- Airplane Rides - Now, I can sit comfortably in any seat and the seat belt fits fine. I no longer have to ask for the seat belt extender. I am no longer self-conscious about being too heavy for the plane. Seriously, that used to be one of my thoughts.
- Road Rage - When I was overweight and behind the wheel, my middle finger was out the window quite a bit when I was going to and from work. (I know, I know, stupid.) Nowadays, my attitude is more like "whatever dude, cut me off, I don't care". Now some of that may be a result of maturity but I truly believe I am just a more relaxed person due to my lifestyle changes.
- For example, I got into an accident in January and it was the other person's fault, he wrecked the back of my car. Who knows if he was texting while driving or if his brakes truly didn't work as expected. Regardless, I got out of my car and I just talked to the guy as if we were best friends. I was uninjured, I was alive and I was still capable of running my marathon that was scheduled the following week. He was shocked I was not upset.
- Stadium Seats - I can now go and enjoy any sporting event or concert and sit in whatever seat I want. Now I can just enjoy the entertainment without being uncomfortable. Old or new stadium, it no longer matters because my fat no longer leans over the seating rails and is not bothering anyone else.
- Public Transportation - I still prefer to sit alone, but if someone wants to sit next to me, I don't have to suck it all in.
- Going Out to Eat - I can sit wherever I want now. My big stomach is gone, it no longer limits where I can go and eat my food. Previously I didn't want to sit in booths because the sitting room was tight. When I was 355 lbs, I also was afraid to sit in some chairs because I thought they would break.
- Water Parks - I still can't swim, but at least I am no longer embarrassed about being in the water.
- Buying Clothes - I can shop wherever I want for clothes. Stores like Target were out of the question previously. At 355 pounds, I could only go to Big & Tall stores. Ever try to buy clothes there? Very expensive and your choices are limited. Good bye Big & Tall stores, it wasn't you, it was me.
- More Compliments - After losing all the weight, one of things I had to get used to and learn how to respond to were compliments. When I was overweight, I honestly rarely heard them. I think the closest one that I heard about looks was, "You know Fred if you lose 50 lbs, you would be cute." Uh, thanks. I think?
- Walk to Work or Store - My train drops me off a mile from work. Some people take a bus to get to my building; I choose to walk since I am in shape. It saves me money every day, but also gives me a quick pick me up before I start the day. If I want to walk to a store that is near my house, I can walk instead of taking the car. At 355 pounds, I would never of thought of that.
- Running - This was my biggest unexpected victory that turned into a love. Being obese, do you think I would be able to enjoy and love running? I don't think so. After the weight loss I was able to run my first marathon in 2011, ran my second one in January 2013 and will be running my third one later in September. I have also signed up for my first ultra-marathon (50 miles) in October.
- At the start of the weight loss journey, I never expected running would be a staple in my life. Nowadays, I look forward to my long runs on the weekend. I still think about that once in a while that just 7 years ago, I would have laughed at someone who would have told me I would be running this long on the weekends.
- Marathons are important to me, but my biggest running victory was...being able to run with my son. We have done 3 races together (most so far for him is a 2k). The kid has done more running before his 7th birthday than I did during my first 15 years. After that, I only did mile runs/walks in high school because I was forced. Most of the time I faked a injury so I could perform it by myself with the teacher at a later time away from the rest of the class.
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By: Fred Lechuga