Six months ago, I admitted to the world that I am fat.
It was liberating.
People already knew I was fat, of course. That was obvious to anyone who met me. But weight is not an acceptable topic of conversation. Usually it's only mentioned behind people's backs and in a mean-spirited way.
By confessing to what everyone already knew, I gave people permission to talk to me about my girth. That made for some strange conversations at first. I wasn't used to talking about this stuff, either.
Some people took it a bit too far: I've been the object of a little Internet ridicule, and twice strangers have given in to the impulse to touch me. One punched me in the arm as a show of support. Thanks and ouch. The other poked me in the belly with his index finger, as if I was the Pillsbury Doughboy. I didn't giggle.
Mostly, though, it's been great.
I expected support from fellow overweight Oklahomans, and I got it. What I didn't expect was how much my modest journey would resonate with all kinds of people — even the skinny ones. Readers have been generous. Some have sent me books, recipes and T-shirts. Most have shared their wisdom and best wishes.
So far, I owe the greatest debt to Dr. Brian Coleman of OU Physicians. In the early stages, he provided medical oversight. Recently he has gotten even more involved, arising before dawn and driving up from Norman three days a week to work out with me in Oklahoma City. Each workout leaves me sore for days, a sure sign that he has me working hard.
The problem, of course, is that I have hit a plateau. I'm six months into this thing, but it might as well be three months. I've been stuck in the 270s for weeks now, unable to move the needle on the scale below 273 despite working out and consuming fewer calories. My average weight loss has dropped to less than six pounds a month.
And the goal is ...
I didn't set a specific weight loss goal when I started this thing. I weighed 307 pounds, and my goal was simply to lose some weight and get back in shape. I huffed and puffed each time I climbed a flight of stairs or walked across a long parking lot.