Before And After And An Apology
The Back Story
Late last year, I reached out to my friend and fellow Howard University alum Brandon Carter. Besides being a dope MC and producer, he’s also a personal trainer who has developed his own exercise program for those who want to get in shape but without the hassle of joining a gym.
Jermaine originally hipped me to what Brandon was doing. I went on YouTube and noticed most of his videos featured himself doing the exercises. The people who commented were skeptical, accusing Brandon of doing extra things he wasn’t showing to stay in shape, so I approached him with an idea: If he trained me and got me into shape, I would embarrass myself by allowing it to be filmed. Hence the original reason for this post.
Needless to say, it worked like a charm. Brandon’s methods got me into shape, and I feel and look better than I ever have. I say not to brag, because really it was never about looking good so much as it was about feeling good. The two go hand-in-hand, but the way I feel about myself trumps any feelings other people have about my results.
And here is where the apology begins.
I have not seen what I looked like without my shirt on since we took the first pictures in October. Needless to say, I forgot how bad it was. The only real photographic evidence I had of my out-of-shape days was my driver’s license photo I took in the summer of 2010, which you can see below alongside a picture of me taken in this summer.
Put aside the awful decision for me to sport a mohawk for a second. Instead, peep the lack of a chin and jawline. See how my eyes are low? I’m sure that’s the weight of the fat in my forehead was pushing down on my eyelids. This photo alone is pretty bad, but when Brandon sent me the pictures, I could not believe what I saw.
Simply put: I look awful. I look like my father. My father weighed 300 pounds. I look so bad, I was contemplating reneging on my deal with Brandon, publishing a post on a completely different subject, and acting like this picture never existed. I was even going to call Brandon and beg him to take it down. But I won’t. As embarrassing as this picture is it’s also humbling, an aggressive reminder of what I can go back to should I ever decide to let myself go again.
Ladies who slept with me back in my out-of-shape days, I’m sorry. Seriously I’m very, very, very sorry for exposing you to this horror show. I’m sorry for ever contemplating just letting myself go over working myself back into shape; sorry for ever letting a thought cross my mind. To think, I had the nerve back in those days to take my shirt off for women. If no one ever thought it was possible to look like an old man and a baby at the same time, apparently it is.
To Jesus and all the women who submitted themselves to me back in my fat days, my sincere apologies. They weren’t that long ago. If any of you reading this wants to cut me off for good after seeing the pictures and call up your girls and say, “Yeah, I never really hooked up with Jozen back in the day, I was just playing” I will gladly corroborate your story. To any of my ex-girlfriends reading this, if you want to now deny you ever were my girlfriend, feel free to do so.
I’m not only apologizing for the 204 pounds of disgust I was wearing, I’m apologizing for the ego that came with it, for thinking I had the credibility to say anything about anyone’s physical appearance. For that I should be retro-actively put on house arrest. I had absolutely no room in my elastic band sweatpants (as you will see), let alone to talk about anybody.
But ladies, just so we’re clear, part of that is your fault too and for that you owe me an apology.
There is no way the level of conceit I had back then should have been as high as it was, but because you fine women enabled me with phrases like, “The weight looks good on you”, I continued to pack on the pounds.
Why didn’t any of you tell me things got this bad? How could any of you all let me walk these streets with a body as shapely as a bowl of porridge without checking me? Did you all actually think this was cool to go visit my family looking man pregnant?
You all let me come out of the shower looking like Simon Baker in The Devil Wears Prada and gave me a kiss with a smile attached to it. The nerve! What the hell were you rewarding me for if I looked like that? Whenever I hopped out of the shower, you all should have been greeting me with a pair of my running shoes, and a carrot for breakfast. The (figurative) cookies should’ve been relegated to the back of a freezer and only taken out as a reward for losing 10 lbs at a time. But instead you all let me have the cookies anytime I wanted, talking about “Take your clothes off and come here.” The only time you all should have told me to “come here” is if you were on a treadmill.
It should have been illegal for me to take my clothes off back in those days. So ladies who were with me back when I was as out of shape as a Disney movie villain, I’m sorry for not taking the initiative to get into shape when we were together. Now apologize to me for letting the problem fester and we should all be back on good terms.
Now finally, take a look to see the before and after photo and hear about my process from Brandon’s perspective.