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If you are lucky enough to be reading this, or unlucky, in about 10 hours after this post I should be in surgery.  As for the title, my best guesstimate is that I’ve heard saying in the title a thousand times.  Along with:

Thunder thighs, fat boy, chubbs, tubby, fat ass, lard ass, porker, slim, King Kong Bundy Jr. and many other “fat” jokes as many call them.  As a kid in elementary school, I was given a shirt from my sister who attended UNC-Chapel Hill.  Her physical education was done in Fetzer Gymnasium.  As such, the shirts had FG on the front.  My new moniker-FAT GUY.

I was a chubby kid.  Plush, fat, obese, overweight, chunky, tubby, and just big.  At about 8 or 9 I was put on Weight Watchers by a doctor’s order.  Not one of the highlights of my life.  Neither was being told by my father I was indeed fat and big and that it was hard for him as a parent to not be embarrassed by having a big kid.  Say what?!  Hard on him? He didn’t take the ridicule and bullying like me.  He didn’t face the shit I did.  The biggest that man has ever been is 160lbs.  Not exactly fat.  Unless you are a cat, a parakeet or a Yorkie.

I was big enough in 8th grade, my helmet came from NC State University for middle school football.  That’s right.  My hat size is either 7 7/8 or an 8.  My thighs at one point were bigger around than my own father’s waist.  My neck shirt size for a dress shirt at one time: 22″.  But we backup a bit.  I was born the smallest of the 4 kids in my family at 6lbs, 8 oz.  I grew to be the biggest by far of the 4 of us.  I was wearing my father’s jeans to 6th grade.  My siblings weigh around 130-160.  I’ve got one brother who has a size 29 waist.

I wasn’t always big and I didn’t stay that way.  For a great deal of high school I was able to shed weight.  I was only 5-10 pounds bigger than the suggested weight.  Then in college I spent more time eating and sleeping and fooling around than in class or being active.  I put on way more than the “freshman 15” as so many of us have heard about.  I’ve been too big to ride on rides at fairs and carnivals.  At my biggest, I came in right at 306.  At the fair in NC, they have a game where barkers guess your weight.  He said 2, 2, too damn much and I won a prize when he told me he couldn’t guess.

I’ve tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, fasting and cleanses and I gave up.  In 2014 I met with the people at Rex Bariatric Surgery Center which is part of the UNC Medical system in North Carolina.  Then we moved.  When we got here I started a regimen again and then had to stop to have surgery on two hands because of pain and nerve damage-NOT FAT RELATED.  All my life, weight has been an issue and fluctuations in it are an everyday occurrence.  Up and down and back up and down.  I was able to actually drop 50 pounds the summer of 2005 when I worked all day at a boys camp.  Being outside all day working in the sun, then eating food that is meant to be healthy and it was, will burn calories and take off weight.

Then I put it back on.  Got bigger and became diabetic or so they claim.  Six years after that diagnosis I have an endocrinologist that isn’t sure my diagnosis was correct.  All of this to say that I’ve gone through the pre-operative phases of my bariatric surgery procedure in order to have a sleeve gastrectomy done at a hospital here in PA.  I not only want this, but I need this and am using this as a tool to help me lose weight as I have struggled all my life.

Too many 4am runs to IHOP in college caused some of this.  Other things were binge eating, not enough exercise, genetics along with other factors.  But suffice it to say, I was and am sick of the condition referred to as morbid obesity.  So, on May 24th, I will be having my procedure.  As the picture denotes, the portion of the stomach that will be removed is clear.  It will be surgically removed.  And I will be on my way to hopefully a healthier, happier and MUCH lighter self.  So, if you can, say a prayer the morning of surgery and the time period after it for a while as I recover and start this new chapter I would appreciate it.  One of the other main reasons I am doing this beyond health is so that I can be here for my kids and wife for a very long time.  I want to be able to play sports and other stuff with them on a routine basis.  I want to be able to play sports for myself.

And perhaps as I get older, I realize a couple of things.  I have two gorgeous daughters who I want to walk down the aisle.  Not out of some long-held tradition that this is what dads do.  But because God has entrusted them to me and when I walk them down the aisle, I am entrusting someone else with a part of that.  I also have a son who is a handful and I want to be able to do things with him too.  So, keep me in our thoughts and prayers!  Thanks!