Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Weight Loss Hell
A few years back my left Achilles Tendon got stomped while playing basketball in a pickup game I’d been playing in for decades. If you’ve never had it happen avoid the experience at all costs. It took me eighteen months before I stopped gimping around because with working at the shop every day I needed to wrap it and keep going. The only added problem with the recovery was favoring the leg and getting my back acting up because of it. Using an inversion table I bought out of desperation after not sleeping for three days realigned me. Then it was just a matter of playing ball with my Grandson, work, and chores. Although I’ve always done 75 – 100 sit-ups and push-ups, and walked for twenty minutes daily for many years, my weight snuck up to 213. At five feet eleven I can carry that pretty well because I fill out everywhere. I knew though it was time to shed the weight so I could start backpacking, scuba diving and playing basketball again. The one thing I believed about weight loss was you couldn’t do it by throwing money at it – by trying to pay the pounds off with gym memberships, fancy machines, and expensive pills.
My daughter had a Jillian Michaels DVD called ‘No More Trouble Zones’ she didn’t like so she gave it to me back in February. It’s about fifty minutes of pure torture… at least for a sixty year old. The twenty-something women in the video didn’t seem to mind that much. :) The DVD consists of a warm-up which is hell and eight circuits of workout that exercise every muscle in your body. I started doing the warm-up and four circuits four days a week alternating between the beginning of the disc and the end – then doing the full workout Saturday and Sunday after a Friday off. The only alteration to the workout I do is bending my knees slightly to avoid back pain and I march in place rather than go down on my knees in her ‘surrender’ exercise. Even with that and cutting my calorie intake down to 1500 a day I reached a plateau of 193 after three months. Losing weight at sixty requires almost a stick of dynamite. I started doing the full workout six days a week with only Sunday off and I would swim and do other stuff that day. Now, three months later I’ve hit 173 and like I told my wife I have four cans of my six-pack back. She thinks I’m too skinny but I’ve started playing basketball again on my Sunday off from Jillian and my goal as in the beginning is 168. Once I get there I might be able to cut the self-flagellation in half to maintain. My brother is coming from Texas for a visit and we’re going scuba diving. This September I hope to get up in the mountains on a backpacking trip again.
I wrote this post not as some self congratulatory exercise in ego, but to put out my belief there is no easy way to lose weight and you must have a very good scale which you must check obsessively. There is only mind numbing torture and persistence in this endeavor. I checked my blood pressure daily which dropped from my usual normal of 120 over 80 down to under 110 over 65. Not everyone can do this Jillian Michaels workout. It says right at the beginning to get checked out by a doctor first. My drive home from work every day for the last six months consisted of dread beyond belief. In addition to prayer two things helped me through – one was mimicking Jillian Michaels when I felt like passing out to make my wife laugh wherever she was in the house calling out ‘Don’t phone it in… don’t phone it in’ and ‘Work the glutes… work the glutes’ and ‘Dyin’ here… dyin’. The second thing was when I really started scraping the bottom for something to get me through I thought about the kids overseas fighting a war for our survival - in alternating soaring temps in the hundreds down to arctic conditions at other times - over terrain mountain goats avoid, all while battling a vicious bunch of psycho zombies hiding behind their women and children. Everything about weight loss after that was duck soup.
Oh yeah and thanks, Jillian… you sadistic bitch. :) I’m never going back up in weight… even if I have to have my wife lock me in a cell for thirty days on bread and water. That’s it, folks – the weight loss secret – torturous workouts and partial starvation - and if you want to keep it off you can forget about any food you ever liked for the rest of your days. Amen brothers and sisters. :)