Have you ever had one of those moments where it feels like the back of your head is going to pop off because you just got hit with a megawatt idea on your little kilowatt processor? I was thinking about the concept of perspective, and what perspective really means in life. For me, it means quite a bit. I live on the other side of the planet from anyone I have ever known, and sometimes it seems like the world is just an amazingly large and foreign place. However, the only reason it is foreign is because it’s not “mine.” It is not the safe little world I grew up in…it is much bigger than that, and the small town I was born into allows me to truly appreciate the bustling metropolis in which I currently live. There are all sorts of other random meanderings that led to this, but they are not relevant to the point at hand…

I was realizing as I stepped up onto a curb that it no longer hurts for me to step up eight inches. There was a time where I would want to balance carefully and maybe even lean into it a bit to keep from straining the already shot joints in my knees that creaked and groaned under each step. It filled me with such indescribable delight to be able to take a single non-painful step. I realized then that this experience, this exquisite pleasure, is not something so many will have the chance to understand. My sister, all 105 lbs of her, will probably never know what it feels to groan with pain while taking a single step. For that I am thankful. However, she will also probably never know what it feels like to experience the pleasure of a painless step and recognize that pleasure for what it is. It is only because of my unique pains that I understand the absence of these pains as the incredible gift it is.

In the end, you need the downs to create the ups. You need to experience being unhealthy to appreciate health. You need to experience wheezing your way out of your car to appreciate being able to jog across an intersection without feeling you are dying. You need to understand the incredibly humiliation of collapsing a chair in Ms. Weatherby’s choir class in elementary school and hear the tittering laughter of the entire class to appreciate being able to collapse onto a chair without thinking, “Christ…am I going to kill it?” For years my chair at the office has given up on holding me up…the hydraulics gave out some time ago…but this week, for the first time in over a year…it has started to hold me up again. I am down 27 lbs from where I was on the 25th of March, and that delights me. I am seeing changes in my body, but the most important changes are happening in my mind as I realize that I CAN do this. I CAN make it work, I CAN lose weight and I CAN walk without pain. I CAN climb a mountain and I CAN do all of the awesome things I want to do but have been too afraid to do for fear of my body failing… I may not be able to do them yet, but they CAN be done, and I will do them.

Your weight is a gift…not because it is good in-of-itself, but because it will give you the ability to appreciate the journey of losing it. We are all on this journey together, and we are all capable of making great changes and becoming the people we want to be. I feel privileged to be a part of the Man V. Fat community; blessed to be a part of so many people trying to better themselves. There will be times we all stumble, but we can all pull each other back to our feet and keep on going. I have decided I AM going to climb a mountain, and I want some of you to come with me.