Hey Shorts fans!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! The shorts are still out in full force, I can promise you that, life has just been very busy. Between Girl, work, Wife, other family, and friends I’ve found it hard to keep writing. Same shtuff, different day. I’ve tried to think of ways I can keep this blog going through the summer when shorts are common on other people than me but still keep it fun and light, and haven’t really come up with anything that good. But I very much like to write, and it’s my blog so dammit, I’m going to do with it what I please. There will still be shorts commentary, but it will probably be more in fall/winter/spring (so, about 11 months out of the year in Wisconsin). There will be other stuff thrown in, and that other stuff may be the main course from now on with shorts commentary becoming the side dish. Who knows, but if you’re willing to take this journey with me, I would love to bring you along.
Now, to the title of this post… What’s in a number? 1. Wife and I have one child. 3. I have three sisters. 4. I have four parents. 5. Wife and I have been married for five years as of early July. 8. I had eight grandparents at one point in my life. 9. Girl is nine months old. 14. Wife’s high school number. 29. My Age. 62. My high school number. 84. How old my grandpa was when he passed away. 120. Highest score I ever got on a test (teacher gave that much extra credit and I got a 100%, not sure what they were thinking…). 196. Weight I graduated High School at. 230. My ideal weight. 271. Where I am today.
Sure, these are all just numbers, but each has a major significance in my life. At some point in time, 14 and 62 will fade away and become just numbers, Girl will grow up and her number will change, my age number will change right alongside hers, Wife and I will have more kids, and our marriage number will continue to grow. But other things, like 84, those don’t go away and they don’t change. It’s never just a number again, it’s got meaning, it’s got emotion and feeling tied to it for the rest of my life. Still others, like 271, will change as well, but for people like me, that number probably means the most when it should mean the least.
I’m very self conscious about my body and my weight. Why? I don’t know, just always have been. I’ve never been a small person, and even when I graduated high school and was in the best shape of my life I still had a bit of a belly. But I was OK with where I was, I was fit and my number was low. I didn’t even gain the Freshman 15 in college; however the Sophomore 30 kicked my ass. The the Junior 20 and Senior 10 didn’t help either. I’ve blamed it on injuries, blamed it on this, blamed it on that, but ultimately it all boils down to one thing: I lack willpower.
There’s always going to be the comments that come with a post like this that boil down to “we love you for who you are!” and that’s fine, but I honestly don’t. I don’t love myself right now, or at least my image of myself. I want to change, as much for myself as for Girl and Wife, to make sure that I’m as healthy as I can be and to be the best dad , husband, son, brother, and uncle I can. To me, that means that I need to get into better physical shape, watch what I eat, and make sure I can actually play with my kids and enjoy going on walks and little adventures as a family. And that requires willpower.
As I laid in bed tonight pontificating after Cat decided to grace the floor with a hairball, I realized that I didn’t always lack willpower, and that I still have flashes of it today. I’ve lost weight before, just 2 years ago actually, and it was pretty easy. But I did it for two reasons: someone was holding a contest and the prize was an Xbox One or PS4, and I wanted to trim down. I wanted to trim down and be more fit sure, but ultimately I wanted the Xbox just as badly. 235. The lowest weight I’ve reached since Junior year in college. I was happy, amazed that I could do it. The problem? I didn’t keep it up once the contest was over.
I tried, but the contest ended right before Christmas. “I’ll take Christmas off and then get back on the horse. I won’t eat as much as normal, but maybe just relax a bit on the diet thing” turned into a steady year and a half growth of myself and a decline in my willpower. “No thanks” at a second helping turned into “I’ll do one more” after that second helping. I felt bad about it sure, but I was also goddamn hungry! And I was nearly on the line of “fuck it, I really don’t care anymore.” But I did, and I do, and now I realize how dumb of a mindset that actually was.
Willpower is what’s required to make sure you don’t go off the deep end. To make sure that you don’t go back for that third helping when you’re already pretty full. To make sure you’re listening to yourself when you think “I really should eat something different” but you get the 3XL burger with 4 types of cheese, mayo, egg, bacon, hash browns, sausage, brats, and 3 beef patties. (I didn’t actually do that, but if someone knows a place that has this burger, we need to be closer friends. …Wait, willpower! Damn you, willpower…). It’s what saved me from gaining the Freshman 15, but left me when I got hurt Sophomore year. I have tons of support from family and friends, but now I need to build up and allow my will to power me through this change that I want and need to happen.
Everything in our lives revolves around numbers. 271. 84. 9. 8. 5. 4. 3. Those numbers mean the world to me, all for different reasons, and all equally as powerful. Some of our numbers we cherish, while some we loathe. Numbers shouldn’t have that power over us, but we let them, and then they consume and control us, for better or worse. We try not to let them be our defining characteristics, but inevitably some numbers become us or we become them. Those numbers start to become our identity. For me, that number is 271. Not 84, 9, 8, 5, 4, 3, or 1 like it maybe should be as those mean more than a simple body weight, but there it is. 271. Staring me in the face. And I can’t help but let it control and consume me.
Numbers come and numbers go. Numbers change and numbers stay the same. 1. 5. 9. Those will change as time progresses. 14. 62. Those will fade away and become just a number. 84. This number will never change, and with it comes a range of emotions. 3. 4. 8. These numbers will also change, and they will become like 84, tied to emotion and feeling, always with me and shaping me. 271. 271. 271…
I am going to change my number. I am going to find the willpower. I am not going to let that number be how I think of and define myself. I am stronger than this number. 84. 9. 8. 5. 3. 1. These are also my numbers, these are also what matter. 271 is not my only number. It is not the sole definition of who I am as a person. It is not some beast that cannot be slain. It is a number that will continue to define me, but it will not be my only number. And that number will change. I will change it. For 1. For 3. For 4. For 5. For 8. For 84. For me.