My Weight Loss Highway

September 28, 2011

If you’re looking for a metaphorical post that compares my weight loss to a highway, you’ve come to the wrong place.  I titled this post “My Weight Loss Highway” because I’m gonna talk about an actual highway.  A concrete and asphalt road with on-ramps and off-ramps and five lanes in each direction.

When my friend Katherine was in town a couple weeks ago, I had just hit 232 pounds on the scale, which marked my lowest weight to-date – 170 pounds lost.  She picked me up one day and we spent the afternoon with her two sons at the zoo.  I was helping with directions in the car when we had this conversation:

Me:  “Okay, you’ll make a right up here, and then we’ll get on the 170 going south.”

Katherine:  “Your weight loss highway!”

Me:  “Huh?”

Katherine:  “Didn’t you just say on your blog that you’ve lost 170 pounds? And now we’re getting on the 170 freeway. It’s your weight loss highway!”

Me:  “Why didn’t I realize that on my own?

Yep, the highway that is closest to the home – a mere blocks away – bears the very name number as the number of pounds that I’ve lost.  Well, up until yesterday.  My one-pound gain means I’ve lost 169 pounds instead of 170, but that’s OK – it just means that instead of being celebratory, this post will be motivational instead!

This photograph of the 170 was taken within a 5-minute walk from my house:

California State Route 170 is a short freeway in Los Angeles – only about 8 miles long, all of them in the San Fernando Valley – but it’s an important one, especially if you’re leaving Hollywood with the intention of heading north out of town.  It’s actually called the Hollywood Freeway, as is the stretch of the 101 that goes from downtown to the 101/170/134 junction.  Here’s the 170 on a map:

Fun Fact for all the Angelenos out there:  The 170 was going to be, at one point, much longer than it ended up being.  Fifty years ago, it was proposed that the 170 continue south, following Laurel Canyon Boulevard over the hills, then La Cienega through West Hollywood, continuing all the way to the 405 near LAX.  It would have been called the Laurel Canyon Freeway.  Had the freeway been constructed as planned, the map would’ve looked like this:

That freeway would make my life so much easier!  So who killed the Laurel Canyon Freeway?  The movie stars, hippies, and bohemians that lived in Laurel Canyon in the ’60s, that’s who!  They vehemently opposed the freeway, and ultimately, they got their way.  One portion of the freeway was actually built, though, and it’s the stretch of La Cienega Boulevard by all the oil rigs south of the 10 that has four divided lanes and on- and off-ramps.

But I digress.  I am, and forever will be, a student of maps and geography, and I couldn’t let that little nugget of information go unshared!

Where was I?  Ah yes – the 170 is my weight loss freeway. 

Thanks to my friend Emily for taking these great photos of me!

If I compare my weight loss to other freeways around town, then man!  I’ve conquered lots of them!  The closest freeways to my home, besides the 170, are the 101, the 134, and the 5.  I’ve lost all of them.  In the other direction, there’s the 118.  Lost that one, too.  Other freeways that I find myself on with some regularity include the 2 (which I’ve lost many times in a good week), the 10, the 110, the 60, and the 105.  All of those?  Lost ’em!

In all likelihood, I won’t lose any other local freeways, either.  Next on the list, numerically speaking, is the 210 (which I take every time I head out to my aunt and uncle’s place), and if I lost 210 pounds, it’d put me at 192 pounds.  That’s within the “normal range” for my height, according to the BMI scale, but it seems awfully far away, and maybe not even possible for someone with my build.  I could lose the 405 or the 710, but then I’d weigh -3 pounds or -308 pounds, respectively… and while that’s a feat that might land me the cover of People Magazine, it would also cause me to disappear completely.  And that’d be no bueno.

I love Love LOVE the idea that I can claim ownership, weight-loss wise, of the freeway closest to my home.  And with my one-pound gain this week, I’m only one pound away from doing it again.

170, here I come!

Keep it up, David!