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With respect to Cher, that is the nature of some of the thoughts I've been having as I've reached this milestone.  I have lost 200 pounds and am closer than ever to making my goal.

You see, At this point, the last time I was at this weight, I was living in Arkansas. Bill Clinton was still the President. The Office had not yet even premiered on the Beeb. It was the hiatus between Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor) and Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor). Y2K fever had not yet hit in all it's whack-a-doodle-ness, and I was preparing for my Senior Recital.

So why am I talking about time? Part of it has to do with the "woulda, shoulda, coulda" mentality one sometimes gets. You know the thoughts--"If I knew then what I know now..."--but that only leads me down the path of regret, and that's never a good idea.

Case in point: I'm getting to the weights I was at earlier and earlier in life. I think about all that extra skin I've grown, and the fact that at 43, gravity and time have made the elasticity of my skin go away, and I wistfully daydream about why I couldn't have done something like this sooner, when I had less skin and more elasticity.

Having just been to the doctor, I think it's about time for me to begin to wonder how I'm going to pay for my skin removal surgery.  I have close to 200 more pounds to go, but the way things are going, it could be in a little over a year.  Because I'm only working 2/7 of the school day at my job, I don't qualify for insurance.  I can always say I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but it never hurts to prepare for contingencies.  And now, things are progressing so much that my diabetes just may well be REVERSED.  No more pre-existing condition. Time, in this case, may be on my side.  And that's a good thing.

But the main reason I'm thinking about Time is how I feel. There is a definite feeling of "being younger" happening. I've always tried to keep my inner child "active", because the younger you feel (and sometimes act), the younger you look. Recently someone told me they thought I was in my mid-twenties. A stretch, to be sure, but I've definitely got that vibe back again.

However, I can't jump the gun, so to speak. I guess my "inner equilibrium" thingy, or whatever it is, is starting to feel lighter. I keep wanting to skip, just to have my feet leave the ground. I try, but my body tells me "not yet". I have a ways to go before I can feel comfortable doing any kind of running again, even a few steps. Time was, even in my 300+ days back in the 90s, I could lay down a mean sprint that would surprise some people.

So, in case you hadn't heard yet, I was in the local paper.  I guess I'll post the link here:  http://www.nwitimes.com/...  Anyway, my sister (who seems to have made it her mission to "extrovert" me) brags on me to her friends, and her friends know people.  So she calls me, and in her "I've already done it so you can't do anything about it" innocent voice, lets me know that she's been contacted by a reporter.  The first thing I told her was along the lines of "You know how I don't like to be the center of attention like that" (I'd rather be unknown and untraceable...off the grid, as it were).  And she replied "Yeah, so?".  Like I said, she was going to do it whether or not. So I said "Fine. SIGH".  I made sure to tell the reporter that i wasn't going to do this unless my doctor got some mad props.  The reporter did a follow up on my doctor the next week.  And evidently, I'm somewhat of an inspiration.  I don't know why, I mean I'm just about halfway there, I haven't come close to finishing yet, but that's what everyone says.  Evidently, my doctor has been getting lots of new patients from my article.  Mentioning me by name.  I've had a couple of them come up to me.  My sister will laugh, but I'm a bit embarrassed by the attention.

Which is a bit ironic, considering what I do.  First of all, I'm a teacher, which means that I'm in front of everybody doing stuff.  Second, as a conductor, I stand in front of EVERYONE with my BACK to the audience.  I guess I'm comfortable with those roles because those who I'm in front of have CHOSEN to see me/watch me.  In an uncontrolled situation, I really don't like a lot of attention.

So what's been going on since the last time I wrote?  Well, as of this writing, I am now the Band and Choir Director at La Crosse High School in La Crosse, IN.  And I love it.  The kids are great, and they are eager to learn and perform.  It's only two periods a day, so I don't qualify for insurance.  Personally, my clothes are getting so big that some of the pants are starting to look a little on the ridiculous side.  However, since the weight loss is continuing, replacing the wardrobe isn't in the cards yet.  I have to order clothes piecemeal--a couple of shirts here, a couple of pairs of pants there.  So, Christmas and my birthday are coming up, hint hint.  Gift cards are always welcome.

And of course, I have rewards.  I've already mentioned my treat of a bike when I made this goal, and my sister and I are going window shopping for bikes.  I'm also treating myself to a new tuxedo, and possibly a new suit as well.

As for other things, I heard something my sister said to my mother the other day which partly could explain her "mission" with regards to my personal life.  She told her "It's like we have Paul back.".  I asked her about it, and she said that it was like I began to withdraw inward.  Especially with stresses of the time, and the passing of my dad, to her it seemed like I was just "there", and not engaged with the world.  I don't know, it didn't seem that way to me, although I do remember that I didn't feel that great, both physically and mentally.  Was it depression?  I don't know.

Anyway, enough of the maudlin stuff.  Looking ahead to the next hundred pounds, that may be the most difficult pounds to lose yet.  I was in that hundred pound range for over 15 years.  When I graduated high school, I was at around 300.  I remember that, because I was rationalizing my weight to the fact that William Perry, in his rookie year, weighed a little over 300 pounds.  I figured if it was good enough for the Fridge, it was good enough for me.  So hopefully by next Spring, I will have turned back the clock to a point in my weight where I was in high school.  And how many of us wish we were at the weight where we were in high school?  However, I won't be done there.  By the time I'm done, I will have turned back time to a place BEFORE high school.  Only this time I'll be taller.

So will I make my final goal in just a year and four months?  Only time will tell.

Originally posted to zenbassoon on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 03:35 PM PDT.

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