Thursday, June 06, 2013

The weighting game

I've had a weight problem pretty much since I was seven. I like carbs, and I eat when I'm bored, and I eat for comfort. Not too long after I moved out on my own, one of the guys where I was working, the French-Canadian guy who was running our IT department, started making serious headway on Atkin's. He got me on board and over the next seven or eight months, I shed about fifty pounds... not quite half what I needed to lose at the time, but it was the first time in my life I made real progress on losing weight instead of just slowly gaining it. I remember "inheriting" his pants as he shrank in size. That pretty nice all around... a narrower waist, and free clothes.

It didn't last, but just as I was falling off that and gaining weight again, another friend having success in another plan dropped by. This was a big guy, in every sense. He was a head taller than me, and had been about to cross 400 lbs. when started. When I saw him, he was closing in on 300, with a goal to halve his weight, to something just under 200. This was a men's weight loss program in the west end, meeting on Sunday mornings. It was expensive, too. As I recall, over $2000 for the year. But it was a good program. I started in October of 2001 and by August of 2002, I weighed less than 200 pounds for the first time in decades. I literally weighed less at 33 than I did at 14. I remember it was weekend just after Jenny died that I broke 200. By September, I'd reached my goal of 190, and I even managed to chip that down to 185.

I've lived on that success for ten years. But I only really managed to maintain it for a year or two. Since then, I've been putting weight back on. If I look back at my blog here, I can see early entries where I'm sweating hitting 215 and stuff. I wish I'd really taken it in hand back then. But there were just too many treats and I didn't say no nearly enough. I managed to keep it to around a chubby 230 for a long time, but particularly since Twinkle died, I've really let myself go. I'm pushing 270 again, and I'm not happy to report that. It's embarrassing. I let myself down over the years, but it's so easy to do, one little thing at a time.

Anyway, as usual, it's meeting with a friend that's started a new phase. My real estate agent is on a weight loss and management plan that's run by doctors and covered by OHIP. He started it in late March and by mid-May when I saw him, he'd shed 50 pounds (again, we're taking a really big guy here, height and weight). So, I've spent the last week jumping through the hoops to get into it. First, you need to be referred by another physician. Check. And you need blood work done. Check. The upshot of all this was the pleasant surprise of having confirmed, twice in the past week, that my blood pressure is normal (at my age and weight, I'm surprised), and that ever single blood indicator they checked also falls in the normal range. I'm not diabetic or prediabetic; my cholesterol levels are all fine. I suppose I can congratulate myself in that if I've gained weight, I've done it while for the most part eating sensible foods. Just too much of them.

I used to think it was my metabolism. That was my excuse. But I took a test yesterday that measures the output of your breathing at rest over ten minutes and my results were such that my metabolism comes right up the middle; just slightly higher than the centre mark. And that's at 45, when presumably my metabolism has slowed from what it was when I was 30, 20, 15. So much for blaming the plane. My weight problem has always been pilot error. :(

The new plan is rather like Atkin's. It's about limiting carbohydrate intake (really, really limiting it initially) to induce ketosis, and then watching carbs on maintenance. Rough for me, because that's where all my "ohhh yes" foods really are. But I want to lose the weight. I want those sweet days back where I can just wander into a store, see something I like, and buy it. Try things on just for fun again, rather than to be sure I'm buying something that fits. I had that for a few years and it was grand; something new for me.

I should start now, but I have some social things going on between now and Sunday and I'm looking forward to them, uncomplicated. So I've set a deadline for Monday. It starts Monday.  Oddly enough, you're supposed to lay off alcohol on the plan, so I'll be back on the wagon I jumped off of around New Year's after two years of basically nothing. If I'd known that, I would have just stayed on it. :) So, I think I'll draw the line on alcohol right now, today, but eat the stuff I was going to eat till Monday. And then, well... lifestyle change.

Wish me luck. :)


jim said...

FWIW, I went gluten free a year ago, which dramatically reduced my carb intake. I did it to help manage a chronic health condition I have, and it helps with that a lot. But I went through a giant, enormous period of not knowing what the hell to eat. I didn't realize how much I relied on wheat! It turned out to be much like alcohol detox -- after a while, the cravings just went away. Only thing I miss now is pizza.

Bridgewater said...

Good luck, Barefoot!