Welcome to my Fatboy series. This is a chronicle of my journey after weight loss surgery in January 2012 at the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery.
It’s appropriate for this post that Fat Tuesday is a week away. I’ve long been a fan of Mardi Gras Galveston. I appreciate not just the overall concept of Mardi Gras, but the heritage the event has in our community.
There was a time that every Tuesday in my life would be considered a Fat Tuesday. Not so much this year.
In preparation for Mardi Gras, I stopped in at the Al’s Formal Wear in Webster, where Lupe Regalado has been helping me for years.
I think Lupe gets just as much a kick of measuring me for the tux as I do. She shouts out the sizes and then compares them to my last time in the store. This trip, Lupe did something extra. She printed out all of my orders since March 2011.
Talk about a difference.
On March 4, 2011, my jacket size was a 66 Long. The pants were a 64 regular with a 43-inch inseam and my shirt was a size 21 neck with a 39-inch sleeve.
I was just there in November and the coat was a size 52 regular, the pants a 46 waist with a 42-inch inseam, the shirt has a neck size of an 18 with a 35-inch sleeve.
This week, the jacket ordered was a 50 regular, pants a 46 regular (44s were an OK fit, bit snug in some parts and the 46 was loose but not bad) with 42-inch inseam and the shirt was a size 17 neck with a 35-inch sleeve.
Lupe took those measurements and jumped up and down and hugged me. She told me of another regular customer who is having a similar experience.
She talked how she gets choked up when she has customers who like to look good and can be a sharp dressed man.
It was yet another reminder that a change in lifestyle, change in eating habits and the dedication to stick with the plan and go for your goals does pay off. It’s not overnight, by any stretch, but a journey that is more enjoyable when others get to celebrate with you.
That was the case during the first weekend, when one of my favorite couples Doug and Joan McLeod gushed over the difference in how I looked a year ago — just a few weeks after my weight loss surgery at UTMB — and this year.
It choked me up to have two people I admire so much be proud of me.
Or to have George P. Mitchell look at me and ask, “Where’d the rest of you go?”
Or to have Galveston’s top notch photographer Manny Chan give me the thumbs up and say “You’re looking good,” and show me photos he took of me at past Mardi Gras celebrations.
Or to have my longtime friend Trent Morgan come up to me at the Krewe of Gambrinus’ Brew Ha Ha and hug me and cry because he was so happy for me.
This weekend I’ll be at a few of the Mardi Gras balls — including my favorite the San Luis Salute — and I’ll see many friends who I haven’t seen for about a year.
There have been plenty of goals I’ve hit along the way, but to celebrate the success of this journey so far gives me hope that one day I’ll be able to change the name of the celebration to Skinny Tuesday.