Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

comparison

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.

comparison

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

9 thoughts on “Goal Achieved

  1. Davide Mana says:

    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)

    1. Thanks, Davide! I believe you can do it — it’s tough (as you know) but definitely possible.

  2. George says:

    Congratulations on reaching your goal, Barry! That’s an achievement to be proud of.

  3. sinajax says:

    Proud of you! Can’t take you out to eat for a celebration. Shall I drive you to the comic book shop?

  4. Lewis Martin says:

    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.

  5. This is the first time in a LONG time I’ve been to your site, and I just wanted to say congrats. Keep up the good work, and stay healthy.

  6. Ryan Prinkey says:

    As someone who has been struggling with weight for most of his life, your post is very inspiring!!!

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