Today was the Gay Pride Festival here in San Francisco. I have a long history with Pride here in SF because before I moved here almost 11 years ago, I vacationed here four years in a row during Pride Week. So this was my 15th San Francisco Pride. It dawned on me recently that, because of my weight loss, next year I won’t be as much of a “bear” as I have been since forever ago. So this year I thought I would embrace my “bearness” by dressing up a little for the Festival. I attended the pride festival with a pair of brown Carthatt overalls and a sleeveless shirt, and a baseball cap (backwards, of course.) I guess you could say that I had sorta a “plumber” or “truck driver”-type thing going on.
Well, to my surprise, three different men who I did not know, asked to take a picture with me, and one in particular said, “May I take a picture of your arm?” Now, I know these guys aren’t into my look because I’m particularly muscle-y (yet), I think they just like big hairy arms, but it was nice to get some attention that more than likely came from carrying myself differently due to my nearly 38 pounds of weight loss.
Several friends and acquaintances that I bumped into at the Pride Festival said I was looking great. In fact I’m getting these comments all the time now. And one thing I’m finding to be quite a surprise are the number of people who, when seeing my weight loss for the first time or reading about it online, say to me “I’m proud of you.” That’s one of those phrases that I’ve not really heard a lot in my lifetime so every time I hear it lately I am sorta overwhelmed and find myself taking a strange mental pause, and almost basking in the afterglow. I’m sure it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve always thought of myself as a guy who’s been fortunate enough to have some successes in his life, but none have triggered such a sense of awe from people until I started losing weight.
The comments, compliments, and “likes” (on Facebook) that I’ve received in the last four months have been a fuel that’s as essential as all the help I’ve received from the rest of “Team Dave.” Let this post be a reminder to all who read it: if you’re proud of someone, tell them. In today’s world it feels sometimes we simply do not say it enough. And for the recipient of such a comment, it feels quite good.