Goal Achieved

On the left – May of 2012. On the right – September 2013

I don’t normally use this blog for “personal” posts. I tend to talk about New Pulp or what I’m reading… or what personal appearances I’m going to be making.

But today is different and I think it’s appropriate to hijack the blog for one day to talk about it. I promise I’ll return to the usual stuff tomorrow.

The guy on the picture on the left was me in May 2012. The guy on the right is me, from about a month ago.

When I started on the program I weighed 403 pounds and I was buying my clothes through specialty catalogs because the big & tall section of most department stores no longer had clothes that would fit me. Worse yet, those clothes were starting to get very tight and I knew I was going to have to move up in size soon. So I decided I’d go on Weight Watchers. I’d had some success with it before but I’d never stuck with it for more than a few months. This time would be different because I decided I wasn’t going on a diet. I was going to change my life. I may not be the kind of person who is going to suddenly start hanging out in the gym and I know that. But when it comes to willpower and making a decision, then sticking to it… I can do that. I do that everyday in my job and ultimately, this is no different. You simply decide to do it and then you do it, no whining. I want to be here for a long time and see my son grow up. I want to be a little old man with my wife, talking about all the years we spent together.

And I didn’t want people’s first impression of me to keep being “Wow, he’s fat.”

So on July 12, 2013 I did my first weigh-in. It was pretty ugly but I knew that going in. The nice thing about Weight Watchers was that I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted as long as I was willing to live with the points value of the food. Initially I focused on just cutting down on my portion sizes and as I went, I altered my diet, inserting more fruit and veggies. I’m still not a huge fan of vegetables but I do eat my green beans all the time now and I’ve become a huge fan of apples, grapes and oranges.

For me, it was as much about controlling how much I ate, as it was what I ate. There’s nothing wrong with having an occasional giant hamburger but I was having those all the time. Plus a large order of fries. And a dessert! Then I’d do it all over again a few hours later… plus I’d have snacks.

I wasn’t one of those people who ate because he was depressed. I liked eating. It brought me pleasure. I enjoyed the entire pastime of consuming food.

I’ve tried to maintain my appreciation for a good meal, I just change how much I eat and what I’m eating. The food’s still good… there’s just less of it. It’s amazing how much we consume that’s far more than what we need. I try to tell myself that now — not “How much do I want?” but “How much do I need?”

There have been weeks where I’ve gained weight, gotten frustrated and been amazed at how far I still had to go.

But there have also been weeks where the weight seemed to just fall off and the confidence went through the roof. I feel like I look better and I feel more energetic.

Today I reached the goal that I  had set for myself back in the middle of 2012. I’ve dropped 171 pounds in about 15 months. Now I enter the maintenance phase of the program where I try to keep to my current weight. I’m certainly not a skinny person and I’m still above what the doctors consider my ideal weight but I’m comfortable with where I am and I’m confident that I can maintain this for the rest of my life. That was a big point of all this — not telling myself that I would ever reach The End… I achieved my goal but now I just keep going. There’s no returning to where I was. This is the new me.

Do I sometimes miss those double quarter pounders with cheese? Hell yes. But I spent a good 40 years indulging in food and that was plenty of time. I can get plenty of enjoyment out of a nice, juicy apple.

My current feeling isn’t so much elation as it’s just kind of… relief.

It was the same way when I was published for the first time — I kept expecting this huge wave of euphoria to wash over me but it wasn’t quite that. It’s more like that sensation you have when you’ve been racing towards a finish line and you finally crash through it. You’re proud, you’re weary and you aren’t sure if you want to cry or laugh.

Maybe both.

On the left – July 9, 2012. On the right – October 9, 2013


  1. Barry, once again you are an inspiration.
    I’m slowly dropping my excess weight, and I recognize myself in a lot of what you mention – from the difficulties in finding clothes to the pleasure of a good meal.
    My health was going to hell in a basket, now as weight drops it’s improving.
    Your success is just great news for me, and I’m happy for your results – because your results mean I might make it, too 😉
    Please accept my congratulations.
    (and now, back to doing some editing)

  2. It’s amazing what hard work and determination can do. Awesome job! Knowing you will be there for you’re family is always a great motivator.

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