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The rest of the story with Rich the Pharmacist. Part 1 of 2.

So here’s the rest of the story with Rich, my first high-school boyfriend. I told you how I ran into him on the plane on his way to pharmacists’ immunization training, and he helped us out in Seattle.

I told him, as we reminisced, that before I straightened out my lifestyle, I was 26 and weighed 206 lbs. I was walking in the mall trying to induce labor 2 days after my due date. I saw him and cheerfully said, “Hey Rich!” He looked at me, like, “No comprendo!” and walked right on by. He literally hadn’t recognized me. I was mortified.

Guiltily, he said, “Well, I relate to that. I saw you getting out on the curb, outside. I didn’t even want to approach you because I am ashamed about how I look.”

With 70% of America overweight, I often get the sense that the vast majority of us feel trapped inside someone else. We barely recognize ourselves. Can’t believe this happened to us. Just a five-pound weight gain annually is obesity, in a decade. That’s gaining just ounces a month.

And it seems almost sudden that, in mid-life, we’re ashamed and shocked that we got this way and we wonder how it happened and where’s the way out.

Rich texted me after we were both home in Utah. This is part of it:

“If I do this I want to do it full on, full tilt, full bore, hardcore, never look back, no holds barred, past the point of no return. If I am going to approach it like that, I figure I need the very best tools.”

(He then asks me to hook him up with a BlendTec.)

About the lecture in Seattle, he said:

You gave me hope. I’ve listened to so many doctors, psychologists, “professional” pharmacists, counselors with all their psycho-babble and I can tell they are just saying what they’ve been told to say. You and I talked about people who claim to be experts on nutrition but who look like the ‘before’ poster for a weight-loss program.

“Because of the way I know you, I was already open to your message. I watched you very closely, as you talked to a long line of people after the lecture about their very personal problems and hopes and challenges. To make sure you’re the same Robyn with whom we hid our affection for each other when we were young. And, you are. Just more secure and wiser. Your smile never turned and your enthusiasm never changed.

“Because I am apple shaped rather than pear shaped, people are surprised to know that I carry all my weight in my upper body. So I can still bench press 225 a few times, but I have to wear a C-pap at night with supplemental oxygen so I don’t stop breathing and suffocate. My lungs have more weight pressing on them than they can handle. If I could become one of your miracles, I could kick the C-pap habit. That would be worth so much more than money could buy. I guess I don’t have to tell you that. Look at me, preaching to the choir.”

A few days ago, a GSG reader pushed back on this blog, not just once but more–against my stating that YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO EAT HOT DOGS.

I always appreciate pushback, because it keeps an honest conversation going. But I’ll tell you what I think of that tomorrow.

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