Recovery enters the 5th year

Strange but the month of November has more than halfway passed and it just hit me that I'm now in my 5th year of recovery from obesity.  November 2007 was the tipping point where I finally reached bottom and decided I needed to reverse my self-destruction.
                       
299 lbs, fat not pregnant
my nickname was "sumo"
it didn't fully hit me until I saw pictures
Friends try to be nice and say things like, "you're just a big guy or you have big bones" but the reality was my  BMI of 44.1 was in either the "super obese" or "morbidly obese" range depending on which table you reference.  While it was true I still retained a higher than normal amount of muscle mass from my past powerlifting experience, the 'exploding head' feeling I got when I bent over to tie my shoes negated any rationalization I tried to use to downplay my unhealty weight gain.

It wasn't until I saw those pictures that it finally hit me that I needed to take immediate action.  Since that tipping point in November 2007, I have steadily made progress and have managed to maintain a weight loss that, at the moment, stands at 65 lbs.  

I wasn't always obese.  In fact, while I was a chubby pre-teen, I didn't have subsequent bodyfat issues until 1995.  I moved to Toronto in October of 1993 with a crew of ex-pat Americans.  We were here to start Enterprise Rent A Car's presence in Canada.  In those days, with few locations to manage and no local roots, we simply went out every night and enjoyed the downtown Toronto bar scene.  It was like freshman year of university all over again--for 2 years.  It wasn't long before most of us were sporting a version of the "freshman 15".  Being goal-oriented and competitive (part of the reason we were picked to found the Toronto operation), we decided to have a weight loss contest.  I can't remember who won or if we ever all finished but I ended up dropping 40 lbs from 235 to 195.  Proving the well-documented phenomenon of the rebound, a few years later, my weight crept up to 250 lbs, 15lbs past my previous set point.
a scan of a photo from when I was 200 lbs in 1995.
a picture of me after rebounding up to 250 lbs
I stayed around that weight until 2005 when life events and the beginnings of job burnout led to depression and rampant medication via food.   It only took 2 years to go from 250 to 299 (November 2007).

As a result of all that, I'm forever cognizant of the need to practice consistent vigilance in order to avoid another relapse.  Based on my last set point of 299 lbs, if I were to slip again, my weight would no doubt rise until it significantly exceeded 300 lbs.  Obesity research paints a fairly pessimistic picture that seems to suggest  the body is more than happy to wait for your weight to come back.  I've accepted that I will always need to watch my diet more carefully than other people of my size and body composition in order to maintain a healthier size.  I have to remember to celebrate milestones and anniversaries, if for no other reason but to remain aware that the effort can never be allowed to stop.
it's a goofy picture, I know.


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