Again a trip back to 2006, this time a visit to Baltimore to hike with two friends. I’d first met both of them in 2004, when I was over 400 pounds. I was about 275 when this hike took place.

I have little memory of this hike. Nor do I remember the Non Scale Victories mentioned, such as moving forward the car seat. I guess having such things become part of your life is a NSV in itself.


I spent yesterday in Baltimore, and I have some more non-scale victories to report. I was visiting two friends, co-authors of a study of possible sources for Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I’ll call them Prospero and Miranda.

The first NSV I discovered on getting into my car, AKA The Neilmobile. There’s a lot more space between me and the steering wheel. If this keeps up I may need to move the seat forward.

The drive from my home to Baltimore normally takes 2.5 hours. This trip there was an accident on I-95 that added a half-hour to the commute. Despite that, I had none of my usual road-travel fatigue. I was very
pleased at this discovery, for Prospero and Miranda are both active individuals, and I needed to have energy to keep up with them.

My hosts for the day were very happy to see so much less of me. We had last met in Philadelphia in April, back when I was 330 pounds. Miranda opened the door and exclaimed
“Oh brave new Neil that hath so little fat on you!”
Perhaps the words were different, but the spirit was the same.

After lunch in Mt Washington, Prospero lead us on a mile and a half hike at Lake Roland. I thought I did quite well even though I wasn’t dressed for hiking. (Note to self – buy hiking boots for next trip.) I wasn’t in the least bit tired, even though the hike involved climbing hills, and I could keep up with Prospero as he lead us up those cloud-capp’d towers.The rest of the day was spent in more sedentary pursuits, but again I had no tiredness or that sense of dull-wittedness that obesity can bring.

In fact, the only time I experienced fatigue the entire time was during the trip back home. I left at nearly 9:00 PM, and as a precaution I stopped at the Maryland border to ‘caffinate’. I reached home about
midnight, tired, but tired from a full day of activity, not tired from carrying the weight of two people. It was time to round this little adventure with a sleep.

To some, this pageant I’ve described must seem insubstantial, but for me being able to participate in life’s simple pleasures – a hike along a lake with friends, a trip to a nearby city – and having the energy to enjoy them, is the goal of weight loss. And I hope these revels never end.

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”