It was when a button popped off, straining under the pressure of holding his blue shirt closed, that he realised something needed to be done. That shirt was the largest one he could find in the shop when he’d brought it, only a few months ago.
The thought of going to a specialist clothes shop, always called something ridiculous like ‘Big & Mighty’, to buy even larger sizes scared him into action. He needed to lose the weight, and fast.
He decided to be smart about it, to go to a doctor first and get the right advice. Crash diets just never worked.
At the doctors though, rather than taking his vitals and discussing the best exercises and healthy meal options, or telling him off for being so glutinous, the doctor simply asked about his life and how things were.
Unsure of what this had to do with anything, he thought for a second before attempting to answer.
He hadn’t really thought about himself lately, figured he was kinda stuck on automatic mode so to speak, going through the motions of daily life without really reflecting on it.
“Well”, he spoke hesitantly, “erm, I’ve just been working really. My mom died last year and I haven’t really wanted to do anything else. Just getting on with it.”
“And how do you feel about your mother’s death?” the doctor asked
He stopped to consider this question before bursting into tears. At first they simply streaked down his cheeks but the more he spoke the more they flowed, harder and harder, his face turning the colour of sweet red cherries.
Through heaving sobs he explained how much he missed her, how he was an only child who never knew his father and with no other family to speak of.
He spent the best part of an hour crying his heart out, talking about his feelings of loneliness, emptiness and uncertainty for his future. He shook with emotion.
Eventually he began to settle and calm down, and as the tears started to ease and subside, the doctor asked him to stand in front of the mirror. A little repulsed at the idea of looking at his fat, puffy, tear-stained face, he slowly got up and stepped over to the other side of the room where a full length mirror hung on the wall. He lifted his gaze unwillingly.
However, rather than the red plum of a face he was expecting, he was surprised to see a much slimmer man staring back.
“All of your “fat” was in fact emotional baggage you’ve been harbouring since your mother passed. You’ve been bottling it all up and with no other release, it simply has to go somewhere. Your fat was the physical manifestation of what you were feeling inside.”