Friday, August 05, 2005

Operating at a Loss


Well, it’s as official as our little Weight Watchers certified scale can make it: I’ve lost 23 pounds since the beginning of the year. When I had my physical in January, I tipped the scales at 246 and was on the verge of outgrowing my 38-inch waist pants. Now, while not exactly trim and svelte, I’m weighing in at 223 and my 36’s are starting to fall off me. By the end of next month, I’d like for 34’s to be doing the same thing. Ultimately, I’d like to drop below 200.

A friend at work told me the other day that she wanted to compliment me on my weight loss, but wasn’t sure if she should. She thought it might have been because of the situation with my father. Actually, I’m lucky I didn’t derail everything that was already in place when Dad went in the hospital. My eating and exercise plans went out the window. It is amazing how unhealthily you can eat in a hospital that prides itself on its heart care center. I was having meals of onion rings, fried mushrooms, and ice cream. (When I’m stressed I do not make healthy eating choices at all.)

I’m thinking I’d probably be about ten pounds lighter, if it hadn’t been for that two month period. One of the first things I did the week after the funeral was go back to my aerobics class. It was the first step in getting my life back, I guess.

It’s helped a lot that right around the time that I was starting this, our city started doing this exercise push for all employees. We’re on the third round now, and every time I’ve exceeded my goals. We get points for the exercise we do, the number of fruit and veggie servings we have, and the amount of weight we lose. At the midway point in this last round, I had achieved 242 points of my 175 point goal.

My biggest challenge right now is dealing with plateaus. In the past, 220, 210, and 200 have all been hard numbers to crack, leading to a lot of discouragement and, frequently, giving up. If I can make it past that, then I’ll have to deal with the struggles to maintain. Fortunately, I’ve been able to establish an exercise routine that I find enjoyable and I’ve simply re-oriented my eating habits toward healthy choices, so I’m not starving. I hope that will help.

As I get closer to the number I want, I’m starting to contemplate the shape I want. I’ll need to shift some attention to the spare tire that’s shrinking, but will need some special attention to completely vanish. I know I’ll never be a Joe Six-Pack. That’s just not a reasonable goal for me, and I just don’t want to put the time into maintaining that sort of frame. So, I’m still thinking all that out.

My dad had diabetes, which led to his heart condition, which led to his heart attacks and strokes, which eventually killed him. It turns out that pretty much the same thing that happened to him, also killed all his siblings. That’s a family history I find greatly disturbing and a legacy I don’t wish to continue. My dad was diagnosed with diabetes in later middle age, when he was about ten years older than I am now.

Beyond the other benefits I get from this--my depression is easier to deal with when I’m exercising, for example—I’ve started to think that the best way to honor my dad’s memory is to do my best to beat the things that killed him.

Another friend at work told me that she had found the weight I’d lost. I told her to keep it, because I was through with it. :-)

I go back to the doctor on the 19th for a check up. I’d like to surprise him by being at 220. We’ll see…


Greg said...

At the beginning of June I had lost 21 pounds this year. I gained 8 back this summer. It's hard. Keep at it - we'll both get to 200 by the end of the year, damn it!

EM said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Greg. Good luck to you and I'll meet you at the "Under 200" Club soon!