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59 days into my diet, my scale this morning registered 302 pounds. If you’re keeping track, that is 34 pounds gone and so damn close to being under 300 I can taste it. 10% of my starting body weight gone. That shit rocks the freakin’ house.

A few days into the diet, my mother-in-law asked me why I was going on a diet. I answered, obviously, “To lose weight.” I think a better question would have been “Why are you going on a diet now?” The answer to that is a bit more interesting and the culmination of a couple of events.

First, I was downright hugemongous. Unless your Andre the Giant, nobody carries 336 pounds well. My clothes fit like sausage casings, hell, even my shoes were getting tight. Now you know you are a true fatass when your shoes are tight because your foot is too fat.

I knew I had to do something, but I was still in that stage where you’re well aware of your problem but don’t have the will to do anything about it. But then two things happened:

1. Drew Magary started his Twitter Public Humiliation Diet. Now, I don’t know Drew from Jimmy Clausen, but the guy is an absolutely fabulous writer for both Kissing Suzy Kolber and Deadspin. I really admire Drew’s work and based on some of the things I know about him and his life, I can identify with him.

At the beginning of the year he went on a diet and began announcing his weight on Twitter with the hashtag #twitterpublichumiliationdiet. Doing this instantly put pressure on him to stick to his diet and lose weight. Using this simple system Drew ended up losing 50 pounds and he’s still updating his weight so that he maintains that accountability. That’s totally rad.

2. Director Kevin Smith had a little blow-up with Southwest Airlines because he was kicked off a flight for being too large back in February. The one thing that got me from the whole episode was this picture Kevin took of himself in a Southwest seat. I saw how much his shoulders extended beyond the confines of his seat and I immediately pictured myself as the fat guy that gets kicked off the plane.

I love Southwest Airlines (and I think they’d make a great sponsor for my site) so I always fly them whenever I travel. Now, while I do technically fit into a Southwest seat with both armrests down, sitting next to me would make for a long flight, regardless of distance.

This whole Kevin Smith thing reminded me of an incident that occurred last year on a Southwest flight, that at the time I thought was the most glorious thing that ever happened. But for some reason in the context of the Kevin Smith tiff, I realized that it may have been the most humiliating.

I was on a flight from Orlando to Cleveland with a layover in beautiful Nashville. When we boarded in Nashville, I was one of the first on and I took an aisle seat. My theory is that I’m best on the aisle because instead of intruding on other people in my row, I can just lean into the aisle. Within minutes the plane started filling up, the attendants announced that the flight was completely full and passengers should fill in where possible. Person after person, glanced down at the two empty seats next to me, then looked at me and proceeded further back.

Eventually, the middle seats were filling in too, so I thought it was only a matter of time before someone would at least take the window seat in my row. But it didn’t happen. Every single other seat on the entire plane was filled and no one took either of the two seats next to me! As the doors were closing, a flight attendant walked by and said, “A full flight, and you have an empty row? Lucky you.”

I felt like a king! Yes, this is MY row. I shall stretch and be free for two hours! But I realize now that it was goddamn pathetic. Almost 50 people would rather be smashed between to other people than even risk possibly being in the same row as the fat guy should it fill up too. How depressing.

It’s funny how completely exterior events can have such an effect on a person, but BigDaddyDrew’s idea to make weight loss social and Kevin Smith’s beef with Southwest were the two things that got me to say, now is the time and I’m going to be damn sure I achieve my goal this time. So far, it’s working pretty well. It will be big to get under 300 pounds, but there are still a 100 more pounds to go after that.

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