I made the awful – awful, awful, awful – decision to return back home to Indiana. I was basically leaving Miami in the middle of their cold snap, only to travel up North for a cold snap that actually involves snow. Really, this was a horrible idea.

The last time I saw my Mother, I weighed somewhere around 280lbs. Really, the last time I saw a lot of these people, I was somewhere around 300lbs. There’s something a little complicated in trying to explain to someone that even though they’re looking at a physically different representation of the person you are… you still are… the person you are.

Alas, the first words out of my Mother’s mouth were, “I feel like I’m staring at a stranger in my own home!”

When my Mother first laid eyes on me, I was sitting on the floor, legs folded, trying to figure out how to gerry-rig the broadband to accommodate my laptop. “Get up! I want to see!” I only looked at her with a face that said, “I want to roll my eyes, but since I don’t wanna hear it, I won’t.”

She definitely got a little teary eyed… leaned back, put her hand over her mouth and said “You know, it was to the point where I thought you were sick. I mean, you were out there.” You know how you use your hands to draw a globe that’s bigger than you? Imagine someone doing this, and talking about your body. Sigh. Yeah. She’s excited… so I’ma let that one go.

She asked me what it was like to have made such a drastic change in my size. I told her the truth — that it was hard to see because I look at me every day. That I don’t just think of “Month-ago-me” and compare her to “today me.” It doesn’t work that way for me, personally, and that it’s to my downfall.

“So, wait – you mean to tell me that you don’t remember what you looked like?”

I told her, “I just always think I looked this way.” Clearly, I was downplaying it… or deluding myself. The picture above is definitely me circa 2007.

At this point… she reached for a few photos to show me just how much of a change I’d made in myself. I won’t even lie – these photos hurt my feelings. Maybe because I can understand the magnitude of what’s happening in the photos — my waist was, well.. I didn’t have a waist. My face was full with nice gloriously fat cheeks. I mean, I didn’t have any shape what-so-ever, but you couldn’t tell me squat! I was all kinds of fine!

I was still morbidly obese, “pre-diabetic” and in dire need of a supportive shoulder. But I was fine, and apparently that’s all that mattered.

She watched me get a little teary-eyed, myself. I guess I didn’t think I was “that different.” I have long since avoided this moment, where I could compare where I am now to where I was then.. but I knew it was coming.

Having this moment also magnified the purpose behind why I opted to return back to Indiana, anyhow. With all the knowledge I’ve gained in the form of health and fitness… if I can’t use it to save the people who mean the most to me, it doesn’t mean quite as much as I thought it would.

I haven’t really seen anyone else since I’ve returned, and that’s fine. I’m not really here for everyone else. I’m just here for Mom. It was hard enough to listen to her talk about the changes I’ve made… so let’s hope we can share the same smiles and tears when it comes time to evaluate the changes she’s made.