This one is mainly for the men-folk as my grandmother would say. In “Men are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” we were introduced to the concept that in general, women and men view themselves in demonstrably different ways. Women are uber critical and men are…well we’re just men. I looked like a swollen tick, but in my mind and when I looked in the mirror, I was God’s gift to the opposite sex. It really was pathetic. And here’s the really bad part. I was putting my friends in the unenviable position of humoring me and watching me die a not so slow death or telling me flat out that I looked like my man “Blob” from The Gigglesnort Hotel. (They had chosen the former btw. Lol) The second worst day of my life was seeing that tagged Facebook picture of me (all 386 pounds of me) sitting in a wicker chair with a plate of food, no lap, no neck, sporting a D cup, and more chins than Dexter Jettster from Star Wars. The spell was broken. I could no longer mentally control the message and it was devastating. I had to face the fact that I was morbidly obese. I created the environment that fostered my obesity, and I was willfully turning a blind eye to how unattractive and unhealthy I had become because of it. I cried, got really pissed off at my wife and friends, then quickly apologized and fixed blame where it belonged and that was with me. I had noticed that there were no pictures of me around the house. No vacations, not with my buddies, I quickly realized that this was all done on purpose. I had to look at myself in the mirror, but I didn’t have to look at pictures of my obesity. Subconsciously I had agreed that I didn’t like how I looked, so I wouldn’t look unless I could control the message. I couldn’t control the message of someone else’s eye, but I could my own. So from that day forward, I took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I celebrated the victories when they looked good and I got a good cry when old Stay Puft (Ghost Busters circa 1984) looked back and waving said “remember me?” Even to this day though I’ve lost 115 pounds, I stay brutally honest with myself. I am still severely obese. I have a body mass index (BMI) of 37.3 down from 52.3 which made me morbidly obese. My goal weight of 220 would give me a BMI of exactly 30 and I would still be classified as slightly overweight. (At six feet zero inches my ideal weight is less than or equal to 196 pounds) I will never get too far below 220, my bones and organs weigh more than that, but the numbers are a great way for me to track how I’m doing. The numbers keep me honest and that is adding quality back to my life.