Twice in the last few weeks I’ve heard virtually the same weight-loss story. The first time I was in a local restaurant eating dinner and watching a Pens game, when someone yelled across the bar to a guy sitting a few stools down from me, “Hey, you look great! Have you lost weight?”
The guy yells back, “Yeah! 40 pounds!”
You know me. I couldn’t NOT ask the guy how he did it. After all, if he was willing to yell his weight loss across a crowded bar, I figured I could ask him his story.
“I got my driver’s license picture taken and I didn’t like my face,” he said. “So I decided to lose weight.”
“Just like that?” I asked.
“How’d you do it?”
“Diet and exercise,” he said.
Two weeks later, I was with some friends in a different bar. Two guys walked in. One ordered a Guinness and the other a Coors Light. I heard Mr. Guinness (rail-thin) ask Mr. Coors Light (slightly overweight) when he had to leave to go work out. Mr. Coors Light said he could have two beers and then he would go home. Work out? On a Friday night?
“Wow, that’s discipline,” I said. “Working out on a Friday night?”
Mr. Guinness jumped in. “This guy here’s lost 40 pounds! Come on, man, tell her.”
“I lost 40 pounds,” Mr. Coors Light laughed. “I’m gonna lose 20 more.”
“Wow, that’s great!” I said. “How did you do it?”
He shrugged and looked at me like, Duh, lady.
“Diet and exercise,” he said.
After his second beer, Mr. Coors Light ordered a hoagie to go for his wife (so sweet!) and said he’d only nibble on a bit of it on the way home, then he was going to hit the treadmill while watching ESPN.
Both men got me thinking, ‘Is this a guy thing?’ Both lost weight just because they decided to, and they did it without Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss, NutriSystem, or Optifast. No zone/beach/acai/colon/miracle-pill diets, they just cut back on the hoagies and started working out.
And what about those conversations in public? I know I’ve told my story on Oprah and sundry other places including my blogs, but not without a certain degree of shame, fear and, yes, embarrassment. Even now I cringe when I watch the videos of the shows I’ve been on. If someone yelled from across a crowded room that I looked great and asked if I’d lost weight, I’d be mortified. And I certainly wouldn’t yell back, “Yeah! 170 pounds!” If one of my friends flat out announced to a stranger in a bar that I’d lost weight…again, instant mortification. Yet, the two guys who lost weight seemed completely unfazed by the questions or my inquiries. In fact, they were down right giddy about it. Didn’t bother them one bit.
I want to be like them one day – fearless, accepting, and genuinely proud of my accomplishments among strangers who aren’t interested in weight issues. It’s easy to be comfortable talking about weight with people who “get it,” but it’s another to discuss it with, oh say, a potential date. Sure, if I meet someone, I wouldn’t have to tell him about my weight loss, but in this Google-able world, it doesn’t take much to learn my story.
So I need to put on my big girl panties and get comfortable. It can’t be just a guy thing. It has to be a Lynn thing, too.