Week 1: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Fatness
“You don’t look fat.”
I get that a lot. I was never blessed with the typical masculine v-shaped torso. I’ve lost at least three inches off my projected height of 5'10" (I’m 5'7", though literally everyone tells me, “There’s no way”) due to (very) long-term asthma steroid use. I have chicken legs. My body is meant to hold about 140–150 pounds. On May 1, 2016, it held 195.
The weight is well-hidden. It’s almost entirely located in my gut — the most dangerous place for it to take up residence with it’s rampant association with a whole mess of health issues including diabetes, heart problems, COPD, cancer, metabolic syndrome, etc, etc — which leads me to lose my breath easily and also makes bending down to tie my shoes a hilarious exercise in futility (I’ve adapted, I sit down).
In October, you may remember, I had made it down to 154. I did this without working particularly hard at it — just not drinking, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and drinking a ton of water — and I felt a great sense of pride.
That great sense of pride lulled itself into a false sense of security. I started gaining the weight back in November. By February 21, I was back up to 176. By April 11, I was 186. And then, on May 1, 195. There’s letting yourself go, and then there’s aggressively telling your internal organs to “fuck off.” That’s what I did.
I decided to eat and drink more calories than ever before. Why did I start? Because I was happy. Life had been going really well for me. I’d lost a ton of weight. I’d fallen in love. I’d been doing really well at my job. I finally had some money in the bank. I’d been traveling and smiling and generally doing pretty well.
So, wait … if I started gaining weight and that started making me feel lousy … why did I continue?
Because I wanted to eat my feelings.
My girlfriend told me this is my inner monologue. She’s completely right.
On days when I feel anything other than run-of-the-mill satisfaction — pride, joy, sadness, frustration, malaise, anger, euphoria — I eat. I eat what I want. And I eat a lot of it.
Pizza, wings, chocolate chip cookies, queso, pasta, Chinese, ramen, donuts, curry. These are my crutch foods. Always have been. I’ve never been a sweets man. I’ve never been big into candy or potato chips or heavily processed snack cakes. Nope. Give me anything with cheese, bread or heavy sauces and I’m there in a hot minute (bonus points if it contains all three).
And then there’s the triple-threat of wine, whiskey and beer. Lord have mercy can I drink my calories. (With cameo appearances by Mexican Coke!). The more emotional I get, the more I drink. The more tired I get, the more I drink. The more awake I am, the more I drink. My triggers for calorie cravings are when I feel anything at all. There have been nights where I’ve eaten three meals — for dinner.
This week, I decided to let myself continue to eat mostly what I wanted to. But I made a pact to hit the gym and the pavement and see what happened.
I hit the gym every day for 30 minutes. Tuesday was a casual AF three miles (done in 39:35).
Wednesday was interval day. All I had to do was one 400m all-out sprint around a track at the local elementary school. (I could walk three more laps to complete one mile.)
I hit the start line and pulled up winded at the halfway mark. 200m left me gasping for air.
Thursday was an even more casual — some might say, lazy — three miles (in 44:13, featuring a heavy amount of walking) due to my legs still cramped up from sprinting 200m.
Today was my timed run. A 5K in 33:53. And I finished gassed as hell.
I weighed in at 191.8. I’ve lost 3.2 pounds in seven days. I suppose it’s a start.
35 weeks to go. 2.7% of the way to being 100% Dopey.
Here’s this week’s progress:
- Starting weight / resting HR: 195.0 lbs / 83 bpm
- Miles ran: 10
- Total miles ran/walked: 28.6
- Ending weight / resting HR: 191.8 lbs / 76 bpm