Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Great Deflate

This is a bit of a departure from my usual fare, but I hope you don't mind the presumption. Your prayers would be appreciated in this matter.

The danger in living in a house which you don't own is that sometimes you inherit things you'd rather not have. On the door of our bathroom we have a full-length mirror. In an of itself, this is not a bad thing. It's good to be able to tell when you're walking out of the bathroom if you have toilet paper on your shoe or a big piece of lint on your behind. But when you're overweight--or, to be more accurate, morbidly, disgustingly fat--it's not a nice thing to step out of the shower and see all 800 pounds of your body in all its morbid glory. It's like a train wreck: you want to look away, but you can't. I used to be overweight--somewhat pleasantly rounded with a beer belly--but still able to pull off surprising feats of speed and agility if the situation demanded it, usually with my youth group. These days I find myself breathing heavy when I pick up my son (who, admittedly, isn't tiny) and carry him twenty feet from the living room to the bedroom.

This is unacceptable. I look like a slug. I have little energy. I have been a lousy steward of this gift God has given me. If my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, He may end up suing me as an absentee landlord. For the first time in my life I have a lot of self-confidence, but the condition of my body does not match the condition of my psyche. I don't care what other people think about my weight, but I do care what *I* think. It's time to do something about it.

An acquaintance of mine is losing a lot of weight following gastric bypass surgery. That's not the route for me. I want to earn my weight loss if at all possible. Another acquaintance has lost an incredible amount of weight by eating right and by exercising. That's the right way to do it when you're able, and that's how I want to do it.

I started doing the Power 90 workouts at the Rec a week ago. I had to stop about a third of the way through the workout to make space for taxpayers (the next day I moved the DVD player to the banquet room for some privacy), but I needed the break anyway for the sake of my belly, which felt like it was going to rip off the front of my body. I continued on when the taxpayers left. But I could feel the burn already after that first segment.

Here's the statistics.
My starting weight: 343 (How did I let this happen?!?)
My first weight goal: 290
My "final" weight goal: 250 (This number may drop lower if I can lose more weight safely, but this is a good number for now.)

Here's the ugly truth.

It's a week later. I still look like a slug. It's going to take a lot of work to change that. But the work has begun. Today I completed my sixth day of the 90-day routine. It's a two-day cycle that repeats: the first day is cardio and abs, and the second day is weights/resistance work. This was my third day of the resistance program, and it has started to get a little less difficult. I won't say that it's gotten easier, since it's not easy and probably won't ever be--the price of fitness is constant vigilance--but I'm growing accustomed to the hard work. Six workouts and a long walk on Saturday. Feel the burn? That's not someone shooting a blowtorch at me; it's my muscles doing work they haven't done since I graduated from college.

I've also been doing more sensible eating. Carrots and pretzels for snacks instead of half a bag of Cheetos. Very limited sweets. Low-fat yogurts. No fast food. No pop ("soda" for you weird people). Meals with low fat contents--though I don't count calories, I do check the fat content in what I eat. Today I made myself a low-fat crawfish chowder which got more delicious with every mouthful. (I hope my grandfather-in-law isn't spinning in his grave, God rest his soul, with his Yankee grandson-in-law making a seafood "soup".) I've been a lot better about portion size, too. I'm not letting myself be hungry, but I'm not eating until I feel like I'm going to explode. I'll probably struggle with that for a long time. (But NO MORE TURKEY BURGERS FOR ME. At least, not the brand they sell around here. Blech. No amount of seasoning, no condiments, no cheese could make that . . . that thing . . . taste good.)

A week ago I weighed in at 343 pounds. Today I weighed in at 337 pounds. Six pounds in one week! I can't tell you how excited that made me. I've got a long way to go, but the start is very encouraging. I'm not stupid enough to think that every week will be like this, and I know I'm not going to be perfect when it comes to keeping the diet. But I've committed myself to this, and I intend to see it through. I can't keep living the way I was--not for myself, not for my family.

God help me. And that's not just a figure of speech.


+ Robert Wurst said...

Good for you, Alan. I'll be rooting for you.

You've also got me to the point of picking up my Power 90 again. Here we go!

Peace to you,

Rob Wurst

Heather Seierstad said...

You can do it! It is hard to keep going at it sometimes week after week, but you can do it.

I have semi-started (interrupted by finishing my kitchen project but only temporarily) Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred workout DVD. It is tough! I would recommend it. The best part is it is only 25 minutes long. (I guess Jilian Michaels is from The Biggest Loser TV show.)

Take care!

revalkorn said...

If I were to let it become interrupted by more than a day (or maybe two), I don't know that I would be able to get it going again.

Jerri said...

You don't know me I read some of the blogs you do and decided to check yours out. Way to go on the commitment to better health. I committ every night before I go to bed but seldom remember by morning!

One thing I have found helpful is eating buffalo meat, it is so much more healthy than beef and I think turkey as well. It is not much more expensive than beef. Here in my town it is not stocked as a regular item but the meat market guys have it in the bag and grind up some when I ask. It makes great burgers, I can't tell the difference.

Good luck in your endeavors and I look forward to reading about your success.

revalkorn said...

I used to love buffalo meat when I was in North Dakota. Great flavor. Sadly, we don't see a lot of it in Louisiana.