Tag Archives: Health Journal

Health Journal: Summary Report

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Two years running now, I’ve started keeping a “Health Journal” on this blog as one of my New Year’s resolutions. And two years running, that resolution has been the first to fail. I don’t think I’m going to make that resolution again next year. It doesn’t work well for me. Not only do I have trouble sustaining it, but it creates an obsessive, bean-counting frame of mind that is ultimately discouraging because I can’t accept that my weight will vary from day to day (especially when your scale measures in tenths of a pound, like mine does) and that it’s the arc that’s important.

Even so, I thought I’d give y’all an update.

First of all, that arc I mentioned above looks like this:

Starting Weight (High Point After New Year’s): 222 Pounds

Current Weight: 185 Pounds (approx.; goes as high as 190 after a big-eating weekend, has dipped as low as 182. Once.)

Doctor’s Recommended Weight: 180 Pounds. Nearly there. (I’d like to see if I could go lower, though. I don’t think that was intended to be a floor.)

My belt is two notches tighter than it was in January. I don’t have to hold my breath to tie my shoes or put on a tie. My digestion works better. I don’t have to hoss those 30-odd extra pounds up all the stairs I walk every day. There’s nothing I don’t like about this.

When I talk about this with my friends and family, I credit my progress to the fact that there isn’t a lot of good food in Newark that’s easy to reach from my office. Which is true. If my office was in New York, with good eats all around, the temptation would be much worse. But then, it was true last year, too, and you can see that first number up top there as well as I can. All it took was falling into a few bad habits: taking a few fun-size candy bars from the candy bucket someone left out in the office. Every day. For months. Getting the bag of salt & vinegar potato chips in the cafeteria. Going out to the not-so-good food places around my office once a month…then twice…then once a week…

(To cut myself some slack, the still-unexplained foot injury that sidelined me entirely for about six weeks last fall really didn’t help.)

This year, I’ve managed to stick to the Lean Cuisines (and similar diet meals) for lunch so far…for the most part. Those salt & vinegar potato chips are really good. And it has paid off.

Another thing that turned out to be a good idea was setting up a TV in front of the treadmill at home and switching to power walking instead of running. My workout may be less intense, but I don’t look for excuses to avoid it anymore. Oh sure, you can talk about discipline and pushing yourself to do what’s necessary, but in the end, choosing a workout that you enjoy makes sticking to the program so much easier.

Also…this is a little embarrassing…I got one of those pedometer apps for my phone, with the 10,000-step daily goal. Now I do things like get on and off the subway at a different stop, take the longest way around whenever I go somewhere in the office (I couple this with the classic weight loss advice to drink lots of water to make sure that I have to “go somewhere” a lot)…anything to run up my number of steps. It’s like the app is a game, and I’m trying for a high score. Which…mission accomplished, I suppose.

Of course, there’s more to health than weight. A lot more. I’ve been making fullest use of my new insurance and my company’s willingness to let us work from home (much better than missing work when I have an appointment) in order to deal with health issues that have been pending for years. I have new fillings, my heart health – a definite concern, given that my father had his first heart attack at the exact same age I am now – has been confirmed to be solid (although there is some talk of cholesterol-control meds), and I’m talking with a surgeon about fixing the hernia I’ve had since 2009. Once I’ve recovered from that, I may be able to go back to the gym and start building some muscle mass again.

I’ve even decided to try and do something for my mental health – and to save untold hours wasted out of a finite lifetime – by giving up on arguing with people who are Wrong On The Internet.  Kickin’ my rage addiction.

In short, I’m in better health than I have been in years, and it looks like there’s better yet to come. When I think of where I was just a little over a year ago, I’m both amazed and grateful. In so many ways, I’m one of the lucky ones.

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Health Journal 2015 – 4

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Previous Weight: 210.0 Pounds

Current Weight: 210.4 Pounds

Oops.  Little bit of backsliding there.  Not sure what happened, though I can guess some suspects – a missed workout here, a few larger-than-usual meals there.

I think I may be past the point of rapid and easy results for the moment.  When I first started, I was uncomfortably heavy.  I felt bloated, and shedding weight was a relief.  Now I’ve reached the inevitable stage where my body wants those pounds back, dammit, and is demanding more calories now.

Current Goal: 200 Pounds

Doctor’s Recommended Ultimate Goal: 180 Pounds

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Health Journal 2015 – 3

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Previous Weight: 212.4 Pounds

Current Weight: 210.0 Pounds

New Goal: 200 Pounds

Doctor’s Recommended Ultimate Goal: 180 Pounds

Huh.  And here I thought I was going to have to say something explanatory about truncated workouts and an extra day of weekend eating.  Maybe I will soon anyway.  I’m starting to mistrust my scale.  Unless someone can explain why I would weigh more after the workout than before?

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Health Journal 2015 – 2

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Previous Weight: 215.6 Pounds

Current Weight: 212.4 Pounds

Current Goal: 210 Pounds

Well, it looks like the weight loss has slowed to a believable pace.  Good.  The other way seemed untrustworthy.  If it had gone on much longer, I would have started to wonder if something was wrong with the scale…or me.  Still encouragingly fast.  I credit it to the Lean Cuisines (i.e., the radical decrease in calorie intake) and the fact that this early in the process, when the shock to the system means small changes can have big results.  The trick comes when I have to do something that requires maintenance in the long term.

Still walking on the treadmill (or elsewhere) 5 days out of 7, give or take.  Trying to make it to the gym at work so I can fit in a little muscle building, but that’s a little harder. We’ll see how that works going forward.

Other Health-Related News: Finally got a checkup today.  What a mess.  Took four hours, the nurses had trouble finding the vein so they could do blood tests (predicted result: ridiculously high cholesterol), for some reason (maybe to do with blood sugar?) I started to go faint when they started sticking the needle in my wrists.  Still don’t know why that happened.  It never has before.  Still, I got some useful prescriptions, and the doctor, noticing that I’m a…bit overweight, has given me a –

Doctor’s Recommended Ultimate Goal: 180 Pounds

Let’s see what I can do about that.

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Health Journal 2015 – 1

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Previous Weight: 222.6 pounds

Current Weight: 215.6 pounds

Well.  That certainly went quickly.

I’m very encouraged, but I’m not going to let this go to my head any more than I let my original weight panic me.  What I’m going to attribute this to, other than standard daily fluctuations, is the fact that the original weight was taken after several days of heavy eating and little real physical activity.  I’d worked hard to achieve it, in other words.  A mere few days of lighter meals and even a little exercise brought it down to a more reasonable – but still far too damn high – weight.

New Goal: 210 pounds.

Additional Health-Related News: Made that doctor’s appointment.  Working from home next Thursday so I can take a few hours off in the middle of the day to get my first full physical in years.  I think I’ll wait a little while on the dentist’s appointment.  My job is very understanding, but I don’t want to push my luck.

Also, I need to start making an effort to get into the gym at work.  I may be able to get in a longer cardio workout on my treadmill at home, and I’ll still need to do that, but they have muscle-building equipment.  Creating a foundation of muscle helps to burn the fat.

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Health Journal 2015 – 0

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So Red Molly and I finally got a new scale.  Our old one went on the fritz months ago, and I’ve been dependent on visits to the company nurse and the gym and the like ever since.

Welp, no time like the present.  I need to know my starting point for New Year’s Resolution #5.  I’ll just get on it, and…

Current Weight: 222.6 pounds.

Oh.  Wow.  That’s a personal high.  Wow, that’s bad.  That makes the “Health” part of the title more of an immediate issue than a long-term concern.  I’m at the age where my father had his heart attack, after all.  Okay, mustn’t panic.  Will take this methodically.

Current Goal: 220 Pounds.

I will be back with another report on Wednesday.  This Thursday and Friday, I’ll be going to a professional conference in Washington DC, and the enforced restaurant eating might throw me off a little, so Wednesday will be the time to report what I’ve accomplished while it’s at its best.

Additional Health-Related News: After years of putting it off due to first lack of insurance, then lack of time off to take for appointments, this Monday I’m finally going to make appointments with a doctor and a dentist for long-delayed checkups.

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Health Journal 12

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Current Weight: 193.1 pounds

Previous Weight: 197.3 pounds.  Guess a week with no significant appetite will help you lose weight.  Who knew?  Not the healthiest way to do it, but I’ll take the head start.

That’s why I’ve been incommunicado, incidentally.  Sick again.  Another cold, worse this time, and I just did not have the energy to write.  Thanks for sticking with me, those who have.  We’ve got some good things coming.

Current Goal: 190 Pounds

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