I went to the gym today. The workout went fine, both my lifting and cardio. I felt good about myself afterward, felt like I challenged myself and was up for the challenge. But I still had an empty feeling nonetheless.
I miss Harry Potter. I miss Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Hermione Granger and Dumbledore.
Harry was instrumental in my weight loss, you see. I got my iPod before I started my weight-loss journey, when I was well over 300 pounds. I didn't think I'd use it for anything but music but I got a lot of audiobooks and that really helped keep me going.
So after I was done with my trainer, I figured that I'd need something to keep me going back to the gym. It was hard work trying to find the motivation to keep going so I figured if I had something to look forward to while I was there, that would work.
I had the entire Harry Potter collection on my iPod, thanks to my brother Danny, except for the last book which hadn't come out then. I figured it was popular so I might as well give it a try.
The first time I started listening to the story about the scrawny 11-year-old boy with scraggly hair and a wizarding past, I must have weighed around 250 pounds, maybe more. I don't remember the first time I listened to the first Harry Potter book, the Sorcerer's Stone. In fact, I wasn't all that crazy about it the first time I did. Nor even after the first book. But Harry Potter kept me going. Every time I went to the gym, I would listen to an hour or 90 minutes worth of Harry Potter.
By the middle of the second book, the Prisoner of Azkaban, I started to really get into it. But by the time I started listening to the third book the Goblet of Fire, I was hooked. I'd only allow myself to listen to Harry Potter when I was at the gym. That was my rule. Under no circumstances would I ever allow myself to listen to Harry Potter when I wasn't at the gym. And I actually stuck to that rule, no matter how many times I wanted to advance the story. I stuck to it until the very end, which I'll get to.
As soon as I walked into gym, I'd fire it up. Whenever I went onto the elliptical, Harry was pondering Voldemort's whereabouts. Whenever I hit the weight machines, Hermione and Ron were chasing after Draco. When I lifted the free weights, there was some quidditch match going on.
My plan of having Harry Potter motivate me worked. Going to the gym wasn't as much of a chore as long as Harry was around.
Part of me worried, though. Part of me wondered what would happen if I finished the series (because even though the books were 20 hours long, or in the case of the Order, 28 hours long) I knew I'd finish them at some point. And what if I was still well over 200 pounds? What would I do then?
Well, I didn't have to worry. I was on the Order of the Phoenix early last summer, and the movie was set to come out. My goal was to finish the book and then see the movie in the theater but that didn't happen. That book was a beast to get through and by the time I moved on to Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the series, the movie was well out of the cinema.
But more importantly I was well out of the large clothes I had worn for so long. I had lost quite a bit of weight by the time the Half-Blood Prince came out. I was close to 200 when I started reading it, well, probably around 220 or so. By the time I was near the end of the book, I was under 200.
At that time, I let myself have a reward. I let myself listen to the final 90 minutes outside of the gym. Once I finished that, I couldn't wait for the final book. Deathly Hallows had come out in July while I was in the middle of Half-Blood Prince. I did everything I could to avoid hearing about the end and the possible fate of certain characters, and I did well to do so. As soon as I finished Half-Blood Prince I borrowed the seventh book from my brother and read it. I can't remember the last book I read but I zoomed through that one. I was only about 5-10 pounds heavier than I am now. It was like my dessert for having been such a faithful trooper during the whole series.
Now I've been going to the gym on a more regular basis. I'm back to where it all started. But for so long I associated working out and the gym itself with Harry Potter. Now, I'm kind of lost. Music? How do you work out to music? You need to mentally engage to something and how do you mentally engage yourself to Rammstein?
I need to make playlists, I suppose. If I made playlists that would help keep me guessing or keep me engaged into what I was listening. Too often I find myself skipping around CDs and artists because I lose interest or can't find the right song or whatever. I guess I can't blame myself since I went from 250 pounds-plus to 190 with the benefit of Harry Potter so I really got used to working out to audiobooks and not music.
I suppose I can find another Harry Potter type series. But even then, much like The Sopranos were to television, to me Harry Potter is unmatched in terms of books. I do, though, have all the Lord of the Rings series on audiobook so I should try that. Still, I can't imagine it will be much like Harry Potter was.
In some ways I guess that's a good thing. After all, I don't need to drop 60-plus pounds anymore.