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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Hope You'll Be Seeing Less Of Me

I’ve never been the skinny kid. From an early age, probably around seven or eight, I was the pudgy one on the playground wearing Huskies. You know, the big boy jeans. But I never let it really get to me. My parents would tell me, “You don’t want to deal with the extra weight when you’re older because it’s tougher to lose it.” I just kind of shined it on.

I figured there would always be time. There would always be time. I’m going to live forever, right? OK, maybe a couple hundred years. In any case, I never worried about it the way I probably should have. I never played organized sports, never ran for any reason other than being chased, and I really didn’t have a concern over what I was eating. By high school, I was 186 pounds. I’m 5’ 9” / 5’ 10”, depending on which police report you read. By the usual standards, I was considered obese. I never felt it. In fact, for the most part, I felt completely healthy.

In my sophomore year of college, I had moved up to 214 pounds. Still didn’t feel “fat” but definitely noticed the difference. By the summer of 1996 I was working at Cedar Point and had come down with walking pneumonia. I came down with it in May and didn’t notice it until July. I also didn’t notice that I had dropped to 177. That was almost 40 pounds. Don’t ask me how that happened. I was 214 in February. That’s all I remember and it’s not like anything really changed between then and May, so I have no clue if I had already dropped some weight before I got sick. The point being, I wish I could do that, again. LOL. Actually, having walking pneumonia sucked. I had trouble doing anything strenuous and got tired very easily.

After college and around the end of the decade I was hovering at about 200 pounds. I was working for a hotel banquet department and oddly enough, the food did not contribute to any additional weight gain. I was constantly moving and it was probably the best job I could have had at the time to keep me active. It’s just too bad I was putting in 14 hour days on the weekends and had no energy to do anything but sleep and work.

Then, in 2001, I got hired in an office and it’s been downhill ever since. Over the last nine years, I’ve gained 80 pounds. I still claim I haven’t lost all the weight from my daughter being born but for some reason, no one wants to believe me. I know exactly what the problem is. I SIT ON MY DEAD ASS ALL DAY LONG! The only exercise I get is going to get another cup of coffee. On the weekends I would do yard work but that was just a pain. And, it’s not exactly a consistent workout as there are weekends the yard doesn’t need cut, although those leaves are mocking me, right now. With my wife working on the weekends, I haven’t been outside. I could take our daughter out but multitasking yard work while watching her is hard for me and I don’t want even think about what could happen.

My knees hurt, my back hurts, my stomach hurts from having my belt buckle dig into it all day. I’ve stopped wearing a belt and hope to God my pants don’t decide to test the laws of gravity. I suffer from the “Too much gut, not enough butt” syndrome where the pants won’t sit at my waist because of the slope downward and my butt isn’t round enough to hold them up. If I hike them up around my navel I look like Tweedledum.

I’ve got asthma and have developed OSA in the last six years. I wear a mask at night that pretty much just blows air into my throat to keep it open so that I don’t stop breathing. That’s ironic if you knew me and where I worked. However, those are the worst problems I’ve faced with my health.

Yes, there are times when I get a little shaky and scattered if I don’t eat lunch. And sometimes when I do eat my lunch, I’m struggling to stay awake. Sounds like diabetes, huh? According to a multiphasic blood test I took a few months back, I’m fine. All my numbers are good. I don’t even have high cholesterol. My blood pressure is normal and has been practically the same the last three years I’ve had it taken. For all intents and purposes, I’m healthy, just fat.

It’s my own fault. I sit at my desk all day long. I eat my lunch there. When I go home, I sit in a recliner and watch television or work on my laptop. I don’t have a lot of activity. Because of the shirt gig, I devote a lot of time to being online and designing or blogging or whatever. If I could do it all while walking, I would.

Diet is semi good, semi bad. I usually eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast around 6:15 AM. My lunch, around noon, consists of leftovers that fit into a small container or a sandwich, a Diet Pepsi, and a Lite Yogurt. My ride home at 4pm consists of an apple. Dinner is where I get into trouble. We usually eat around 7pm because daughter usually naps and my wife is teaching piano until then. We will either eat at home a couple nights a week or will go out. She doesn’t like to cook. Now, when her mom was alive, we’d eat at their house probably four nights a week. The problem with that was always portion. They were always making sure we had plenty to fill us up and it takes a lot to fill me up. When we do go out, I’m usually eating half of whatever I order, saving half for lunch. If I do snack, it’s usually at five. Sometimes I’d make myself a cup of raisins, peanuts, and chocolate chips. Maybe I’d have a cookie or a glass of chocolate milk. Besides all that, I drink about eight glasses of water a day, maybe three cups of coffee with Splenda and Powdered Creamer, and Diet Soda at meals.

What sucks is that 10 years ago I would go to The Olive Garden and eat an entire plate of pasta. Now, I’ll take half home and I’m 80 pounds heavier. That’s cruel. I eat less than I did a decade ago and weigh almost 50% more.

I’ve had it. I’m tired of it. I’m sick of knocking shit over as I walk past it and I’m tired of clothes not fitting, in a good way. Being fat is more expensive because the bigger size clothes cost more. So, this morning, when I got up, I weighed myself. 280. That’s where we go from here. I’m not going to start dieting because I don’t believe in it. Dieting implies that at some point you go back to eating like you did before. Well, I can’t do that. I’m just going to change.

I’m not going to go crazy and eat bread and water. I’m still going to eat the foods I like. I’m just going to eat less of them, for a start. Last night, I skipped my usual 5pm snack. At dinner, I skipped the fries and/or onion rings I would usually get with my Italian Hoagie and just had a couple from my daughter’s plate. She won’t eat them. I also had one Diet Pepsi, not two or three like I usually do. This morning I had one measured cup of Life cereal. We had a meeting at work and there was Quakers Oats Bars and Special K Bars and I chips. I skipped them and grabbed a small plate with some grapes, pineapple, and watermelon. I had my left over quarter of Italian Sub, without Italian dressing and a Lite Yogurt. And you know what? I’ve felt pretty good today.

I figure on trying to drop a few pounds just by changing how much I eat and then start working on being more active.  I don't plan on being some health guru or fitness nut because I'll just have to take the bridge.   And don't plan on me entering a marathon.  I'm not doing any intensive training, because like a diet, you have to keep it up.  I don't want a shock to my system.  I just want to lose weight and get my life back inside a pair of size 36 jeans.    I'm not going on Biggest Loser or joining a gym.  This has to be normal, routine kind of stuff or I won't stick to it.   I'll walk, I'll play with my kid, I'll do more physical labor, but if I have to start a regimen to lose the weight it will be pointless because I'll just gain it back.  And I'm not trying pharmaceuticals, either.  Too many other problems can be caused by that.   I take a multi-vitamin, fiber supplement, B Complex and Gingko Biloba.  Besides allergy medicine and Advair, that's all I want to take.

Of course, if I start becoming more active, it might mean less time devoted to my online presence, you'd be better for it, too. LOL.   I'm not going away that easy, though.  I would like to start chronicling how I’m doing. If for no other reason than to maybe help somebody out there. I’m biggest lazy bastard I know and if I can pull this off, than anyone can. I’m going to start figuring out how to put a widget up on the blog to track this kind of stuff. This is going to be an experiment and I hope I can drop the weight. Ultimately, I’d love to be back down to, at most, 200 pounds. The pie in the sky hope is I can get back to what I weighed in high school. Although, if I pull that off, I’ll probably look like a sharpie and that’s really unattractive.

Stay tuned. I’m hoping you see less of me.

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