I had become. I was huge compared to all of them. I looked like a giant wall they were standing in front of, smiling like a maniac in my pale blue Polo shirt.
The second time was Saturday night at IHOP. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. Sad thing is, I doubt I’d even fit in the hole.
So what do I do? Where do I go from here? Do I just keep on doing what I’ve been doing? My weight isn’t going down and, to be honest, it’s no longer staying the same. I’ve gained over the last couple months. Do I just keep on going until my heart seizes up one day and I just fall over? Do I just keep on going until my 2 and 11 year old no longer have a goofy dad to pick on them or play games with? Do I just keep on going until my wife is widowed, raising two kids while going back out into the work force for the first time in over over 12 years?
What do I do.
What will I do.
Anything? Anything other than waiting to die while I continue to hide in embarrassment? Just hang out while my coworkers and supervisor make fun of my weight and laugh at how large I am. Make jokes about myself so it won’t hurt as much coming from others? You know, just the usual stuff.
Something has to give.