You Look Good

Whenever people who haven’t seen me for a minute run into me these days they tell me that I look good. That will happen when you lose over 40 pounds. I’ve learned to take the compliment and move on.

What gets to me though is when the folks closer to me keep bringing it up. I get when someone who hasn’t seen me in three months or so is surprised to see me, but those who encounter a wild Nelson on the regular shouldn’t be so shocked. This is who I am now. This is who I intend to stay.

I know that’s not what they mean when they say it. I know they are trying to express that they are happy for me/proud for me/living vicariously through what they perceive to be a massive amount of willpower on my part.

But—Spoiler Alert—that’s not the effect the words have.

The bonus compliments—and anything after the first is a bonus—are just ammunition for my inner Fat Bastard:

“Oh, look, we’re dead sexy. We can eat those cookies now and it’s nothing.”

Which doesn’t help. At all.

You see, I’m not focused on the big narrative arc that is how much I’ve lost. Hell, these days I’m not even all that focused on how much I have to go—which two days ago was five pounds and today is eight pounds. I’m focused on the day to day battle. I’m still in the shit.

The last of the weight is fighting for its life. It is alive, you know that right? With its own animating spirit and everything. Exerting its will on the larger organism, doing whatever it can to maintain its hold on this plane of reality. Living cells all with their own midichlorians crying out at once and then suddenly stopping. Or something like that.

I’ve had two days this week where I just said “Fuck it” to the rules of the diet. Something like this has happened every week for the last two months. Discipline is shot and I have so little left to go and the last thing I need is someone telling me I look good when I feel like shit.

Because the whole point of those old Billy Crystal sketches on Saturday Night Live was that it is not better to look good than it is to feel good. Appearances deceive and façades fall apart.

What I want is a solid foundation for the future, and right now is the point in the battle where I’ll either make it, or slip back into the old ways.