Why am I doing this? Mostly because I'm 35, married, with two little girls. I'm morbidly obese and hypertensive. What got this started? Two things. I recently had a cyst removed from my head (another story for another day, but I've got great pictures) and the surgeon who removed it is also a bariatric surgeon. He took one look at me and told his medical assistant to run a BMI calculation on me. I'm 6'2", 302 lbs. so the BMI came back as "GRAVY", err....38.8. Morbidly Obese. The guy was very nice, very professional and a bit pushy as to my need for bariatric surgery. You see, he cures diabetes. He cures hypertension. You can't do it without him. The statistic he quoted was that, long term, only 5% are successful at weigh loss w/o surgery. Secondly, I stumbled upon Marc Ambinder's piece on The Moral Urgency of Obesity and his follow-up on 10 Ways to Solve the Problem of Obesity. I also found out that Mr. Ambinder himself had bariatric surgery. I don't remember how I found the first article. Twitter, probably. Regardless, I disagree with what he writes and have now set about proving him wrong. There's only one way to solve obesity. Fewer calories must be consumed than are used. It's a pretty simple equation. Ambinder discounts self-will. I do not.
I got to thinking about how I've ever really achieved things in life. I've needed three things: motivation, support, and a nemesis. Motivation: that's pretty easy. My family. Support: Also pretty easy. Also my family, but I'm hoping to add to this support with (hopefully) readers and commenters here. Lastly a nemesis. Nemesis, thy name is Ambinder. I’ve never met the man, and until recently had never read his work. I only recognized the name through my reading of others. I’m sure he’s a pleasant fellow. Just wrong.
What are my goals? The above surgeon suggested 220 lbs. as a goal which would still put me at a BMI in the "overweight" category. But I also haven’t seen 220 lbs. since I was a sophomore in high school and 4” shorter than I am currently. In getting there I hope to normalize my BP and take some of the stress off of my arthritis riddled knees. I also hope to prove that “fat” is a choice. And today I’m choosing to no longer be that guy.