Thursday, September 6, 2012

Less Of a Man

Since my heart attack I've lost about 15 pounds. That's more impressive than it sounds; my weight had been fluctuating a lot in the months prior, so I had to stabilize before I could lose anything. I weigh less now than I have in about seven years. And I resent the hell out of it.

Wait; let me back up a bit.

Last week I had my three-month checkup with the cardiologist. It went well; I'm as close to "perfect health" as I ever will be again. When he told me I was "normal" I got quiet, withdrawn, and very nearly cried.

Not, I think, the reaction he expected.

Still not sure what that was about. I mean, I don't want to be sick or have anything horribly wrong with me. Why can't I be happy about being healthy? My wife's analysis, which seems to fit well, is that this is such a fucked up situation (my phrasing) that I need to feel equally fucked up to make sense of it. I think that's pretty accurate. Another piece of it is the disturbing thought that this is now normal. This situation is pretty messed up to be "normal". Plus it means that all the lifestyle changes I've made the past three months now need to be continued. For the rest of my life.

But back to the weight loss.

Every time I look in the mirror and see how thin I'm getting, I get upset. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely unhappy with the results. I've had fun buying some new "skinny" suits and not buying others because I legitimately believe they'll be too big for me in a few months. And it's a lot of fun having my pants fall down every time I cough. But for the first time in my life I'm losing weight not on my own terms.

I lost a lot of weight a few years back. Since that time I gained about half of it back, but I was ok with that. I felt good, was able to be as physically active as I wanted to be, and liked the way I looked. I was casually trying to lose five pounds, but knew what I would have to do and did not, at that time, want to make those sacrifices.

And now the choice has been removed from me.