Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Used To Be Fat

I didn't exactly have a happy childhood.  Tons of divorces, drug addict relatives and I got bullied quite often at school...so I became an emotional eater and I played video games obsessively to escape reality.

The world sucked, but I was a god on Xbox and cake was always delicious!
I worked part-time at Arby's and had basically unlimited access to junk food and soda.  At the time, dn-L (Upside-down 7-Up) was my drink of choice.  It was sort of like Mountain Dew, but fruitier and loaded with sugar.  IT WAS DELICIOUS.  So I drank about six bottles of it a day, and was filled with caffeinated rage.  (The worst kind.)

Eventually my teen angst turned into the realization that the world didn't suck because I saw other people enjoying life.  It was at this time that I realized that I was the problem, not the rest of the world.

I started out by playing Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) obsessively.  As a video game, it was automatically interesting enough to me that I could do it all the time and not get sick of it.

I BECAME THE KING OF DDR...and discovered that I had the ability to keep moving at faster and faster rates.  Eventually, I summed up the confidence to go running despite having massive manboobs bouncing all over.

I mostly ran at night so nobody could see my massive man-tits flopping around, but also because I didn't want anyone seeing me run.  I was fueled entirely by rage and would often be blinded by tears of pure hated at everyone and everything that ever pissed me off and made me feel like life wasn't worth living.

I decided to literally run my problems away.  I would run until I couldn't feel anything, my body or my emotions.  I ran until I was mentally and physically numb...then nothing else mattered.

I found nirvana, and it was in my running shoes and headphones.

It was this release from my prison of anger that made running so enjoyable that I became addicted.  The pounds started to fall off and I was actually feeling good about how I looked and how far I had come.

But, I knew I could do more.

[Dropping this much weight meant that I had to buy new clothes all the time, which totally sucked because I hate shopping...so if you plan on dropping 85 pounds like I did, make sure your bank account can fund a new wardrobe every few months.]

After years of running and several new pairs of pants, I was still socially inept and insecure.  That's about the time I got an e-mail from the University of Iowa advertising Hapkido...a Korean Martial Art of self defense that uses the opponents strength against them through join locking and precise positioning.  Perfect for a scrawny runner like myself, and ideal for building the confidence I craved.

Sure, I learned how to break boards and defend myself...but that's not all I got out of it.

When you spend 5+ hours a week throwing someone around, all social barriers break down.  I finally had something to do with other people on a regular basis and over time partying became a part of the experience as well.

I found happiness.


degeestd said...

Where's Amanda in the brown belt crew of awesomeness?

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I got my English degree and mountain of student loan debt from the University of Iowa. I like boo berry cereal, martial arts, running and cats.
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