some of you regular readers who know me personally know that i have been fretting about my weight of late. which is not to say that i'm overly concerned about being obese...
(...and i still think the whole concept of being "fat" is so ingrained in the social culture of a multi-billion dollar diet and fashion industry that it is currently meaningless and rather insulting to the average person who chooses not to judge others by their looks)...
...but i want to be healthy, and i recently realized that i was the heaviest i've ever been in my life. such is life, getting older and more sedentary. i can't control hereditary factors, but i can try to have healthier habits.
to put some perspective on the subject as it pertains to me (which may or may not come off sounding like a list of excuses or rationales for my bad habits - so be it):
i was diagnosed with epilepsy 23 years ago, at 10 and a half. since then, food became a predominant part of my life. food is a wonderful control mechanism for not having seizures. maintain a good steady diet - keep the blood sugar levels good - and you can mitigate seizure activity. at least, that was my experience.
also, my medication makes it difficult to not gain weight, as is the case with many medications. my meds also caused me to wind up with chronic gastroenteritis from long-term use (valproic acid is, well, acidic - as the name implies). the naturally easiest way to avoid gastro attacks is to eat a starch (carb) heavy diet, and avoid really acidic foods. again, not the best recipe for keeping trim.
by the time i graduated high school i had stopped growing. i am the same height i was when i was 18 years old. i was 120lbs, and i went to work in shipping & receiving department at an art store. i spent a year lifting and carrying 45-70lb boxes of art supplies. i bulked up to 145lbs of (relatively) lean muscle. my waist was 29". i was in decent shape, probably the best shape of my life. but over the following 14 years it slowly creeped up pound-by-pound to 195lbs.
now i'm maybe 5' 5 3/4" on a good day. at 195lbs, that makes me quite the stocky fellow. i have pretty good mass distribution, good upper body strength, strong (if out of practice) muscles... but i also definitely got a pot-belly; that 29" waist has gone to 36-37" if i'm lucky.
but all that said, i don't have a bad self-body-image-thingy. i look in my mirror and think, yeah, cool. i wish i could fit into thinner clothes easier; it would make shopping much easier and more fun... however, that's a pretty vain rationale, and i don't obsess over it since i've got other (more important) things to occupy my mind.
still, in the back of my head, a little rational voice speaks to me about watching my health so i can llve a happy productive life for many years to come. the voice doesn't care about looking ripped and impressing girls at the beach, or playing sports, or running marathons... it just cares about feeling good, feeling well, being happy and in good health. that is how i know it is sound judgement.
so i am following the voice, little by little. i don't know if i can get back into running like i did last summer. that was definitely a headspace
thing, and had very little, if anything, to do with wanting to be healthier or losing weight. this year was an entirely different dilemna, requiring a very different solution.
the first thing i have done is to start walking more and more. pretty much every day i can, for the past month and a half or so. my standard lunchtime walk is 3.5 km.
the second thing i have done is alter my eating habits. six weeks ago i stopped eating french fries and poutine. i'm sure a number of you will gasp at this, knowing my addiction to poutine, how i love and crave it always (who wouldn't?!)... but seriously, i have done it cold turkey. i have cut down drastically on my carb intake. i'm also cutting down on sugar drinks, and eating more home-cooked meals (current fav is butter chicken and rice).
tonight for dinner i invented The Jacob Salad! (see picture). it consists of:
old cheddar cheese
in a basil parmesan oil and vinegar dressing.
it was so yummy. last night i had a similar dish (without the broccoli and seaweed) along with some leftover lamb stew.
all of this is to say: i've lost 2.5lbs, now hovering around 192.5lbs. not very encouraging for six weeks, but hey, babysteps...
...and seriously, doesn't The Jacob Salad look delicious?! it was! it's not poutine, but hey, it's got flavour. i'll live (hopefully longer, healthier, happier).