Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Battle of Evermore

Seeing how this is my first blog entry it would only seem natural to introduce myself to a potential audience. "Guten Tag, meine Damen und Herren," oops...wrong me on this, if I'm speaking German, then I'm probably in a pub having a few beers. Let's try this again: "Greetings folks!" and for the "Down East" crowd, "howdy!" I go by a variety of handles so to speak, "Mark," if your just getting to know me, "MR. LAUGISCH"...if I owe you money. I can usually tell on this occasion as the individual is in a quandary as to how to pronounce it. The easiest way is the good 'ole American way, simply pronounced "Log-ish." Now, don't go getting in a tizzy if it some how comes out "Languish" or "Linguini." My personal favorite derivative, whilst playing rugby, was "Lo-gash." On that note I would be quite comfortable if each and everyone of you addressed me as Mark or from the many nicknames that I seem to have collected over the years such as "Blue," "Big Dog," or the endearing "Fat Bastard." I warn you though...should any of you address me as "Marky," I will make it my personal mission to hunt you down and rupture your spleen.

Now that we have gotten the formalities taken care of, how did we get to this point? No, not the point of no return, least wise not yet, but the point where I'm sitting here typing about my weight loss experience? I would be remiss if I didn't provide you at least with a little more background information, but not too much as I plan to interject stories of my life that have either hindered or helped me in this little journey of mine.

To start, I was born in the summer of '63, grew up mostly in the All American city of Fayetteville,NC("Fayettenam" for those that get that) with Mom, Pop, two brothers and a sis, Fred, Hank(Henry) and Laurie. Graduated High School in '81, joined the US Army that Fall, married the "Unsinkable" Claudia in July '89, left the US Army in '92, and spent way too long getting my diploma from NC STATE University in '98. That same year I went to work for the North Carolina Department of Transportation as an Environmental Engineer...took a long Winters nap in 2007 and woke up weighing 280 pounds.

It was in December of that year when my wife and I traveled to Belgium to visit her sister for the holidays. Far and away, one of the best vacations we've ever taken. It culminated in a trip to the Normandy coast to see the WW II Invasion sites. Being a former soldier I was totally blown away by the experience; I highly recommend it if you make your way to France. Needless to say I gorged myself on every imaginable food France, Germany, and Belgium could offer to include those wonderful chocolates and Belgium beer. I enjoyed myself so much, that on our return flight I had to ask the stewardess for an seat belt extender. It was not a very comfortable flight to say the least.

You would have thought that would have been my moment, or my "Epiphany" to do something about my weight. First and foremost, I never thought of myself as overweight...just "husky." I justified the fact that as a rugby player, when I weighed between 230-250 lbs. it was the best I ever played and allowed my body to absorb the blows. I needed the weight to sustain that level of play. It was after my playing days were over that I still felt the need to maintain that weight on the oft chance I might play again...wink, wink.

The "moment" occurred when we got the pictures back from the trip. There was one of me in Nuremberg eating Curry Wurst and drinking a Liter of beer, another of me scarfing down a Belgian Waffle and another where I'm in a French restaurant eating Mussels. I was oblivious to all that until I noticed the pictures of myself standing with my nephews on Omaha Beach. I'm standing there on that particular beach where thousands of Americans died...and I was horribly embarrassed at what I had become. More so from my perspective as I viewed those pictures thinking about the difficulty of that particular day on June 6, 1944, for those Americans who died and struggled to take that beach...I felt as if I had shamed my own legacy as a soldier. I didn't feel fat...I felt GELATINOUS!! It was at that moment that I decided to do something about my problem.


  1. Love you, Mr. Laugisch!! Can't wait to read more. My journey is well under way, and I hope to be joining you soon in the "former Fat Hag" category...

  2. Thanks, Krista. I find that if I can laugh at myself, it makes it all better and if I write about it, it makes me accountable.

  3. Look at that, another Krista!
    That good writin' stuff must run in the family (imagine me saying that in my best Harnett County twang). Loved reading your posts. Nothing like a visit to Europe to make you feel like a pig. I was very aware of my extra baggage when we lived in Italy. But, now that we live in Louisiana I'm feeling pretty good about myself. ha ha