Son...You're Going to Eat Yourself Into a Down Position

gib before and afterOn February 18, 2013, I entered Eagle Internal Medicine with the greatest of trepidations. It was that time of year again. Yes….the annual physical and this year was going to be worse than most. Not because of any known health problems. No…I had made a huge strategic error in scheduling this so close to end of duck hunting season which had ended barely two weeks earlier. Why should an annual physical bring the dread of April 15th, gastro procedures, or a weekend spent with my brother-in-law? Well last year’s waterfowl season was not only particularly successful from the sheer hunting; it was also one of the more gastrogasmic in memory. From the rich gumbo and jambalaya served by our Coonass friends in Loosianna; to the carb loaded North Dakota fare; from the gourmet meals and fine wine served at the Missouri River Lodge to skillet fried sausage, bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches made in Karl’s blind on the Alligator River….let’s just say my already ample middle was now bursting at the seams.

So as I entered the doors of Dr. Gates’ office, I knew bad news was my destiny. So Karen, his long-time PA, led me to what might as well have been my gallows…the scales. My recollection of the conversation goes something like this:

Karen: “How have you been?”

Me: “Too good. Do I have to weigh this year. Can’t you just eye-ball me like a carny and guess it?”

Karen: “You know how this works. Get on up there.”

So she starts the scale stones where my weight was last year and there isn’t a flutter so she begins the fateful slide to the right..further…further and further yet. It’s so far to the right; I can’t even see it out of the corner of my eye. Finally…the scale gives way and I have reached a new all-time high…..260 lbs.

Karen: (as she is writing) says “260 lbs”

Me: “You are (bleeping) kidding me.”

Karen: “’re (bleeping) fat!”

After that, everything else was a blur. All I could think about was one of the many quips that the late, great Furman University Defensive Coordinator, Steve Robertson, used to say to football players who showed up to camp out of shape and fat who happened to be non-linemen. I could see him saying to me, “Son…you’re going to eat yourself into a down position.” Hell…Coach…I’m already there. 5’9”, 260 lbs.

After leaving Dr. Gates office, I drove home arriving thankfully to an empty house and ran upstairs stripping naked as I ran. I went to my “magic mirror” and took a long look. My God, the mirror had been lying all these years. I didn’t “carry it well.” Hell…I was morbidly obese and it was time for me to do something about it.

I immediately put an App on my phone which required me to count calories and activity. It also calculated how many calories I could have daily to reach my target weight in 7 months. 1600 calories isn’t much, but if your exercise, you can increase your allocation. So within weeks, pounds were lost and I was buying in. Within three months, major pounds were gone and life style changed. Within five months, the entire body changed and I’m happy to report that after 7 months and 65 lbs lost….I have hit my target weight just in time for duck season!!!!

Many of you have been so encouraging and I so appreciate it. Many of you have also seen me at different stages of the loss and haven’t realized that I have been losing weight. So there’s obvious shock when you see me and concerns that I might be having health issues shoot across faces. I’ve never been better and haven’t been this healthy since my early 30’s. I’m off some of my high blood pressure meds and exercise like a maniac.

While I am sure I will be no choir boy doing what I love most…duck hunting, I have learned so much about how to cope without certain foods and how to say “no.” Now great wines…that’s a different story! Again, thanks to Frances and Mary Parke for their support, John, our wonderful staff and clients and all the crazy over-achievers I work out with a 5.30 AM.


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