I Need to Lose Some Weight

I need to lose some weight. Twenty pounds at least, thirty if I’m being ambitious.

I’ve been trying to lose this weight for almost two years, and it’s difficult, what with always going somewhere, doing something. I don’t know how anyone loses weight when they have shit to do.

The best way to lose weight is the best way to do anything — to focus on it and it only.

When I did lose weight — 70 pounds, in 2008 — it was because that’s practically all I did. I gave up a significant part of my career, my life, my ambitions, to take the weight off; then, I dedicated a lot of time to keeping it off. The recession helped.

The past few years, with the economy booming, I’ve been less concerned with it. I wasn’t living before, I thought. I was living in fear, if anything. Fear of gaining the weight back, becoming a person I once was, the person I used to be.

But now, I am back to that person. Sort of a fat guy again. Not the same guy, not nearly as large, but certainly larger than I once was. I don’t really feel good about myself, which is one of the reasons why I try to make up for it with other things now — like my career.

That is going well, could be going better, but is still better than most people in my position. Yet who cares about other people when I’m the one inside this body, inside this mind, inside this life. Someone else fails, what does that have to do with me?

Altogether, it’s kind of a bad cycle. A cycle of unhealthiness. Mental, physical, emotional. It’s not one thing. It’s all things. Because health is a comprehensive thing. One part of your life breaks down, everything gets affected.

Outside of my weight, I feel great. I’m in the gym every day; I run 25-30 miles a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Overall though, for someone who has been running every day since 2008, that’s not very impressive. I can still run a 6-minute mile any day of the week, but my performance has declined quite dramatically. My recovery times are longer, my body hurts a little more.

And most of all, mentally, it does take a little bit of revving up to get going. It’s the weight gain, you see. It takes its toll. Beats your body down, makes everything harder, more difficult.

That’s why self-control is so important. We have to control what we feed ourselves. A little bit of bad food, that’s okay. There’s no such thing as “bad” food, really. What there is, however, is too much food. Whether it’s grapes or kale or popcorn or M&M’s. You eat too much, you’re fucked.

I would say with me, I have a genuine eating disorder. Maybe even a mental disorder. And I’m not self-diagnosing myself, like most people do, because I want to seem cool. I’m 34-years-old. The last thing I want to do right now is publicly acknowledge on the internet that there is something wrong with my mental state. That’ll hang over my head, like everything else I’ve ever written, for life. It’s not that serious.

But yes, I am so balls-to-the-wall on everything, so extreme, that mentally, once I get into something, I have trouble pulling myself out of it. And that’s how I feel with this weight gain, really. That in order to take it off, I need to just go all in, do nothing else but work out and diet for a few months. Otherwise, I’ll be like this forever.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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