I look down at my protruding stomach and wonder what has become of me? How did I reach this level of physical decay and when did it begin? It could have been the months I spent sitting at my computer answering an endless succession of e-mails. Naturally, I had to sustain my energy via energy beverages and caffeine. Stimulants only stimulate more lethargy and not metabolism. Red Bulls are the veritable kiss of death. I should have just mixed water with copious amounts of sugar and it would have had the same detrimental effect.
When I do lose the weight…I plan to treat every subsequent day like I’m trapped in a mine very slowly filling with toxic gas. It will kill me, but not for a long time. There will be no dead canary to give fair warning, too. I will just look in the mirror and realize it has happened. The tenacious cycle of trying to take it off again will begin. Even when I succeed with my goal there will be no end. We lose weight with the ridiculous illusion that it is gone forever.
I have increased my suffering by constantly raging against reality and preferring to be a square peg that grinds its way into a round hole. If I do not belong someplace then I want to belong even more. Perhaps this is why I have always done so well with endeavors like, “The Appalachian Trail.” As brutal as such tasks may have been, I was always guaranteed success as long as I never gave up. It is nice to have something profound to fight for and something that will guarantee more self-respect. Respect for myself and perhaps from the public.
The reason I take on these challenges is partially out of desperation for acceptance in the neurotypical world. Others need to see the efforts of individuals with Asperger’s syndrome and delegate mercy when mercy is due. In reality, I am painfully aware that I do not often have control over whether someone shows tolerance and/or gives me a chance. As long as someone’s actions are not illegal…they have the liberty to treat me with blind contempt. But I will exercise and make an effort to take care of myself. This will guarantee success and physiology will show me the compassion that does not always come from other people.
I will try to lose the weight by the start of summer and emerge when the beautiful weather is still in its infancy. I need to hear those compliments once again. “You look good…you look good.” I remember what happened when I did lose about fifteen pounds. For the first time in about four years I had my first online date who was actually interested in spending time with me after the first outing. Effort always makes a difference and will buffer some of the realities those with Asperger’s will face in an often-unfair world.
This is why individuals with Asperger syndrome excel in unlikely venues. They have control over their tenacious persistence and will push their limits. I hope they will understand that punctuality, integrity, and honesty do make a difference in whether they are given a chance by the public. It is even more important, however, to show themselves mercy when the rejection is out of their control. Especially when it is coming from the incurably ignorant.
I now weigh at least two hundred pounds…AGAIN! My weight hit that milestone a few years ago and my maternal grandmother witnessed this travesty when she saw me in a bathing suit in Delray Beach, Florida. Her aghast mouth dropped open, but she did say I would lose it with the same determination I used to complete the Appalachian Trail as well as other endeavors.
Let us embrace the harbingers of this beautiful weather and celebrate the reality that this unusually-brutal winter in finally in the past. Celebrate the pursuit of your own goals and know that the moment you start something is when you start to become successful at it!!