Two Oh Five

Me in 2000 as a 270-pound stand in for Bob's Big BoyBack in January 2006 when I was sitting very uncomfortably at 263 pounds, I signed up for a free account on Fitday.com and began monitoring and controlling the calories I put in and put out (by way of visual reference, the picture at right was taken in 2000 when I was closer to 270 at the time).

Six months later I stood on a scale that read 208 having removed 55 pounds.

It was inconceivable that I’d gotten down to a weight I hadn’t been at since my early 20s. But in hindsight what was more unbelievable was that I stopped so short of my then-original goal to lose 10 more get below 200 pounds for the first time since high school.

I shouldn’t say unbelievable because I know why I stopped. Getting down those last pounds to 208 had been arduous and frustrating. Losing the first 45 had been a relative breeze, but I’d hit the wall at 220, and losing that last 10 was real mental and physical work. Plus, I was rightfully proud of myself for getting to where I did — and I felt damn good about it.

What’s another 10 pounds, I rationalized.

Not much, really. Unless you start going back in the wrong direction, which I did, to about 215. I maintained that for well over a year but by 2008 I was back up in my 220s and eating a LOT of junk. The only thing that kept the rise in check was the 6,000 miles of bike commuting I was doing annually up until the middle of 2010, when I opted to start working from home. At that point, the biking literally evaporated and the weight really started to add up. In a couple months I was up into the mid-230s, and I briefly marshaled the resolve to diet my way back down to 220. By October 2010 I was there, but so was that wall again.

And back up I went. I was two-hundredfucking-forty when I struggled through the Rio Hondo physical agility test a year ago. Seven months later when I stepped on the scale at 234.8 on March 1, with the academy set to announce its start date on any day, I grabbed the reins and took control again. This time I didn’t even think about the wall. I welcomed the wall. I dared the wall to beat me.

Last week I hit 208. This morning the scale showed me 205. To counter the picture I led this post with, here I am July 10 at about 210:

This time, I’m not stopping until I get to 194 — the significance of which has to do simply with that number being about three-quarters of a pound below what the intractable Body Mass Index chart indicates as a “unhealthy” weight for anyone 6’2″ tall. I’m healthy now, but all my adult life I’ve winced at being categorized by the BMI as “obese.” Certainly at 263 or in that picture I was physically. At 208, statistically.

I won’t be anymore. Not physically. Not numerically.

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Will

Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."