Tag Archives: weight loss

Well, then. Wheeze. Pant. Etc.

Next Thursday, I’m going in for the first of three sessions of a procedure known as “bronchial thermoplasty“, meant to improve my asthma, which has been flaring up irresponsibly since I had a respiratory infection about three months ago. When I went to my pulmonologist last week to discuss the procedure, he waggled his finger at me about my weight, explaining that not only is there significant inflammation in my lungs, my weight also prevents my lungs from expanding fully when I inhale.

Turns out he was right to chastise me.

This morning I weighed in at just a hair over 300 pounds.

This… this is unacceptable.

I’ve resolved before to lose weight; I mean, I’ve been overweight since junior high school, when my physician first chided me for it. I’ve never really stuck to it, though. I like food too much. I lead a sedentary lifestyle (mostly in front of the computer or behind a book). And everything else that’s bad for you.

And yet, there are so many things I want to do that require at least a modicum of physical fitness. For example, I would like to:

  • Visit Antarctica;
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands;
  • Go snorkeling;
  • Go SCUBA diving;
  • Go caving (not spelunking, mind you, I have no desire to do that);

…and so on. But right now I’m in a state where I can’t even walk around the block without getting wheezy and short of breath. Not ideal for anything, really, let alone wandering ice floes and saying Hi to penguins.

So here goes. I’m going to launch a personal initiative called “Zero to Hero” (yes I know it’s a song from Disney’s Hercules movie, just bear with me). It’s not much. Just a program of exercise and food intake that will hopefully get me into much better physical condition, hopefully by the time I’m fifty. ‘Cause frankly, I’m tired of where I’m at in this regard.

Ideally, the bronchial thermoplasty treatments will reduce my asthma symptoms to the point where I can walk around the block without wheezing. But they’re not the only thing I need. I need to take a serious look at how I’m conducting my life, and make some changes. The primary issue is I don’t like exercise, and also I like fatty, greasy, carb-rich foods. Preferably fried. So I need to figure out some way to make these changes in a way which makes me happy, which makes, say, running a 5K more enjoyable than sitting and staring at my computer during the same amount of time.

I’m open to suggestions.

In the meantime, though, please enjoy this video of an otter learning how to use an inhaler.

Re: That Gut

Warning: No holiday content within.

For the past month or so I’ve been trying this radical new diet plan, where I eat only when I’m hungry and stop eating when I’m full (and avoiding refined sugar). You won’t find this plan in any book in any bookstore because the profit margin is way too low, though I have been following some of the advice that Judith Beck (no relation to Glenn Beck, thank God) gives in her book, The Beck Diet Solution.

Turns out I don’t actually have much of an appetite, compared to what I thought I had. When I really pay attention to my stomach’s signals — and I mean, REALLY pay attention — I end up eating a lot less. Of course, this means I have to seriously and constantly ask myself questions such as, “Am I really that hungry? Or am I simply bored/stressed/angry/upset/happy/just not paying attention/etc.?” Like a lot of people, I tend to eat my emotions. There are some people who simply can’t bring themselves to eat when they’re stressed out; I am not one of those people. When I get stressed out, my first reaction is to go for the food. I’m training myself out of that habit, but it’s taking longer than I would like.

Of course, then means resisting a lot of foods. The conversation inside my head goes something like this:

ME: Am I really hungry?

ME: No, I’m not.

ME: But I really want that double bacon cheeseburger and large fries from Jack in the Box.

ME: Too bad, because I’m not actually hungry.

Beck, in her book, talks about building up the “resistance” muscle vs. the “giving in” muscle. When you resist certain temptations, you build up your resistance muscle. Likewise, when you give in to certain temptations, you build up your giving in muscle. She uses this language to avoid using the word “cheating”, though I don’t see much difference, psychologically. In almost all the dieting literature I’ve read, you’re supposed to feel good, accomplished, excited, etc., when you resist a temptation. The dialog is supposed to look like this:

ME: Am I really hungry?

ME: No, I’m not.

ME: But I really want that whole pumpkin pie.

ME: Too bad, because I’m not actually hungry.

ME: YAY! I RESISTED A TEMPTATION! GO ME! ETC.!

Instead, though, what I get at the end is…

ME: GODDAMMIT, I REALLY WANTED THAT STUPID PIE! STOP BEING SUCH A SPOILSPORT, SELF!

And, two hours later…

ME: I’M STILL STRESSED OUT, AND I WOULD BE FEELING BETTER NOW IF I’D HAD THAT PIE.

ME: Sorry, still not hungry.

ME: GODDAMMIT.

I honestly didn’t expect that the whole process would be full of such self-resentment.

I’m pushing through, though, and sometimes when I resist that temptation, I do feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Maybe it’s just a matter of practice, or training, or something like that. But I hadn’t expected that the whole process of simply eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full would be full of such resentment.

But it might be working. Since early November, I’ve lost thirteen pounds; however, for the past two weeks my weight has held steady at about 260.  There should be some days when I expect that because in spite of my determination there have been a couple of days when I’ve overeaten, but not often. I’d like to see a continuing downward trend. It’s not there. I tell myself that I’ve just reached a temporary plateau, but that only helps a little. Honestly, I’d prefer to be all honey badger about this, and not give a s— about the numbers, but that’s pretty difficult to pull off.

Then again, I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life. I didn’t get to where I was overnight, and it won’t come off overnight either.

Anyone have any suggestions for improving my mood/thinking about this? I’m all ears.

 

‘This the season for (grumpy) Holidailies