What it feels like to lose 200 pounds

As of last Thursday, we, as a couple, have lost 200 pounds. This number is so staggering to me that I feel the need to put it into context. It’s 30 pounds more than I weigh right now and it’s about as much as Stacy weighs. It’s like a whole other person just walked out our door, never to be seen again. It has seriously changed everything about us.

As I’ve said previously, I went from being tiny to being fat pretty quickly and never stayed at a healthy size very long. When I met Stacy in January 2002, I weighed 260 pounds and she probably weighed 290 or more. We may be the only two people to ever have a decade long relationship that didn’t find each other attractive at first sight (just at first sight; Stacy and I fell deeply in love in a very short time and never had any issue with finding each other attractive after our first meeting). Finding us together, more in love than ever and feeling and looking this good, at age 30 is honestly incredibly surprising and breathtakingly amazing.

One of the lowest points in our lives together was a visit in 2004 to Hershey Park. Stacy and I both love roller coasters but had never gone to an amusement park together. We were excited to go until our first coaster where Stacy could not pull the shoulder harness down. The attendant gave her a dirty look as he pushed as hard as he could to get the first notch to latch. Stacy was humiliated, cried for days and swore off amusement parks forever that night.

A few weeks ago, however, as a Father’s Day gift Stacy purchased us tickets to a theme park, we got a sitter and made a triumphant return to King’s Dominion together without the kids. On our first coaster, I pulled down my harness and then listened to Stacy whisper “One, two, three, four, five…” as she clicked down her own harness. We had a blast that day and vowed to return as often as we could.  We also plan to do other activities our weight has previously inhibited: hot air ballon rides, kayaking, and whatever else comes our way!

I’ve always wanted to be strong. After all, I spent a good portion of my life watching pro wrestling and seeing people lift other human beings over their heads. Unfortunately, if your wife weighs 300 pounds, you will likely not ever be able to lift her. When Stacy hit 225 pounds, I realized that my hour was close at hand. I kept sneaking up behind her and doing a short bear hug lift to see how her weight felt.  It is finally here, now that she’s 200 pounds: I can pick her up. The first time I scooped her up as though we were going to walk through a ceremonious threshold, it was such an exciting and absurd moment that we couldn’t help but laugh.

Stacy and I share moments of closeness and intimacy now that we weren’t really able to before.  Neither of us wanted to talk about our deepest, darkest secrets of fear and self-loathing.  We both knew the other’s insecurities, but we didn’t make the other feel badly by bringing them up for discussion all the time.  Now, our pillow talk is how amazing it is that Stacy didn’t just “tuck” Finian into his loft bed by kissing his cheek, but that she actually climbed into his bed, layed with him and didn’t have to worry about breaking it.  Stacy likes to point out how our visit to her mother’s house, with 2 big furry dogs, didn’t make me so much as sneeze – let alone require medication from a severe allergic reaction.  Or sometimes, we like to just marvel at how the other’s muscles are starting to pop out.

I see such a change in everything we do. Yesterday, Stacy was pushing Wesley in a stroller at the nature center and racing Finian up a “racing hill.” I was struck by the change. Stacy did not run when we first met. She barely wanted to walk places. And there she was, racing our 3 year old and making him giggle and scream with glee. Later we went to the playground and I was able to hang upside down on the rings and do pull ups, while Finian begged me to show him how he could do it too.

Life has changed for us in amazing ways.  We’re not just more healthy and able, but we’ve been injected with a lust for life that’s intoxicating.  We both just want to live and be happy.  Do we get frustrated when we want to eat out at a restaurant and have to have a 10 minute debate about what might be OK on that side of town?  Sure.  But, is it worth feeling strong, healthy, happy, completely in love, intimate and the best people and parents we know how? Absolutely.

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