|Formerly Fat and Feeling Fine|
Published: Friday, 20 July 2012 01:58
Unless you're a Sumo wrestler or one of those "I want to be the fattest woman in the world" specimens from the tabloids, no one wants to be truly fat: morbidly obese. Although scientists have determined that many folks are genetically pre-disposed to obesity via appetite-satiety mechanism and food-metabolism deficiency syndromes; whatever the causes, over-eating is enormously — pun intended — unhealthy, and must be eliminated.
In addition to the health issues, we fat folks know that the world's infrastructure is incompatible with heavyweights pushing 300 pounds. Fat folks are particularly susceptible to the universal Law of Craaack, a natural law that is as inexorable as the Law of Gravity or the Law of Karma.
The Law of Craaack says: "If the structure that is supporting you — a chair, a sofa, a bed, a toilet, a floor, a staircase, a porch, or in worst cases; a balcony, a roof, a ladder, an elevator, or a Ferris wheel seat — suddenly makes a loud "craaack," remove yourself from it posthaste, because you have probably destroyed it.
I have triggered and then experienced the Law of Craaack via the dramatic, slow-motion collapse of four patio chairs during a weekend at a spa in Calistoga; (much to my family's hilarity) the gradual destruction of six of my sister's expensive mahogany dining room chairs; the annoying, total obliteration of numerous flimsy hotel toilet seats and bed frames; the humiliating, scary stalling of a crowded elevator at a hotel in Berkeley; and the traumatic, embarrassing, violent disintegration of a wheelchair — while I was being discharged from a hospital. Craaack! Yes, I got charged for the destruction.
The only way to defeat the Law of Craaack is with dramatic weight loss, and Alamedan Victor Poirier has done just that.
Two years ago, Poirier weighed an earth-craaacking 502 pounds, and had a size 70 waist. He now has a size 42 waist and weighs 226 pounds, slightly more than he weighed when he graduated from Encinal High School (EHS) in 1988.
It was after high school graduation that Poirier first encountered the serious negative societal ramifications of obesity. Because he had excelled in ROTC during his years at EHS, Poirier expected to continue his family tradition by joining the Marine Corps after high school. The Marines refused him because of his excess weight — 20 pounds.
Poirier then found work in a number of different fields, and was frequently sedentary. In his spare time, he enjoyed the multiplicities of pleasures of Alameda's taverns and eateries. Hence, his weight began its insidious climb.
As his weight increased, Poirier's health decreased. He developed all the classic "fat man's diseases" — type 2 diabetes, hypertension, anemia, heart disease and sleep apnea.
Because his doctor's office scale maxed out at 350 pounds, Poirier had to weigh himself on a recycling center's freight scale. He thought he weighed about 375 pounds, but to his horror, the scale read 502 pounds. Since high school, Poirier had gained more than 300 pounds.
Desperate to save himself, Poirier tried to get his health insurance carrier to pay for weight-loss surgery. The surgery was denied. Luckily, Poirier heard about Hospital Almatar in Mexicali, Mexico, a facility that would perform the surgery for far less than the $50,000-plus, domestic medical facility price.
In November 2010, Poirier received vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery at Hospital Almatar, and his life was changed.
He immediately began losing weight, averaging 23 pounds per month. Poirier had to limit his carbohydrate intake to 50 grams or less per day, and fill up on lean protein.
His massive weight loss has mitigated all of his fat man's diseases, and he now walks more than 10 miles per week
For Poirier, the toughest part about his weight loss has been changing the way he perceives himself. The world may perceive a man of near normal weight, but as Poirier said: "I'm 226 pounds, but I still see the 502-pound man in the mirror."
A mirror that will not "craaack," because Victor Poirier is formerly fat and feeling fine.