Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This is the real deal now.

Earlier this calendar year, I decided I needed to lose some weight. I hadn't been on a scale in awhile, but I knew it was going to be bad news. I was counting monthly gym visits using my thumbs, and sadly recalled a trip to pick up Chinese take-out...where I stopped at Wendy's on the way. The heaviest I ever knew myself to be was somewhere around 226 pounds, and standing at a mere six feet tall, that wasn't exactly a good look.

On January 13th, 2017, I stomped onto the scale for a little friendly competition at work.

I weighed 233.2 pounds. 

After blowing their fragile little minds with the stellar (and thoroughly captivating) documentary Blackfish [review], I decided to show my Honor's class something a bit more tangible: Corbin Billings' 2014 doc, Bite Size. This flick, from 2014 and currently streaming on Netflix, isn't about the dangers of swimming with vindictive orcas, no. Instead, it's about something much less exciting, but perhaps even more life-threatening: It's about eating. Poorly.

Following the lives of four middle-schoolers, my students found Bite Size immediately compelling. Tracking the lives of drastically overweight kids the same age as they are, I quickly realized I would have their full attention. What I wasn't sure I was going to get was their respect.

Using quick-goat thinking, I had to preface the film by addressing the knowledge and curiosity level (and frankly, maturity) of my students in regard to their health and diets. While none of my current students could be considered overweight, many of them were aware that living on nothing but soda and candy was likely going to catch up with them eventually. And, Hell, let's be honest, no matter what their body-type is in middle school, deep down they could all relate to kids getting picked on, frustrated and devastated by some aspect of their physical appearance.

I mean, take it from me, it doesn't get much easier in your thirties either, you know?

Speaking of frustrated and devastated, this is the fist film in the history of this blog where I lost my notes. I was planning on keeping this post on the short side anyway, but without the insane scrawlings of a lunatic (on the back of someone's homework, no less), it looks like this one is going to be even more truncated than previously planned. Let's run down the four key players, with a Yay and a Boo for each.

Name: Dayvion
His story: This poor kid is desperately trying to make the football team, but is struggling both on and off the field. He seems like an angry young dude, but it's increasingly apparent that his edge is a cover for a pretty sweet young man.
Yay! Coach Hatcher initially seems like a sweaty Southern goofball of the highest degree, but in the end his tough love for Dayvion damn near killed me. High five on that, Coach.
Boo! Dayvion's family bails from his football game before he eventually makes it in onto the field. The Hell, guys? You got somewhere to be?

Name: Emily
Her story: We meet Emily at what appears to be a pretty posh weight loss camp. She's exercising with a coach, riding laps around a beautiful lake with some other young ladies. Seems nice, right? Well, maybe it was the first time. Emily's parents cashed in their retirement plans to pay for her to be a part of this Biggest Loser for kids. It worked. But then she came home. And now she's just about to head home again...
Yay! Emily is an old-soul, well aware of the challenges that face her for the rest of her life. Good thing her family is (mostly) on board.
Boo! I kid you not, for a good part of her youth, her dad worked at a fudge shoppe. At Disneyworld.

Name: Moy
His story: Moy is a good dude who likes to kick back, play some video games, and make rad little movies with his friends. He's not athletic, nor does he strive to be, despite his father's insistence otherwise. Oh, and his dad? Let's just say he's inspirational. Like, I was inspired to reach into my monitor and choke him out.
Yay! That was some stellar acting in that time-travel flick.
Boo! Eating cheeseburgers in your driveway so the family doesn't know? Shameful. And oddly, familiar.

Name: KeAnna
Her story: This may be the toughest segment to watch. Surrounded by an after-school style group of like-minded (and similarly big-boneded) teenage girl, KeAnna plays it like she's all kinds of cool being big. All kinds. But I've been around enough middle-school girls to know she's full of it. But I've also been around enough middle-school girls to know she doesn't care what I think. And probably never will. This one might have the saddest ending of them all (but Miss Ross is the truth!).

Speaking of endings, though not exactly the saddest, our little weight-loss challenge is wrapping up in the next two weeks (as is the school year, thankyajesus). And through a psychotic level of self-denial/buttery avoidance, not to mention a batshit crazy gym regiment (I have seen both the Today Show and The Tonight Show at the gym), I'm stoked to report that I'm currently kicking a fair amount of ass, you know? The last time I stepped on the scale? Four and a half months since I began...

I weighed 197.5 pounds. 

Look, I know that ain't exactly Bite Size or anything...but it sure ain't Family Size either.


  1. I thought you were about to review that Nickelodeon Halloween movie, but that is called Fun Sized apparently. I've never heard of this doc. I remember catching an episode of MTV's True Life about an overweight kid when I was pregnant and I bawled the entire time because everyone was so mean to her. I'm tempted to see this just to see if I'm still that emotional. lol

    1. Hahaha...yeah, that one is definitely called Fun Size, and perhaps shockingly, I never saw it.

      Some of my students got choked up during some of the harder stuff, but frankly, it wasn't anything too brutal. These poor kids deal with everything kind of...quietly.

      Even if you were pregnant, I'm thinking you could make it through this one with a dry face. And you'd be fully encouraged to house everything in front of you, as opposed to these damn kids.

  2. Congrats on the weight loss. That's awesome! Haven't seen this doc, but it sounds depressing, to be honest. Can't say I'll never watch it, but I'm not planning on it.

    I have seen Fun Size. Don't. Just don't.

    1. Thanks, Dell. It's been a f--king grind to say the least. I just gotta figure out how to maintain (improve?) over the summer. Half of my school days, my stomach is completely full. Of rage.

      Nah, this one isn't depressing, but it's not required viewing either. Dayvion's story was probably the most gut-wrenching...

      Fun Size? You saw that one? Hmmm. I'm sure I've done worse.