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What They Didn't Tell You


Benedict

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Having been in this game for only about 2 months now, I feel somewhat reticent to write on the subject of slimming down - but having dropped over 50lbs in eight weeks, I am perhaps able to see the results more clearly than had I lost weight more slowly. A large drop in a small timescale has left my memories of Billy Bunterdom less hazy than most. For all those sending me cyber-daggers as they read about the initial success, please relax in the knowledge that my primary sprint has turned into a deatlhy crawl and that you have plenty of time to catch up. Remember the tale of The Tortoise & the Hare…?Having discussed much of this in length with another one of my close buddies and actor friends, Mr Christopher Barlow, I figured it would be an interesting topic to scribe aimlessly about. I met Chris about 18 months ago during a production I was staging of The Merchant of Venice and in that time, without any surgical assistance whatsoever, he has managed to shed almost 100lbs. So, I was quietly confident that our shared experience of weight loss was one that many people would be going through also.This article is simply about the things one tends to experience during weight loss that may not have been instantly obvious when starting out on the journey. I also must take this opportunity in the proceedings to advise all ladies and those of a sensitive nature, that during this article, I will be slightly touching upon male genitals (excuse the deliberate and well intended pun).Probably, the biggest issue faced during The Sheddage, has been confidence. For all those yet to embark on the cruise upon SS Not-so-Titanic, you will probably be assuming that I mean - with weight loss comes confidence. Let me stop you there, rewind the tape (or DVD if you are too young to remember tape) and correct that now. What I actually mean is, the speed you lose weight seems to have no bearing on the speed you gain your confidence. None whatsoever.I am very much aware that I look very different having lost the weight that I have done recently and over the past two weeks have been paid slightly more attention by the opposite sex. Not much - but slightly more. I am also able to wear my clothes (purchased from a normal shop!) in a more publically acceptable way. Shirt tucked in instead of Smock-central, a la Demis Roussos. Not to mention that Hawaiian shirts are no longer part of my wardrobe. I now only have two chins instead of four and all in all - I know that I look better. However, I don’t seem to be able to let that knowledge boost my confidence.When anyone catches my eye, I automatically assume they are thinking the worse. My posture is still uncomfortably poor as I try to hide my 6′3” frame away from people’s seemingly accusatory glares. I drink far more than I should of an evening just so I can talk to people. All in all, I would consider myself an emotional wreck! Why wasn’t my 50lbs of flab converted into 50lbs of pride? I know deep down that it should have been.Obviously enough, the years of self-hatred and self-consciousness that is often hidden beneath The Jolly Fat Man image, takes far longer to heal and be rebuilt as one gets used to the new life. Just beware when you start out - it will take longer and quite a lot of effort to fix that part - but it will no doubt be fixed in time.Another thing they don’t tell you is what you should do with your day once eating is out. You will get so very restless because time seems that much longer without a side of cow in your mouth! Boredom it is not. I find the whole idea of eating a lot very opposed to my life now - I don’t miss it and I don’t crave any kind of forbidden mastication. What I do crave, is something to replace those moments of my life when I would automatically reach for a packet of crisps (or chips for those across the water), just to pass the time. Luckily enough, I have hobbies that have come to the rescue. I have been more prolific in my music writing over the past two months than I have ever been. I wrote ten songs yesterday and I do believe my skills at such things are getting better. And all because, I don’t want to snack.So - before you start off - prepare yourself a list of things to do in the quiet, fidgety moments. Our lives are hectic these days - but those quiet times will come and you will need to have something to entertain your grey matter or risk going ever-so-slightly mad.At this juncture, people who do not need to hear about “man bits” can turn off. I write this for the men out there that need that extra little kick before they decide whether weight loss is right for them. I suppose it may well interest their lovers also…Imagine, if you will, a tree. A tree that has stood the test of time in a garden, overlooked perhaps by an all girls school. Each day, the tree would look up to the sun and stretch out its branches to welcome the new dawn, as the sun beat down upon the boughs. Because the gardener loved the tree so much, he used to ensure that its roots were well tended and that the soil below was well stocked. So nervous was he that his pride and joy would topple, that he overlaid much of the lower section of the trunk with turf and soil. This made the tree look very small indeed. But the tree didn’t seem to notice, or even mind. He just enjoyed the occasional attention he sometimes received!However, the girls at the school were mean. They used to look out of their dormitories and laugh. Laugh at the size of this little tree. The tree spent many days listening to the laughter and brushing it off as a fundamental fact of life. “They can laugh” though the tree, “but that is how God built me, and there is nothing I can do about it”. But the gardener saw the tree slowly wilt over the years with sadness, as his own words of support no longer seemed to be helping.So, one day, the gardener decided that he would help the tree. He woke up bright and early and set about removing much of the soil from around the trunk, exposing far more of the tree than had ever been visible before. When the horrid girls woke up in the morning and leaned out of the window to laugh at the tiny tree, they were shocked to see that it had become so big - they all ran away screaming. This made the tree very happy. It was also fair to point out that the gardener still prays to this very day that that the tree doesn’t fall down after this rather quick soil loss…Enough said?So - there are things to think about and some things that I am sure to find out about as I delve further into this brave new world. I suppose you can guess which particular surprise I am most happy about in a shallow man kind of way - but who knows, there may well be more deep Zen and emotionally deserving surprises just around the corner - at which point I may write a part 2!My Lap Band BlogMy Personal Site

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