1968, Mustang Island, on the Texas gulf coast.
I distinctly remember being ridiculed for my weight at this age, called "El Gordo" by my parents and their friends. I wish people had been more careful when joking with me. I didn't understand that they were exaggerating.
1987, at the (now-closed) Automat in Manhattan.
According to the charts, I am 100 lbs overweight in this picture
i was a very active bicyclist during this period. I rode about 20 miles a day. My resting heart rate was in the 50's.
1987, with my then girlfriend Margaret, Austin Texas.
My Ralph Lauren Polo oxford was a bit tight when I sat down, but at least I could buy clothes in a regular men's store.
1990, with my nursing school clinical co-horts. Far left, back row (duh).
I did not know we were getting our picture taken this day or I would not have worn rugby shorts. I shattered some osteochondromas in my foot during this period by jumping off a 4-foot retaining wall onto asphalt.
1993, at the bedside in the NICU.
Nice scrubs, huh? I wonder if I could have gotten them in my size? This is powerful evidence of my denial. These weren't comfortable, but they were in a size I wanted to believe I could wear, so I wore them.
Upon reflection, I believe my Diabetes become active at about this time.
I am as certain as I can be that this is my highest weight. I remember that the pants I was wearing in this photo had a 66 inch waist, and that shirt was a 7XL. I also remember considering this a relatively flattering picture.
mid-1998, with my trainer at the gym.
This was a milestone shot, I had lost 65 pounds from the time I joined the gym over about 6 months. I was a devoted gym-rat, there three days a week, doing strength-training and cardio. This woman, who unfortunately had her eyes closed when this polaroid was snapped, was my trainer. She tried as hard as I did.
2000, at Barton Springs, Austin, Texas
This was just as I decided to relocate from Austin to New York City. I was showing a NYC friend around Texas. I remember these pants, they had a 60 inch waist, and I thought it was a "good sign" that I could get into them.
2001, Austin, Texas, with my first girlfriend (from 1981) Melanie, and her new child. This picture is also remarkable to me because it was taken less than two weeks before I started psychotherapy.
I had just finished exercising, probably shedding about 5 lbs of water-weight from the activity.
February 9, 2005, Manhattan.
This was taken after I had lost over 100 lbs because of the work I was doing with my psychotherapist. It happened so gradually I forget how drastic a change it was. I have largely (no pun intended) kept this weight off since.
Working on Christo's The Gates of Central Park, 1977-2005 project.
December 4, 2009, Manhattan, six days pre-op.
I gained about 30 lbs in the fall of 2009 as I was making the decision to seek a surgical solution. I also had a romance and a job go bad at the same time.
I was navigating the pre-op studies and paperwork, and coding this web page. At this time, I did not have a surgical date, but I was in hot pursuit of one.