Dickens is so evocative, but Mark Twain probably nailed it on the head.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
A promise. This blog is not going to turn into one long diatribe about healthy diet or weight loss. Neither is a primary goal of the whole enterprise. If I am successful, mind you, I believe they will be outcomes. But I am obsessed with neither, and other than an open invitation to be a friend on myfitnesspal [linkie] so you can track what I’m eating if you’re interested and the results of my weekly weigh-in, I don’t intend to bend your ears about this stuff.
n.b. If you’d like to friend me on myfitnesspal you need to have a user account (which is free) on that app. You can then send me an email here at firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know that you have signed up and the email you used to sign up under. I can then send you a friend invite. Sounds more complicated than it should be, but it’s not my app. -de
That said, I am currently morbidly obese. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) define morbid obesity as: Being 100 pounds/45.3 kilograms or more above your ideal body weight, or, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater or, having a BMI of 35 or greater and one or more co-morbid condition. I’m pretty sure without checking that 357 pounds/162 kilograms has got to be more than 100 pounds/160 kilograms over my ideal body weight, but a few minutes checking on the Internet confirms that as a fact. Using the “Hamwi Method” [linkie], one of the MediCalc website’s handy calculators [linkie] discloses my ideal body weight to be 202 pounds/~92 kilograms.
Well, I guess not. So I’d have to lose 155 pounds to be at an ideal weight. First NIH criteria: Met.
It’s “Strike one, you’re
out morbidly obese,” but let’s do the others just for grins. As far as “BMI over 40” goes, I couldn’t tell you what my BMI is, unless it’s on the InBody report I posted [linkie] the other day…
…yep, there it is: 44.7, about halfway down the page on the left…
But 44.7 what? Butter pats? Frog’s eyelashes? Some more looking on the ‘net led to me discovering that Body Mass Index is calculated by using the following formula
where m is your weight in kilograms and h is your height in meters. Using the 357.2 pounds from Monday’s weigh-in to convert to 162.02 kg and my six foot four inches to convert to 1.93 meters, then squaring 1.93 to get 3.725, and finally dividing per the formula 162.02 by 3.725…
…following along at home?
I get just a smidgen under 43.5. So still well over 40. I’m morbidly obese times two. Let’s go for three out of three.
I see my endocrinologist tomorrow to talk about, mainly, my Type 2 diabetic condition and how my trip will impact it. Fortunately enough, my diabetes is manageable through a combination of oral meds, but I have been concerned from when I started planning the trip that the change from a sedentary to an active lifestyle might upset the balance we have reached, with my A1C at or below 7 going back a good little while. But diabetes is diabetes, a serious co-morbid condition, and my BMI is over 35, so…
[cue somber music]
I’m three for three. Out for the count. Morbidly obese by every measurement. Well, that sucks.
I’ve fought the scales since the 70s. The then in force Army Weight Control Program, which if I recall correctly allowed me first to weigh 232 pounds/105 kg max, then 238/108 as I got older, was an every six-month bogeyman just waiting for me to trip up. This was despite what would be objectively found to be a higher than usual physically active lifestyle. I ran (ugh!), I backpacked, I biked. A lot, actually. My little vanity piece here [linkie] describes in sad detail what happened as that slowed down then more or less stopped altogether. The short story: my weight ballooned to just under 400 pounds/181 kilograms, at which point I considered bariatric surgery (which one of my daughters had, and is, 15 years later, a poster girl success story for). I went through the six month period the insurance company (well, my insurance company, anyway) makes you go through to see if you can’t just lose the weight on your own and lost 40 pounds/18 kg. I decided not to do the surgery based on that and other considerations, and have never looked back. My weight has bumped around in the 360s for a few years short of a full decade now. It’s been higher at times, mainly in the winter (which is hell for the sedentary here in Alaska) and at times of stress. But I’ve eaten and drunk what I’ve wanted to and in the quantities I’ve felt like. Shame on me for saying it, but sometimes, given the state of my health overall, that really hasn’t been such a bad trade-off. I love to cook and I love well-prepared food. I adore wine. A gin & tonic or two are just what hot days are made for. So I get 40 years of indulging myself in, but I’m beginning to realize that can’t go on. You just can’t do that and dodge bullets forever.
And, if it’s time to go, I’d rather go pedaling a bike than eating a steak. Saying that required a closer call than I was comfortable with, so there is all the more reason to know that it is time for a change.
I can do this.