Thursday, October 14, 2010

Walking Works

I went to see a surgeon the other day to arrange to have a hernia repair.  Yep, I have a small hernia which will require surgery to fix.  I got it from all the friggin' work that I do around the house and on my rental properties.  I have to face it, I'm not getting any younger.  Oh well, it's small, doesn't hurt, and for the moment, it's a good thing because it releases me from the ongoing, perpetual, long list of projects that never cease to end around our house.

While I was there, the doc remarked about my significant weight loss.  I was last weighed at the health plan office back in May.  On October 12, my weight had dropped by 30 pounds.  I knew I needed to lose weight, and the diet-and-exercise recommendation that we always hear is what did it.

When I took my "summer vacation," (that is, when I was laid off my job this summer before being offered a new one), I vowed that I wasn't going to pile on the pounds, snacking away whilst whiling away the hours on a computer.  I made a promise to myself to work at weight-loss with some of my "free" time.

That's hard for me to do, because I'm not a gym rat.  I hate gyms.  Ever since grade school where the gym teacher and classmates teased me incessantly for being a klutzy runt, I hated working out.  But I knew, deep down, that's what I needed to do.  My twin brother-the-jock gently reminded me and encouraged me on this matter.

I can't stand to use weights or machines or whatnot related to workouts and weight loss.  Call me cheap, but I will NOT pay for a gym membership.  Fortunately, the benefits of being a life member of the alumni association of the university from which I graduated, I am able to use all of their recreation facilities for free.  So I go swimming once a week.  Unfortunately, that's not enough, and I am not a runner, so running on the track was out.  Unfortunately, I can't get there during the week (open swim time for alumni is only in the evenings... too late for me.)

So I began walking.  At first, I would walk around my neighborhood.  Then I began changing it up, and walking further down the road.  I walked to my Aunt's home, three miles away.  I walked ... and walked ... and walked.  My partner bought me a pedometer so I could count my steps.  I "upped" my steps from an average of 5,000 per day to, now, an average of 20,000.  That's ten miles, more or less.  I walk up and down stairs instead of using an elevator.  Each morning at home, I walk the full length up and down three flights of stairs in my home for about 20 to 30 times.  (No "stairclimber" for me!  I do it for real, and make good use of the steps by carrying stuff, like rearranging my boots from my upstairs closet to my basement storage room.)

Diet-wise, that's always a challenge because of my severely restricted diet due to chronic conditions I must live with.  I can't eat most vegetables, salads, beans, tofu, tuna fish, yogurt, or such.  Facing multiple "runs" to the bathroom when I eat such things, I decided to forgo eating lunch instead of eating "healthy" crap that would make me sick.  I now have a small breakfast composed of a plain (home-made) roll w/o butter or margarine, and orange juice.  I drink about six large glasses of water throughout the day -- on hot days and when working strenuously, I double that.  Then I prepare a regular, but sensible dinner for my partner and me.  Dinner isn't diet junk -- it is real food, such as chicken, beef, or home-made, light pasta.  But I limited my portion sizes and left off the condiments, such as mayo (a weakness), since I can't use mustard or ketchup, relish, or anything else.  Salt & pepper add to taste, and I even keep those in moderation.

Most folks, including me, need a caffeine shot in the morning.  Not being a coffee or tea drinker, I might have gone for a soda.  I was finding that diet sodas, even Coke Zero, gave me the trots--must be the artificial sweetener.  So I just went "cold turkey" and when I really "needed" caffeine, I drank caffeinated water that my partner found for me in the store.  I don't like to use bottled water, but in this case, one-half of a bottle of caffeinated water in the morning would stave off the caffeine withdrawal headache.

All-in-all, this worked for me.  I dropped 30 "real" pounds.  I think I finally found a weight-loss plan that works for me, and I intend to keep it up, because it's part of my regular routine now.  When I get a craving, I drink water.  It fills me up and I lose my hunger pangs. 

Life is short:  manage yourself in ways that work for you.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, brother! I knew that with persistence and tenacity, qualities which you have in abundance, you could do it.

Love you always,


Anonymous said...

Way to go, BHD! You decided that you deserve to be more fit and took the necessary steps to accomplish it. That's the key. Where there's a will, there's a way when it comes to choosing habits that keep us healthy and fit. Keep up the good work. You make us proud!