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Pat Dryburgh

Losing weight is a mind fuck.

About four years ago I lost sixty pounds. Starting at 275 lb, I ran, lifted, pressed, pushed, pulled, fought, and calorie-restricted my way to 215 lb. It was tough. I was dedicated.

I had a really hot girlfriend helping me out.

Once that fell apart, I let myself go. As one friend-of-a-friend put it, I was putting on my shield. In a matter of months I gained back those sixty pounds, and then a few more just in case.

For three years I lived my life in that shield. I clung to it. It defended me. I embraced it. It saved me.1

On January 2, 2013, I started taking off the shield. On January 14, I started telling my story and documenting it.

In nearly 8 whole months of losing weight professionally2, I have discovered one fascinating benefit to be the ability to examine just how long it’s taking me. I have never kept good records, but recording the show has resulted in a trail of crumbs that allow me to look back on my journey. Where in the past I didn’t have the information to analyze, now the podcast has become a deep cove of revealing thoughts and stories and statistics about myself.3

Through this lens I have come to a harsh discovery: I’m in a rut.

By June 14, 2013, I lost 52 lb. I remember exactly how I felt because I can hear it.

It took me 164 days to lose 52 lb. That works out to 3.15 days per pound. It has been 66 days since I reached the 52 lb mark. In 66 days, I have lost somewhere close to 20 lb. Unfortunately, these have been the same three or four pounds lost and gained and lost and gained over and over again.

This morning I weighed myself and the scale read 234.9 lb. That means that in 66 days all I have accomplished is less than one pound per month. That’s 33 days per pound.

What the fuck have I been doing?

Even by listening to a few small snippets of the past few episodes of the show, it’s obvious I’m not doing well. I’m struggling to get over whatever’s holding me back. I’m making excuses for laziness. I’m pushing back against the system — no — the friends I’ve asked to help me out.

It’s a repeating pattern in my life, and one of the main reasons I don’t like asking for help.

I’m an addict. Addicts hurt the ones who try to help.

Watch any episode of Intervention, and you’ll see just what addiction does to someone. It makes them violent against those who love them. It turns angels into demons, saints into sinners, beauties into beasts.

And I’m one of them. It’s embarrassing to admit it, certainly even more in a place so public, but my hope is perhaps that by admitting it I can begin to heal.

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m in some dire need of professional help. I have not stolen, or physically hurt anyone. There are certainly people whose addition has worn them down to the point where they are incapable of healing on their own. I am not one of them, though my heart breaks for them.

I have the mental, physical, financial, and social capacity to fix this. But, again, I can’t do it on my own.

So there it is. Getting from 50 to 60 lb has been hard. Hell, I’m still not really there. And there’s a hell of a long road after that.

But as I take a few steps back, giving myself space to accelerate in order to push beyond my own inadequacies in an attempt to achieve something I know I can achieve,4 I’m asking that perhaps, just maybe, you might come alongside and give me a bit of a boost.

Just, try to keep your hands off my bum.

  1. Even as a post-Christian, I’m still looking for a saviour. 

  2. The show has a net worth of -$96. We made $50 off the one ad we ran. I gave it directly to Bill to say thanks for all his work editing the show. 

  3. One of the more disgusting revelations I’ve come across is how easily I fascinate myself. 

  4. Winded, right? I’m working on my writing. Any and all suggestions from English Majors currently on their 3rd break during a marathon 14-hour Starbucks shift welcome here

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