Posts Tagged ‘fool’

August 15, 2013

The day the music died

1:28 pm - Posted by Gregg

The other day I was driving my dog, Latte, home from the dog park and suddenly realized I was singing along with Ke$ha’sOnly Want to Dance With You.” As I approached a stoplight, I quickly stopped mouthing words and resumed my “Just a normal guy driving” pose — out of fear that nearby drivers would not only see my grooves, but might make fun of them. Then it struck me… When the heck did I stop feeling comfortable dancing and singing along to favorite music while in my car?

I remember back when I was just out of college, driving around my “little” Nissan and weighing over 450 pounds. Even though terribly aware of my weight and terrified that other people were judging me because of it, when I was in my car, I felt comfortable enough to crank up the tunes and move and dance as if I were in a music video. True story!

I even remember one time when I pulled up to a stoplight and was dancing and singing along with an old school Jody Watley song. There was a car full of young women at the light in front of me and I could see them turning around to see me flaunting my moves and grooves. Even though they were laughing, I didn’t feel like they were doing so in a mean way. So I just kept dancing and entertaining the crowd — until the light turned green and they drove on.

But I now realize that sometime between back in the day and the present, I became too self-aware and that I am currently seemingly afraid to dance or sing in my car (overtly anyway) — this even after taking off over 250 pounds of excess weight. Seems to me I should be much less self conscious now. And yet I’m more chicken than ever to let my freak flag fly when driving.

Don’t get me wrong. If it’s nighttime or if there aren’t a lot of cars around, I’m probably putting on a show when solo (or with Latte) in my car. But it makes me sad that my “ham gene” has somehow gone dark — or, at the very least, lessened over the years. And you know what? I’m going to work on getting braver, caring a little less and once again begin to sing and dance to the music as if no one is watching.

After all, life is for living, right? And being silly?

No matter what your size. No matter what your situation. Finding joy in the smallest moments can fuel our happiness factor, which then helps us in other areas of our lives — especially the challenging ones like successfully dieting or making another positive change.

So join me in making a fool of yourself, won’t you? I promise that if I see you performing a music video in your car, I’ll either dance along or burst into a round of applause. Because in my book, anyone feeling free enough to dance and sing in their car is living life to its fullest. And that’s a beautiful thing that I aspire to get back to. No matter which song is playing.

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July 2, 2012

Games people play

9:21 am - Posted by Gregg

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These days when I think back to some of the misadventures that I had when being over 250 pounds overweight, I often chuckle to myself while also admiring my stamina for not only getting through that time in my life, but also conquering it by taking off all of those excess pounds. But during the time I weighed over 450 pounds it was a different story entirely. Not only was I trying to hide what I was going through from the rest of the world, I was also trying to hide my exploits (and the fact that I was the reason I was so heavy) from myself.

Case in point? When I would make my daily treks to fast food restaurants to order multiple entrees to then take home for lunch or dinner. Not only did I prefer to eat in private (thinking I would be adversely judged if anyone saw me actually consuming food out in the “open”), but I also preferred to wear an oversized bathrobe while eating – a clothing item that didn’t require any pain when wearing. (At 450+ pounds most of my clothes – even the balloon-y, oversized ones – were very uncomfortable when being worn.)

Yet I wasn’t merely content to eat in private. I didn’t want anyone in public – or even at the fast food joints – to know I was ordering all that food for myself. Thus, I came up with what I thought was an ingenius plan. I used to scribble everything I wanted onto a piece of paper and, when arriving at the counter to place my order, would read off of it – as if I was ordering for a group of people. Add to that, I would order several more drinks than I needed (and a variety of drinks at that) to further cement my charade of “Ordering for a small group.”

Even if I utilized a drive-through to place my order, I would have a list in hand and “pretend” to read off it (as if I were a great voiceover actor) – just for the entertainment of whomever was at the other side of the ordering microphone. And when I would finally reach the drive-through window, I would often hand the employee my list and ask them to throw it away – as if “visual proof” was a crescendo (of sorts) to my great performance.

Of course, looking back, I can see that the only person I was “fooling” was myself. I imagine that most employees of the restaurants I frequented couldn’t have cared less about what I was ordering – much less whom it was for. And if they did care, so what? And yet I kept this “Lying game” up for years (during my most obese period in life).

Back then, I never imagined that I would share this “deep, dark secret” with anyone – much less write about it publicly on a blog. But I’ve learned over the years that sharing tidbits like this not only helps others realize they’re not alone in their mental and physical struggles to take off the pounds, but also to help myself accept my past and stay committed to never returning to that kind of mental game playing again.

Have you ever played out a similar “game” to fool others and/or yourself? What were the results? Is it anything you feel like sharing? I promise not to judge. Again, our confessions to one another only serve to bond us – not to mention help us (and others) – proving that old addage to be true: What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Or, at the very least, gives us a good chuckle.

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