Most people who want to lose weight, want to get rid of something like 15 to 20 pounds. For some, the idea of losing more than 3 stone, or over 40lbs, would be daunting to say the least.
Once you start getting above more than 50lbs overweight, the problem is not greediness or laziness – it’s indicative of deeper underlying problems where food is being used for far more than just physical sustenance and the occasional celebration. At this point we are into realms of addiction, emotional instability, self-medication and, in some cases, even self-harm.
The a-bit-overweight person might be showing the signs of occasional greediness or laziness – of being human. But the extremely overweight person is showing the signs of problems that run far deeper.
My own battles have been mentioned throughout this blog, and documented weekly on my other blog, Losing a Hundredweight. The fight has never been with the food as such – it’s been with my mental states and the reasons I use food to self-medicate.
5 years ago I was 275lbs (19 stone 9lbs). Today I am 186lbs (13stone 4lbs) – still overweight, but not as bad as I used to be.
It took 2 years of focusing on healthy eating to lose 100lbs, in the following 3 years I gained 25 back, but in the past few months I've been moving back down again. I am still 14lbs heavier than my lightest point, a little over 2 years ago, and about 28lbs over my “ideal weight” according to the height-weight charts
When you have the likes of 100lbs to lose, you are in a realm unoccupied by most people. But when you blog about it, you begin to discover there are people out there who make your 100lbs look insignificant.
Three years ago I started trading blog comments with Kepa - a young man in New Zealand who went by the moniker, Fat Lazy Guy. He wasn’t even sure how overweight he was because his scales didn’t go up that far. Eventually he discovered he was over 504lbs.
His goal was to get under 100kg (220lbs – 15stone 10lbs). It seemed like an impossible task. We swapped words of support and insights and he would start to lose a few pounds, but periodically things would go quiet and he would return to confess he’d lost it again.
There was even talk about the possibility of medical intervention – stomach stapling and the like, but fortunately he decided this wasn’t a route he wanted to go.
And then, towards the end of the first year, things started to come together and he found a combination of eating, exercise and mental health that enabled him to find a path that worked.
A few days ago, Kepa reached his goal. He stood on the scales and weighed in at 99.5kg.
He has lost over 285lbs – which is more than I weighed at my heaviest.
When we hear about people who do achieve these unimaginable feats, it’s easy to think of them as unreal. Surely these people cannot really be human. Or if they are, they are so far on the fringes, we cannot relate to them.
But with Kepa, I was there at the beginning. I followed him through all his self-doubts, false starts and feelings of overwhelming helplessness. To me, Kepa’s journey has been so very real.
So to see him succeed literally brings a tear to my eye and my heart swells with pride for him.
Here’s a wee video he put together showing how he has changed since the beginning of 2007
Kepa, Fat Lazy Guy no longer, you have my total respect.