Saturday

Overweight, Not Yet Over The Hill

Not me, but close enough
As an overweight baby boomer at the age of none-of-your-business, I have entered into a lifestyle change. It was not a New Year's resolution, nor is it a diet as such; I just woke up one morning and realized that as an adult I should be able to choose to eat more sensibly.

I am not blogging about this as any kind of self promotion, or as some way to publicly shame myself into keeping on track. If anything, I'm hopeful I may encourage others who are also struggling with their weight (apparently a lot of us) to take some steps to reverse that.

I'll follow up on this post every few months, so if anyone is interested they can keep up, but I probably won't be giving a blow-by-blow of how may pounds I lost; I just want to try and communicate my frame of mind, and hopefully encourage others out there. 
I have almost always been overweight to some extent, except around the time I got married in the later 1970's and early 1980's. I am currently a fatty, and have some concomitant health problems, and that was a major factor in my "lifestyle change" decision. 

I have had many years of eating what and when I want, and have paid the price. It's now time to dial it back and be personally responsible for my own health. I can't pinpoint one thing that precipitated this; my doctor didn't give me some ultimatum or anything like that (nothing that I have not heard before, anyway). It's just that I decided I should be capable of making some changes that will benefit myself and my wife over the next however many years we have left together.

The main challenge for me at first is simply controlling calories. After I have that under control, concentrate on the components of the food intake (fat, salt, etc). Once the weight is more manageable, then I can exercise more - and no, I won't be running; I hate running for the sake of running, I always have - even when I was a teenager in gym class.

The controlling calories part is actually pretty easy, and when you actually start counting them you can immediately see what the problem is (at least in my case). Things you think of as a quick bite turn out to be a pretty major snack, and it becomes almost a game to keep to your target daily intake.

I am using MyFitnessPal (both a free website and a handy free app) which is super easy to use and lists just about every food under the sun, it seems. When you start out, you are guided through a setup that allows you to describe your daily activity level and what kind of approach you want to take. There are other similar free and paid sites you can use too, of course.
In my case, around 1700 calories a day should allow me to lose about a pound per week. Both targets should be easily do-able, and I have not had any difficulty sticking to the calorie amount after about a month, now that I actually keep track of what is going in my pie hole.

You can print out all kinds of reports and charts with MyFitnessPal too, if that give you some additional motivation/reward. Me, I'll just keep track of when my pants get too big, and leave the weigh-ins to my quarterly doctor visits. Oh, and I would like to see my man-boobs shrink; I never liked those.

I guess the main encouragement I can give is if you are thinking about something like this, just go ahead and do it. I got my doctor's blessing, and he seemed to very much like the use of MyFitnessPal too. Also, in my case it helps me not to think of this as a diet, but as something I will be doing from now on - I think once I made that decision, it made it all easier in some sense.

No comments :