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I am NOT the 53%.

November 5, 2011

Early this year, I was having trouble with acid reflux.  Went to see my doctor, who had me step on a scale.

235 lbs.

I’d seen my weight steadily increase over the years; a gradual thing, this.  I’d not considered myself overweight, merely a little on the chubby side.  A combination of genes did a pretty good job of evenly distributing mass over my entire frame, so much so that most folks guess my weight a good 20# low.  I’d not worried much about it, save for pants being a little on the tight side.

About ten years earlier, I’d reached the questionable goal of 250 lbs.  I’d been asked to do an energy audit at an aluminum foundry.  They had a rule about no jewelry of any kind on the foundry floor.  It tool me fifteen minutes and a generous amount of hand soap to dislodge my wedding ring, as I’d gotten married at 175 lbs.

I went on a diet.  The Atkins diet, specifically.

It worked – worked like a charm, actually.  Was able to shed 55 pounds in about seven months, a little less than 2 pounds a week.  I’d made it down to a size 32 waist and a trim 195 lbs.

Life was pretty good.  Did great on a heart stress test, blood pressure good, no acid reflux.

Truth be told, however, I went on Atkins because, well…I like eating.  I like eating rich, foods, comfort foods – hell, I’m on a see food diet.  That – and I was taught to clean my plate.  Go to a retaurant these days, and they pile it on – a days worth of food in a single meal.  Atkins allowed me to ‘cheat’; I ate well and stil lost weight.

Then…the Pheebs started having serious heart issues.  I’d become convinced she had the most advanced version of her disorder; a version whereby people rarely live past the age of 50; she was 43.   I stopped watching what I ate , or perhaps more correctly, I watched just about everything go in – and the weight went up.

We fixed her heart issues (mostly) late last year;  I’d awoke to my body mass upon stepping on the scale this past January.

Still refusing to modify eating habits, I took to walking.  A lot.  Several miles every morning, over 20 miles a week.  Dropped ten pounds, maybey fiteen by the time of our anniversary.

It helped a bit, as here I am pulling up my pants in downtown Tokyo.  Problem was I still had a borderline dickie-do; that is to say one’s belly sticks out more than one’s dickie do.

With the Pheebs back on the mainland, I decided to approach weight loss like I would when I performance-tune a car or a building: incrementally and by trial and error.  With sixteen weeks to work with and end goal of  195 lbs by November 15th, I started in earnest.  Here’s what I found:

1) ANYTHING with sugar listed as an ingredient = Not Good.  I’ve all but eliminated refined sugar from what I eat.  Takes about three weeks for the desire to eat it to go away, but trust me – it does.

2) Bread, pasta, potatoes and rice shut down my fat burning ability immediately.  I suspect it’s a function of my Eastern European genes; my ancestors would damn near starve during harsh winters, so the ability to pack on the pounds by converting starch to fat was a prized ability in 1811.  It’s not 1811 anymore, so these things have to be stricken from my intake with the exception of an occasional piece of toast or a tortilla once or twice a week.

3) Fruits are good, but in a strainge quirk of geography, most fruit comes to Guam from the mainland – and it mostly sucks.  Apples and Korean pears are about the only thing I get to eat in the fruit world, and occasionally at that.

4) Salads are good.  I make myself spinach salad twice a week, and eat a fresh green salad at a local restaurant once a week.  Occasionally, I’ll have a half Thai Crunch salad at California Pizza Kitchen – but only once or twice a month.

5) ANYTHING sold in a box is off-limits.  I sincerely believe the greatest ill of our modern diet is processed food.  Read, really READ a cereal box ingredient list and you’ll see what I mean.  The front?  Whole Grain Guaranteed! Great Tasting & Heart Healthy!  The side of the box?  20 discrete ingredients, including four types of sugar.

6) Same thing goes for the snack food aisle.  Carbohydrates – and if it’s not an empty carb, it’s slathered in enough salt to save the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I’ve hit upon a mix of non-processed foods – meats, cheeses (l still loves me cheese), peanut butter and eggs supplemented with salads and fruits.

Speaking of fruits – the fruit of my labor?

After 13 weeks, I’m down to 197 pounds; an average wieght loss of 2.15 pounds per week.  I’ve been checked my progress on a Body Mass Index Calculator, and was shocked to discover that….

I’m still overweight.  I have another 13 pounds to go to be in the normal range.

The interesting part?  At 197 pounds, I’m lighter than the average guy of my height and weight.  I weigh less than 53% of them.

I’ve a long way to go before I’m skinny, but at least I’ve lost my dickie-do.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2011 7:30 am

    I think we all have a few pounds we would like to lose. Jack, a friend of mine, said he has lost over 1,000 pounds, but it is the same 10 pounds over and over.

  2. dangerboyandpixie permalink*
    November 6, 2011 2:55 pm

    I have to learn to listen to my body more in my old age. Bread piles on the pounds like nothing else.

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