Smells Like Mid-Life Crisis …

Four months after bariatric surgery – the sleeve gastrectomy, to be exact – I’m down more than 100 pounds.

Or, put another way: SW 337/CW 235/GW 190.

For those of you new to the bariatric/weight loss scene, that slashline’s shorthand for Starting Weight/Current Weight/Goal Weight, and it’s a snapshot of your progress that etiquette demands you provide if you’re going to post publicly in online weightloss/bariatric communities.

five dachsundsI know, that’s a lot of weight. It’s equivalent to five dachsunds. Or 200 hamsters. Or 300 baseballs. And losing that amount of weight has played out across my life in many different ways.

Some of these changes, like having more energy, were expected. Others have come completely out of left field. And it’s those little things that continue to, as the headline says, blow my mind.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

cobain sweater

Smells Like Mid-Life Crisis.
I get cold. I mean, really cold. Like, freezing.

With an extra hundred pounds on me, I was always well insulated. Fifty degrees? That’s t-shirt-and-shorts weather!  Thing is, to me that was normal. I never gave it a second thought.

Of course, the flip side is, when it got a bit warmer, I got sweaty. That’s not a good look.

These days, if the temperature drops below 60, I’m freezing.

Consequently, this season’s signature looks rely on sweaters, flannels, and lots of layers to create a casual, thrift-store chic — which is pretty  much how I dressed in my 20’s.

That Was Then. This Is Now.
Yesterday, I was folding some laundry – my wife says it really turns her on when I do that – and I picked up a pair of jeans. They looked too big to belong to one of the kids, and I couldn’t figure out which pile to put them in. It took me a second or two to realize: they were mine.

Clearly, it’s taking some time to get used to this being-smaller business, to truly understand it and accept it for what it is and what it means.

1976_ts2jeans_961My waist’s not a 52 anymore. It’s a 36. I don’t have to shop at the Big & Tall store anymore – or, as it was euphemistically called back in the day, when me and my Mom went to Sears for my back-to-school Toughskins®: the Husky section.

Likewsie, six months ago, I was wearing XXXL shirts. Now it’s an L.

Those old clothes were some of the first things to go when I started making some changes, and I took great pleasure in packing them up and dropping them off at Goodwill.

But even though those clothes, emblematic as they are of the way things used to be, are gone, traces of them still linger. In many ways, I’m still wearing them.

Ferinstance, my first move is still toward things that are too big – there’s no possible way I could actually fit into something that small – and there’s a bunch of stuff that’s going to end up back at Goodwill soon because I didn’t bother to try it on before I bought it.

My shoe size is smaller now, too. Six months ago, I wore size 10, extra wide. Now, it’s a 9, maybe a 9 1/2, depending on the make, and a normal width.

So is my hat size. For years, I’ve worn hats, size 7 1/2. Now I’m a 7 3/8 – which means I’m gonna need some new Giants caps. And some new Red Sox caps. And some other cool hats, because a man’s gotta have a hat, and one can’t wear a baseball cap everywhere.

vintage razor adThere Will Be Blood
Shaving is a whole different ballgame these days, too. It used to be quick and easy: lather up, scrape a razor over my rounded cheeks and be on about my day, fresh and clean as the proverbial daisy.

No longer. Now, it’s much more of a production.

My face is sharper and more angular. I have contours that weren’t there a few months ago, lines and wrinkles that are emerging like rocks on a beach when the tide’s going out.

I need to take more time, and more care, wielding the razor or risk a painful and bloody laceration. This is not mere speculation; this is the voice of experience talking.

All in all, though, these are not bad problems to have. I mean, things could be a lot worse. Compared to what I left behind, it’s all good.

One thought on “Smells Like Mid-Life Crisis …

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