Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.
This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes.
You don’t have to tell me why I need to get rid of this beer gut. I already know.
My wife hates it. I’m not the man she married. I think she might stick around out of habit more than desire.
My doctor hates it. He told me to lose 30 pounds before I came to see him again. I think he was trying “tough love” on me, but it sounded like “quit wasting my time and clogging up my waiting room.” I know this is my problem to solve. Other people who are really sick are out there, and I feel guilty every second they have to wait for me to get my act together.
And I hate it. I hate avoiding the pool when my kid’s baseball team is staying in a hotel. I hate making excuses to avoid running or playing softball myself.
But I also hate looking like an idiot. I don’t have “gym clothes” or even “gym shoes”. I have these old Nikes that I wear when I’m cutting grass. There’s paint on my sweatpants. I don’t want to go buy a bunch of Under Armor stuff, join a gym for a week, and then quit so the stuff can collect dust. I have money, but I hate wasting it. Besides, I already have that treadmill in the basement, and I never use it. No one does. Why would a gym be any different?
So I’m going to start by ordering a diet book online. I figure if I can stick to a diet for a full month–like, be really strict–then I’ll prove to myself that I can do it. No sense committing to a gym membership if I can’t stop eating chips at night. I know that. At least I never smoked. I have some friends who had to give that up, and they couldn’t do it.
I’m not sure how to even say to my wife, “I need help losing weight” because I’m scared she’ll roll her eyes at me. If I start and then can’t do it, that might be the final straw for her. She might see me as a loser. If I do it and lose weight, she might get suspicious, because “why NOW?” I’m torn. I’m going to try to just clean up my diet in secret, I guess. But she’ll see the book, so I have to tell her. All the gurus say I should tell someone to keep me accountable anyway.
So I’ll spend today looking for diet books, and start there.