Blog: The Reduction 1.5, Substantial Progress!
(originally written 4/6/15)
Last year, when my knees deteriorated to the point I was limping down stairs and too immobile to play sports, my doctor strongly suggested I drop weight. A lot of weight.
He was hardly the first medical professional to suggest that. When you've been hefty your whole life, you get that a lot. Even when your appointment is in dermatology. Or you're at the hospital picking up someone else.
As many of you know—mostly because I won't shut up about it—in the summer of 2011 I heeded said advice, and dropped from 288 all the way to 256—the lowest I'd been since high school. I'd cut out soda, jogged every other day at least, hooped like crazy, backed off fast food and made sure to run all of my deliveries at work (frightening many cats).
Somehow, between 2012 and 2014, 256 worked its way back up to 288...and 298...up to 315. Yikes. I'd been active physically during that time, but not like before. The good eating habits dissolved.
When I tore my meniscus in August, that limited physical activity eroded to nil. By December, I'd reached 335 and genuinely feared a Christopher Meloni pants-splitting incident.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's a 79-pound gain in three years. I'd basically gained my entire kid.
Enough became enough.
In mid-December, dramatic changes took place. I got re-acquainted with the stationery bike like never before, even reaching 10 miles one night and proving it's good for more than throwing clothes on (though I still do that.) I took up ju-jitsu. I began running full-court sprints along with my usual shootarounds and started to jog again.
Whenever the temps eclipsed 40°, I'd travel on foot within reasonable distance. (That proved to be an incredibly stupid decision one night; I bought two gallons of milk and more, forgetting there was no car to transport it. But I'm not here to talk about the past.)
Most importantly, the porous eating stopped, especially fast food—once, I even threw away an entire page of Burger King coupons! This is comparable to a bride throwing away her wedding dress. Or a thug tossing his gat.
Broiled fish and veggies became dietary staples, as did fruit. Calories began to be counted; a dietician was even consulted and visited regularly for a couple of months. I began to keep a fitness log on my website as something of a motivator, though tumbleweeds blow across it these days with baseball season heating up.
What I take most pride in: increased willpower and determination. On many, many occasions, I've forced myself to avoid the snack aisle, lest I risk downing an entire bag of tortilla chips in 24 hours or less.
I've thrown desserts in the trash—and not gone back to fish them out. One RockStar has passed these lips in 2015—down from 1-2 per week at times. (I can't drink their sugar-free version...it tastes like flat Mountain Dew mixed with Chloraseptic. And yes, I did do a taste test to validate that comparison.)
Once settled into a routine, it didn't take long for my back to stop locking up during hoop games, or my lungs to stop reaching capacity three minutes into a football game. Within a few weeks, my size 48 pants began to sag, giving me tangible evidence of progress—and as a side benefit, unsought cred with the local youth. ("Dat fool listenin' to Phil Collins...but his pants is saggin, so he cool.")
Unlike the summer/fall of 2011, I honestly feel my good habits will last this time. They better—I'm 35 now, and this body isn't going to withstand severe caloric abuse as it did 10 years ago. Nor will it be able to ward off diabetes or total deconstruction of its joints—losing the ability to play sports isn't something I could handle. Nor could my family or friends, since I'd be whining about it all the time.
30 pounds of blob have been dispatched these past 3½ months, and if it weren't for a bout with pneumonia in February/March that left me huffing for air walking to and from my car, that total would be 35 or more!
Three more months will pass before the next weigh-in. The goal: 275 or less by June 1. With maintenance of present habits, it's entirely doable...
...provided I can avoid flying gat-related injury.