May 01, 2017

What Does It Feel Like To Be A Loser?

What Does It Feel Like To Be A Loser?
By John R. Greenwood

What does it feel like to be a loser? 

It feels awesome! 

After peaking my weight somewhere between xxl and xxxl, I once again committed myself to shedding some weight. I have stayed fairly consistent over the past couple of years with my morning routine of stretching and using free weights to keep my back from seizing and my muscles from wilting. The problem is, when it comes to cookie avoidance, my willpower tends to run weak. This past Christmas season was particularly challenging. It seemed like each day from Thanksgiving through New Years someone at work was bringing in a fresh batch of something chewy, crunchy, filled with chocolate, or coated with sugar. It was like living between Martha Stewart and Ina Garten during Sweep's Week on the Food Network. Being weak and polite when it comes to cookie trays can be a deadly combination. So, when several people in adjoining departments decided to start off 2017 with our own, "Biggest Loser" contest it was a no-brainer for me to yell out, "I'm in." In January there were still lingering containers of goodies lurking around our homes and in the office, so we didn't start our contest until February, and then I didn't roll up my sleeves and lace up my sneakers until the beginning of Lent. I figured I needed all the help I could get so I added Jesus to my team. He did his share by keeping me away from meat on Fridays. I also heard a voice from above every time I passed the bottomless candy dish perched on our hutch in the living room, and I get a kick out of the #1 on the back of his jersey. 

The main ingredient in my 2017 Thrive To Stay Alive Weight Loss Tour was a magical trick called "Get off your ass and just walk." So, I did just that. I walked every morning, noon, and night, for the last two months. That, along with a divorce from bread, pastry, and cookies helped me achieve "Biggest Loser" status. When I weighed in at 4:30am May 1st I'd lost 25lbs of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Cheer. 

I'd be lying if I told you it's no big deal. Because, it is a big deal. It ranks second behind quitting cigarettes some 15 years ago. That was a battle that took everything I had and my first grandson being born to pull off. Being a big loser took second in the importance race but both challenges had an immediate impact in my health. It's something we all know but somehow it becomes an insurmountable wall. I also know how fragile success can be. All it takes is a couple of off days or missed routine and the numbers on that scale can climb faster than Morning Glory's up a lattice wall. What inevitably happens is we revert to old habits and easy excuses. I won't say this times different, I know better. I'm a professional quitter. All I can do is keep reminding myself how hard it was getting this far. Hopefully knowing I need to go a little farther down the scale will keep me motivated and honest. 

The real test came later in the day when I was reveling in my "Biggest Loser" victory. A longtime coworker from the other end of building happened to be heading in the same direction as I was. We were walking side by side, me with my new svelte swagger, when my (ex)friend reached over and patted my stomach and said, "Puttin' on a little weight there, aren't ya bud?" My lottery win day just got a punch in the kisser. I just smiled my big loser smile, walked away and said, "There's always tomorrow." 

Ten more pounds shouldn't be too hard for a loser like me...


  1. ". All it takes is a couple of off days or missed routine and the numbers on that scale can climb faster than Morning Glory's up a lattice wall". Loved that and enjoyed the whole post. I need to catch up on your writing - you are funny.

  2. Way to go. Reading this as I'm knee deep in my own efforts at losing is uplifting. Thanks for sharing.