I am going to kill the fat man. I am doing it slowly and in an excruciating way, battering and starving him into submission a little bit every day. The fact that he doesn’t want to die is of no account. Die he will, and no amount of whispers about soda and sundaes will save him. After losing 30 lbs and six inches over three months, I can say his long and sorry reign is almost over. Fatty is going fast, for now and for good, and I have myself to thank.
Thank you, me.
That’s the thing about weight loss. It’s personal, a solitary journey that no one else can really help make happen. Sure, you can hire a personal trainer, and you should always have the support of loved ones. Lest I forget my goal, my dear family created a song and a video about me as the fat man. When I whined about having to share a meal, or just because the mood took them, my daughters would serenade me, show the video to their friends and generally mock me for being a roundish mound. They were evil little pixies who would make fun of me every chance they got:
“Look at that CHUB!”
“Run, fatty, run! Look at that CHUB bouncing all over the place!”
“You can’t catch me old fat man. You’re too chubby and old.”
It was all very horrible, politically incorrect and quite awesome. They were right — and I needed the reminder. But they didn’t shove the pizza down my hole, and they couldn’t burn the chub off my belly. That took quality time between me and a gym machine, and no amount of encouragement or nagging or whining would get me to do it — I had to face facts, take the step and commit to the plan.
I should probably also thank VW. But I won’t.
Killing fatty was the first thing I wrote down as a goal when I left the company, and in fact it really wasn’t so much about looking good as it was about recreating my life into a set of healthy, sustainable daily routines. The weight loss was a reward for achieving my objective of exercising (as in, like exercising – not taking a stroll) every day, eating less and establishing a series of healthy daily habits for myself and my daughters. In essence, there were two choices when I left: crawl into a hole and drink myself back to California, or make myself better. Killing the fat man was the first of a number of goals I set the day after I left, objectives that have sustained me through the uncertainty of life outside the fast lane. Regardless of where I end up or what happens on the career front, making myself better ensures that this experience with, um, free time ends on a positive note. In order to do that, however, I had to sit down and approach it much as I would a typical business challenge:
Take Stock and Make Goals
I received the gift of time, so I used it to understand the areas of my life that needed improvement. That started with the end of Fat Man, and continues with a list of goals that run through 2015. This became my personal strategy, my manifesto for personal growth and lifetime achievement.
Create a Positive Mental Attitude
The fat man was first on the list because it was – is – the most difficult of all. It also provided me with an outlet for my angst and conflicting emotions over my job exit. Regardless of the situation or the company, leaving a job and searching for a new one is fraught with negative emotions which have no place living in my head. Deleting fat man also deleted the negative energy of my physical situation and my career status.
Visualize Success and Be Patient
I am not by nature a patient person. And I have a tendency of looking immediately in front of me, head down, instead of standing back and working through the big picture. Melting Chubby Brian was a daily task with virtually no immediate payback. And it sucked, until I hit 30 days and saw that yes, I could kill the fat man and become a better me as a result.
I’m not sure what the future holds. There is no certainty about many things in my life right now. But I do know that Fat Man will not be a part of it, and I will be a far better person for it.