Weighing 292 pounds feels gross and I don’t want to do it anymore (and I swear I’m not doing this for attention because that’s even grosser)

When I moved to Miami in 2006 I weighed 190 pounds. I secured my first full-time journalism job and promptly began to balloon.

Working in a newsroom can be hell on your health. It’s nearly impossible to plan a meal, you eat lunch and dinner under duress, and when you’re in the field you grab the fastest possible food, which is usually fast food. I’ll spare you the saturated and processed details, but 10 years later I am literally tipping the scales at 292 pounds. That is a 100-pound gain. And it ain’t muscle, I promise you.

The worst part is the pain. Yeah, the physical pain, the discomfort, the feeling of trying to get around an actual goddam basketball to reach everything, but the basketball is your stomach. The involuntary grunting when you bend over, the sharp abdominal pain when squeezing into a small car, the dull ache in your legs the day after visiting a zoo or a museum, the realization that you’re the one in the room breathing heavily.

The self loathing is… incredible. It’s so deep, and it permeates every moment of the day. It’s always in the background, the awareness that I’m like twice the size I used to be. It came into sharp focus last night when I finally got off my ass and tried to work out at my neighborhood community center. Between crunches and short spurts on the treadmill, I noticed a dusty old school Detecto-style physician scale. It’s been ages since I weighed myself. Maybe it should have stayed that way, because I was not expecting what the scale told me. This, 292 pounds, is far and away the most I’ve ever weighed.

Or maybe I needed to step on that scale. This should be a “I’ve had enough and I’m going to change things!”-moment, and I hope it is, but I’m also realistic. Most people talk about losing weight. Most don’t.

I’m wary of clichés like “wake-up call” but it sure felt like that. I got home and didn’t house a pizza or a Reeses, so that’s something, right?