Richard's Ramblings

The Monster and the Bug

By Richard Horton

A little while ago I shared about my battle with Fatso the monster. The monster that was released from the basement of my mind recently when it came to how I think of my body. This is a kind of part 2 to the story. I couldn't leave it as it was, with Fatso walking freely to rip me apart...fat limb from fat limb. 

A couple of weeks ago I had a gastro bug. I preferred to call it a stomach virus because I don't like the idea of having gastro. My stomach virus was not pleasant at all. Food and water "bounced" in my stomach.  Fatso had a grand old time of it every time I threw up. Go for it Richard, get it up, maybe you'll lose a few kilos if you keep it up. Even once the vomiting had stopped, I had to battle Fatso. It would scream at me "Do it again! Don't stop now! Maybe this is what you need to get skinny you fat slob!" The voice was so loud that I could even feel my stomach preparing to act on it.

My heart was beginning to sink, feeling as though Fatso had well and truly won. It was the end of any possibility for rational thought when it came to my body. The bug and the monster had double-teamed me to knock me out. But just like a good book, there is always a twist when things look their bleakest. When the good guys have lost all hope, something happens — the first rays of sunshine peak over the horizon. There is dust in the distance as the cavalry approached. That little voice of a rescuer calling your name as you huddle in the thick dark forest.

In my darkest moment battling Fatso the monster, when it had teamed up with the Bug and were coercing me to more extremes of weight management, God spoke. It wasn't a loud audible voice. It wasn't in neon lights. It wasn't from my reading of the bible. It wasn't from something someone else said. No. It was the voice of God that I have come to recognise from the silences of my life. The times where I stop talking, stop doing, stop trying. I heard God, and he said something so simple. He said "eighty-five". That's it. That's all, eighty-five. The moment I heard those two syllables, I knew there was hope. I saw the rays of sunshine and the dust on the horizon.

Eighty-five was permission. Permission from God to put on weight! I have been trying for most of this year to get down to around 75kg's. That's been my target. Get down to 75, revert to regular food and bounce up to roughly 77kg. That's been my plan, and I was under so much pressure to get to it. Pressure from myself (and Fatos) I didn't even realise was there. At the same time, I had switched from cardio-focused exercise to muscle building exercise. It was doing my head in. What God did with just two simple syllables, eighty-five was to tell me that it's ok to build up to eighty-five kgs. Eating a little more is ok. Putting on a bit more weight is ok. In those two syllables, God beat Fatso the monster (and the Bug). God won the battle for me!

Now I head into my days not stressing about my weight as much as I am currently working towards betting bigger! Go figure!!!

Richard Horton

Shepparton, Victoria