My unsuccess story…
Is all too familiar. Last June when my son, Zeke, photographed me in a tight Carolina blue t-shirt I’d worn deliberately for the occasion, I just knew that garment would be a lot looser by the end of the year. Bound and determined to make it so, I threw on a pair of barely broken in sneakers. I started lifting 5, 8, and 10-lb dumb bells for my upper body; took to eating a lot of baked fish, skinless chicken, fruits, and veggies. Quit eating the usual white suspects, nearly all desserts, and all sugary beverages.
A year passed. I’m on my second pair of sneakers. Sometime I crave fried chicken like a drug addict looking for that next fix. I’m not even going to lie. I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times with the fried chicken. As for the apple pie and cake, my will remained strong. I suppose not being much of a sweet eater has something to do with it. Salty meat is my Achilles heel but ironically I didn’t do too great on the Atkins Diet. Cooked animal flesh without the salt is like coffee with no sweetener. So is that blue t-shirt hanging off me? Hell no. Matter of fact I’ve gained nearly ten pounds.
I’m sure there are many who share this very familiar and disconcerting story. You did everything right but age, gender, and the very medication meant to keep you from keeling over worked against you. Am I disappointed? Do I want to say screw it? You best believe it. Below is a video Zeke showed me to help me stay the course.
I had ‘em nearly 25 years ago and nearly died in the process. Ironic since he saved my life last June 6. I was in the last throes of a diabetic coma. Poisons from ketones that had spilled into my bloodstream and the abscess on my shoulder blade were killing me. He heard me breathing through my closed bedroom door. After knocking and not getting a reply, he entered to see what was up. He dialed 911 with the quickness for his unresponsive mama.
Several weeks before he’d attempted to get me to walk the straight and narrow. Fixed me a plate piled high with: Romaine, spinach, kale, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives, etc. I thanked him by complaining there was no meat in it. I fumed as he explained a toss salad really could be consumed without meat and crackers. Unbeknownst to me he’d already started on his journey toward a healthier lifestyle. He wanted to bring me along but I didn’t appreciate it at the time.
Nothing like nearly dying and being hospitalized for eleven days to decide one it’s time for a change. Shooting up huge quantities of insulin and popping blood pressure pills wasn’t something I wanted to do the rest of my life. A week out of the joint (hospital) I put ‘Pat and Charlie’ on the pavement and never looked back. A few weeks later I started sculpting my upper body.
Zeke insisted on photographing me. I chose the tight blue t-shirt, envisioning the before and after. We agreed to take another picture in a month. In a month’s time he’d not forgotten. The t-shirt hung in my closet. I removed it from the rack and pulled it over my head. It enclosed my body like sausage casing. Despite all the sweat equity and sacrifice there was no change. Something was sabotaging my body. I re-hung the garment and told Zeke there would be no picture that day. When he asked why I told him the truth. “Look like you lost a little sump’n sump’n,” he said jokingly. “Sometime we see what we wanna see,” I responded and left it at that.
I had counted on having to battle food and exercise. What I hadn’t counted on or factored in was age, gender, insulin for my Type II diabetes and other medication, sabotaging all my hard work.
End Part I