a while ago, a long while ago, i started posting on this blog about the fact that i'd put myself on a diet. although i didn't know (and still don't) my exact weight, it had become apparent to me that a few years of too much food, too little movement and a certain heavy (pun intended) complacency had moved me beyond the range in which i'd become somewhat comfortable. in fact, even without knowing the starting point, i can still say that my body mass index (the measurement that i've grown to favour as the most rational way of tracking weight) had crept over the dreaded "25" marker. i was overweight.
i'm not going to apologise for being vain. we all are. most of the men i know are as concerned about their waistlines as the women, so, despite the fact that we hear more about the agonies women vest on themselves in the matter of body image, the fact is that people everywhere worry about their appearance and how they are perceived. i'd like to say that the difference for me came from an interest in my health- being overweight is bad for you, after all. but the fact is that it was vanity that made me move ahead, because i simply got sick of feeling sick at seeing pictures of myself.
not knowing my exact starting point, of course, made it difficult to figure out exactly what the correct end point would be. the first step, i thought, was just to get comfortable again in the clothes that i was outgrowing. second would be to start fitting myself into the sizes i remembered getting into. third would be getting my body back to the dimensions where i remembered being somewhat comfortable. and, over the course of what seemed like an exceptionally long period of time, all of those things have come to pass.
but, as i began the whole process, what struck me is that other things started to change.
first my hair, unchanged in over a decade, developed a new shape
and then got chopped in dramatic fashion.
after that, it started to get lighter
if you're guessing that my point is that these outward changes are somehow manifesting a type of inner change going on at the same time, you're probably right. without getting into too much detail, there's a lot in my life that has changed in the time it's taken me to alter my appearance.
because i'm a writer and i like to think of such things as being imbued with significance, we'll say that the complacency i wanted to fight when i first decided that i needed to lose a few pounds was not merely a physical condition.
i had assumed that, being a diet, this change in habits would have an end, a point at which i would be able to stand back and say "i have arrived" or "mission accomplished" (well, maybe not that phrase...) and declare myself done. but the way that things have developed, that seems unlikely to happen. of the goals that i set for myself, the clothes i owned at the time i started this are generally too large for me (unless they were very tight to begin with), i'm a smaller size than i was at my previous light weight and my measurements are smaller than they were when i was 15.
and, in terms of outward and inward change, i don't feel like i'm done yet. i just feel like i'm off to a decent start.