This week I have dedicated my blog to telling stories along the way on my journey. Some you will love, other you will not. But I always say if it helps one person, it was worth writing.
I also have turned off my comments on my blog. I have done this in the past, but I feel there is a more personal connection with Facebook. Twitter and Email. Please feel free to comment on any of these.
Thank you for being a part in my life. And letting me a part in yours.

“I have always had this philosophy that the Casual Male XL hires the nicest people. They have to, people who go in already are self-conscious.”

Tony (While talking to his wife) -1/04/2008

Clothes shopping was never fun when I was overweight.

It was not about style, it was about fitting.

I lived twenty minutes from a Casual Male XL. The Casual Male XL is a “big and tall” store. Since I am 5 foot 6, it was a big store for me.

I used to always have shame when I drove there. I should not have to spend outrageous amounts of money on clothes just so it would fit. Shame or not, it was needed.

Luckily, there was Ronnie. He was the guy who always helped me out int he store. He always made me feel comfortable, helped me with sizes, and even gave me a coupon or two.

He knew me as the chef. I was always wearing my chef coat when I came in. We would talk about food or restaurants. Then one day I told him “Man, I want to lose weight.”

He was not that thin himself. He looked around 270 pounds. He had a big gut, but it looked like it did not bother him.

“You know…..there is a guy that works here named Jordan. He lost 300 pounds.”

Ummmm, huh? Did you say 300 pounds?”

“He had surgery. He looks amazing!”

Listen, I do no care if you cut off both legs. 300 pounds lost is AMAZING.

Who loses that amount of weight? 300 pounds!

After going back and fourth with how I was going to lose the weight, I decided to not have surgery. It was a scary decision because, at the time, it was rare for someone to lose that much weight.

But I did it. I lost it, and I was proud. Like a kid in a candy store.

I drove by the Casual Male XL after losing the weight and I wanted to see Ronnie.

That I did not need his assistance anymore.
How nice he was.
That he was a pleasant part of my overweight life.

I went in and did not see Ronnie. Ronnie was not there.

I did see someone else.

He was tall and pale, He was thin, but looked a little fat in the waist area. I knew it was loose skin.

I finally met Jordan.

I was excited. I told him how I lost weight. How great I feel. I asked him if he really lost 300 pounds.

“Yep.”

He did not want to talk about weight loss. You could tell. He just wanted to be left alone.
But 300 pounds. I had to know.

“Do you workout?”

“Nah, not really.”

“Do you like fruits and vegetables?”

“Sometimes.”

“So what do you like to eat for breakfast?”

“I am usually on the run. I have a Sugar-Free Redbull and a Snickers. It is under 300 calories. I just watch the calories I eat.”

I did not ask him if he blogged. If he was every on TV because of his weight loss.
I knew he did not.

“Well, tell Ronnie the chef lost weight.”

“Will do!”

I left feeling a little empty.

I could have been Jordan.

My wife was right. She never asked me to lose weight. She wanted me to get healthy. Weight is a number, healthy is for life.

It changed my perspective. Many people think that surgery is the only way to go when you are 100 pounds overweight. At least I did.

It is an option, but there are others.

Good luck Jordan.

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