8-8-16: 200 plus to 140-Making Changes and Dropping Weight

Good evening to anyone and everyone who may read this. Been a week since posts thanks to putting more time in on school work…class is winding down for the semester and I have a Power Point presentation and the before mentioned 17 page paper to finish up sooner rather than later. (FYI: intro and references done on paper, four slides done on Power Point. Need to write the body of the paper and do at least six to seven more slides and all is well on that front.) Otherwise not much of note except that the new job is still there with the parking permit finally taken care of……dueling lawnmowers in the neighborhood….and the local NFL franchise getting a preseason game cancelled tonight due to less than stellar field conditions. Hence said blog post in place of said game. And hence time to get something else out of the way before I can start telling the real good stories (like the time senior year after a game that me and Young Adams drove a less than 100 percent starting varsity hoops player to a girl’s house at 2 am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning to see dude use the ’77 Buick as a trampoline to get into the girl’s room……which will again make another good post down the road) such as deciding on where to go to college at, getting a car that was not a ’77 Buick, graduation night, and last but not least the reason I started the Instagram account to begin with- showcase overcoming the b—s— of some bad years to end up going to prom with a HSC (Hot Sonland Chick or VERY attractive Noblesville High School girl) by making some life changes.

If I’m going to do that, I’m going to have to do something similar to last week and get another deal out of the way. It goes with the fifth, sixth and seventh posts on the account that I made earlier this April and helps finish up the story from last week. It also was probably one of the most important things I have ever done because once again it gave me an opportunity to make the best of what I thought was a bad situation-survive the Sonland of late 80’s/early 90’s Noblesville High School by making a life change that saved me from bad depression and even worse thoughts of horrible self-worth. And it is something that no one on this planet or in that Sonland will ever, EVER be able to take away from me-NO ONE for emphasis because it was kind of important if you think having a human life and some self-respect are vital to have if you want to not be a modern day version of Walt Disney’s Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh chronicles.

The life change-dropping 60 pounds in two years.

My writing style has been easy to figure out and I’ve been pretty exhaustive about saying Eight Sons this and ME NO BE TREAT GOOD that, so after last week the Eight Sons aren’t getting much air time here. Instead best thing to do is use old journal entries and personal memory to explain how I overcame the odds and was able to lose weight and make my high school career go from the s–ts to at least some level of mediocrity since, well, it was still me and I had as much chance of getting l–d as the Washington Generals had of defeating the Harlem Globetrotters. Best thing to do is summarize by making a few points of what I decided to do and how I did it….all while learning there were people who could actually be nice to me as opposed to those who, well, were like the Eight Sons. (Right, not much more mentioning of those individuals.)

What I had to do to lose the weight…..

*REALIZE THAT FIFTEEN POUNDS IS NOT ENOUGH FOR THE SONLAND S–TS.

It took two years to lose the weight. It started in the summer of 1988 (summer between Sonland frosh and Sonland sophomore year) by going to none other than Philmont Scout Ranch for a backpacking trip since I was in fact a Boy Scout at the time. (That didn’t much longer, and of course you’ll find out why as you read the next couple of sentences). Despite going on weekends to places like Turkey Run State Park and practicing hiking to get ready for such a trip, I obviously didn’t look like I was in shape to do much since I still had a 47 inch waist and was five foot four at the time. Add to that a bad haircut and the glasses….yep, I took a lot of s–t from people. And not in a good way. So I was generally alternating moods between being happy to be out of Noblesville and being miserable because I’m getting insulted by a bunch of (fill in the blank here: _______) who sure as f— were not dating Alyssa Milano. What didn’t help matters was that the original travel plans were somehow nixed to where we got to ride a train with inner-city “Scouts” from Indy to New Mexico. With the exception of listening to John Cougar Mellencamp songs via walkman radio as the Amtrak train went through Kansas in early morning, not many good memories to say about the trip other than “I got out of the house” and “I lost fifteen pounds.” (Also a good example of seeing why people who bully tend to not do too well when they’re out in public by their lonesome because they don’t have the numbers to back up their trash talk be cabana boys. I saw one of said sons at Castleton Square Mall later that summer. I may not have pulled an Al Pacino in ‘Scarface’ but I did stare the dude down. He didn’t do anything nor acknowledge me. That should have been proof to me that bullies are cut from the same lingerie no matter what the location, but unfortunately I was too young to figure that out then. After all, I was still counting down trying to get the f— out of the Sonland so tunnel vision was in full effect.

The last sentence was important to me because I thought that was a good sign. I was now five foot seven and 185 pounds when I went to my first day of Sonland sophomore year. See the fifth post photo on the account (the black and white one with my crooked smile and bad haircut while sporting the $24.99 long sleeve shirt I got from Kohl’s as one of my back to school shirts that year). But guess what? That didn’t mean jack s–t in the land of Michael Hutchence, Vision Street Wear and surf shop clothes despite the fact that Noblesville was seemingly as close to the ocean as North Dakota. (If you Googled the first one to remember Hutchence, his boys set an all-time Sonland record for most concert T-Shirts worn the day after his band’s show in 1988 with a couple hundred person sporting KICK on their sternums. Coincidentally, I would see said Hutchence senior year; that should be a future photo post down the road.) In other words…more ridicule and insults as described earlier in the last post. Add to that “the fat one” story I mentioned from said post….and my confidence was basically at an all time low. Which meant I had, yep, suicidal tendencies. Like the Indiana Pacers trying to play on the road in an NBA conference finals game these past twenty years, I wasn’t handling things too well.

That meant when I decided to make changes, the very first one to help lose weight was to realize that what I had done was not enough and that only three people were going to get the job done: me, myself and I. Which leads to step two….

*SURVIVE THE SONLAND BY GETTING AWAY FROM THE NEGATIVE B—S—-

See the photo post of the 1991 Shadow (school yearbook) staff for an overview, but bottom line was this: I had to get away from negative people and negative s–t in order to make changes. I also made a decision that tended to stick for those last two years of Sonland for me: if you treated me like s–t, I sure as $!#!$ wasn’t going to name you King or Queen of the Whole Wide World or sing your praises like you had just got done drinking with the ghost of Jimi Hendrix. So the previous mentioned gang of eight….they weren’t around. The sh–ty classes? They weren’t being taken. Anyone who had been a c–k to me? I didn’t acknowledge them in the halls or in public. I decided I wanted to GTFO and to do that the best thing to do was to have a game plan and stick with it. Losing weight, not dealing with a–holes and not having a public tirade were part of the plan. And being around positive people (read: not being around the ones I have mentioned the most in the last post) was what I needed for positive results.

TL/DR: Stay positive, count down to GTFO and drop down the poundage. Especially that countdown part.

*SET GOALS….AND ACTUALLY REACH THEM

Yours truly remembers wandering around those Sonland halls for two years seeing these Sons (dudes) wandering around in newer jeans…..as in jeans that would show the waist size on the tag. Always ALWAYS seemed that everyone had a 30, 31 or 32 inch waist. Always seemed that all these dudes weighed 150 to 160 pounds at most. For someone who had a 47 inch waist as a frosh, that’s a lot of inches to lose. But I simply decided that someday I wanted to at least get to a size 32 or 33. If I wasn’t going to be the equal of favorite Son Jason Sloderbeck with the women, then I could at least have an average sized waist. Simple goal to meet. Start small, then work my way up.

By the start of junior year, I was getting there.

Once I reached 34 and then 33…I decided I was going to go five pounds at a time. First 180…then 175…170…and so forth.  I didn’t have any kind of calorie counter device or big in-depth charts to count the pounds. I simply had some self-discipline mixed with anger (quite frankly I had a lot of it back then because of all the stuff I’ve mentioned before) along with a handy bathroom scale and one of those old style yellow tape measuring things you’d find for 99 cents at Walmart. Didn’t weigh myself every day or after every meal….usually would weigh myself once a week or so . But basically the eye test would do the trick because all I had to do was look in the mirror or check how loose my clothes were to see how things were going. And since this was before the R&B inspired baggy waists were totally in full value for your Sonland fashion (acid wash was, for better of for worse) then that made it easier to check. Save for the Skidz pants….though the drawstrings usually could be tightened without too much trouble.

The eye test was pretty important because for the first time in my lifetime I actually liked to look at myself in the mirror. Perhaps not real important to most Sonlanders since they were seemingly their own biggest fans and didn’t mind having a few dozen mirrors to admire themselves in, but for me it was.

The goals continued until I reached my ultimate goal that summer before senior year. Will mention that shortly after I mention the other three key things for me….

*COMPLETELY CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS

Many Sonlanders would do the DER NO S–T DUMB— to this, but many Sonlanders did not have a lot of weight to lose or seemingly (in my view, anyway) the ability to eat whatever they wanted whenever they wanted without any problems forthcoming. I figured out that wouldn’t be the case for me, and so I had to basically change everything. There was no Nutrisystem or Deal-A-Meal or calorie counting to do it. No fancy foreign s–t. Basically I had to say “I can’t eat this” or “I can only eat one piece of pizza” or “I’ll take diet soda” while then realizing if I ate something that had a lot of fat in it, then I needed to either exercise it off or just not eat it again for a good while. Or simply not eat it at all.

Better yet if there was times when I said “no, this food s—s” then I simply didn’t eat at all. Especially if that food was going to cost money. Not that I starved myself, but I wasn’t going to pay a dollar for crappy french fries in the school cafeteria’s a la carte line on a regular basis. So I might eat one piece of junk food every once in awhile (Little Debbie’s Star Crunch was the preferred one) like say once a week and that was that. Money saved and I simply waited for dinner later on.

I cut out the following on a regular basis: Little Caesar’s Pizza….McDonald’s….fried chicken….homemade fried hamburgers…..homemade french fries….and regular soda. I didn’t drink 10 gallons of water a day…just a lot of Diet Coke. And I got rid of eating chocolate to the point where I rarely ate candy bars if I ate them at all. Microwave pizzas were replaced by saltine crackers…in fact if I wanted to have a snack I ate saltines. Better a package of those than a package of Snickers.

I got to the point where I enjoyed progress, but I also got to the point that if I heard my stomach growling I would think of the people I’ve mentioned before…get mad….and then say to myself “I need to prove that piece of s— wrong and keep losing weight.” That thought process trumped everything else, and so I’d have more money in the pocket and less weight to carry by not eating the midnight snack or the fast food.

Two other things of note I did…..

*GET OUT OF THE F—ING HOUSE AND GET A JOB…ESPECIALLY IN HOT WEATHER.

In the past I thought riding a ten speed bike was enough. No it wasn’t. It also didn’t help in the cash flow department. So when it was time to be 16 it was time to earn the gas money for said 1977 Buick. Hence a part time job. And hence a way to stay active.

During the summer of junior year (as well as junior year) there was no jogging, no weight lifting, no programs, no conventional workouts save for maybe a few sit-ups now and then to go along with the usual wandering around teenagers will do at the local mall or in the local neighborhood to stay active. Instead I decided to work at the local supermarket that is now no longer in business (no complaints on that…that’s future post material right there too). But while the supermarket gig was not iconic, two things helped in losing weight for me:

  • The summer of 1989 happened to be pretty #!$%! hot. And if you’re wearing Converse high tops, jeans and long sleeve shirts going outside all the time in 100 degree weather because back then they wanted you to cart out everyone’s groceries…you got your exercise without having to then go run a mile or six afterwards. Plus…
  • I actually got sick of looking at food while working there. As in “I see this s–t all the time…..I don’t want to eat it….and I don’t want to be near it.” So I had no problem coming home and eating the bare minimum or not eating at all. I saw enough canned food to say “I don’t want to eat canned food, especially from here.” (the Supermarket Sons preferred the Elf brand, for what it’s worth, which back then was $3.35 or $3.50 an hour before they took out the Indiana Grocers Association dues to go with your FICA and other taxes) .

The result was being 165 to 170 the start of junior year…and realizing that I had some good foundation to work with. Hence the five pound rules to where I broke around 155 by the spring….and to lose more and keep it off came

*PICKUP BASKETBALL

I quit said supermarket job during the spring semester junior year. I enjoyed the free time. And I found I was playing a lot of backyard or playground hoops when the weather warmed up. It wasn’t full court or three hour marathon games, but it was enough to combine with everything else to keep losing weight as opposed to going out and running marathons. And once I broke under 150, I kept it up. Hot summers helped do that.

To keep it off…..senior year I saw a lot more of the same. If you don’t have a girlfriend and you drive a 1977 Buick, then you too will have to find something to do to pass the time in 1990 and 1991 central Indiana besides going to the movies or the mall. So pickup hoops it was. Should anyone find the posts that mention prom (and The Prom Date) look for Number 10 on the 14th post. (Hint: it’s the one by the posing Tara Walczak doing the “Sit Back and Relax” pose while wearing her hat seemingly inspired by Downtown Julie Brown of MTV fame. Number 10 was varsity. I was not. So I would job a lot while basically running up and down a barn turned basketball court for the better part of my senior fall until I helped introduce the two of them to each other. Just call me Cupid. Yes, more stuff for a later post. Like I said, lots of stories.

But for the time being I got enough exercise to lose weight and keep it off.

The result….I got down to 140 pounds by the start of senior year. And I got to wear a size 30. Plus while I might get insulted for wearing Coke bottle glasses still (because, well, it was the Sonland…plus admittedly I used to hate wearing contacts until another bit of advice was given that’s also on another past photo post from said Prom Date) I sure as #!$% was not going to get insulted for being fat. Instead I would get the “didn’t you used to be fat?” questions on occasion. That is, if anyone noticed. Once again this is the Sonland we’re talking about. Going to see Warrant in concert or to Muncie to meet someone who knew someone who saw someone who once drank a beer at a local bar was more important. Priorities, after all.

But the most important thing is that I had a goal, reached the goal, and could actually look at myself in a mirror without being disgusted or depressed. I also was able to go get regular clothes instead of ordering Plain Pockets jeans from the JCPenney catalog (which you did if you did not have under a size 40 waist). Oh, and I could actually have some self-respect for once, too. That was nice.

Since I’m at 3,000 words now (see a trend) that’s where I need to stop because it’s nearing midnight and there’s homework to do. However if I’ve babbled enough about this, then I needed to get it down in writing since there’s a lot of stuff that actually happened in my senior year that I’d like to mention in this blog. So it’s nice to give a quick synopsis of it as well as tell people that it can be done. Plus if anyone actually gave two s–ts about what I did to do it, it’s now here in written form of some sort. Hooray and all that.

Last of all thanks to anyone who was nice and encouraging to me during those two years as well as to those who take the time to read this. If no more posts till next Sunday, then I know I’ve got the basics out of the way to actually give some good recaps. After all it beats writing papers on the Canadian educational system. Then again, take your pick on what doesn’t.

Best wishes to all and God Bless.

Jeff Fitzpatrick

@fitzthoughts

(Note: Photo is group shot of the Sonland Class of 1991 listening to whoever was lecturing at the time at our commencement. Unlike my first college graduation, I stayed awake for that one. And yes, that happened. Don’t be so surprised. Just be glad I actually made it on two hours sleep.)

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