Operation “Half the Man I used to be”: Week 1

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Tags: Health/Fitness, Weight loss

A disturbing message from my Doctor requires an immediate life change. 

I guess given the fact that I haven’t posted a lot in the past few weeks, I should start first by saying: I missed you. I really did. I missed writing in the blog, I missed the amazingly kind feedback and support I get from so many of you all over the world. I missed interacting with you. I tend to punish myself by not doing from the things I love when I am feeling down. It’s not healthy, I know. I’m trying to get better at this.

So about a month ago, I went to the Doctor for my annual physical. They ran a blood panel and the results were kind of bad. ( Not C-word bad, I am not trying to be dramatic, just not encouraging) . All the major factors were abnormal (from where I am normally at) BP was up 125/80. ( I normally have low BP despite my weight) Bad cholesterol was up. (normally very low for me) and good Cholesterol was down. Worse off, my glucose was 110 ( I never have been over 100 before)  which officially made me Pre-Diabetic. There were also several markers which also shown me heading strongly in the direction of Type II Diabetes.  Also, my weight was 350lbs (the heaviest I have ever weighed). All pretty bad stuff.

It scared me. I can’t let this be my future. I won’t let it be my future. So I (with the Dr.’s help) have created a game plan I call it “Operation “Half the man I used to be”. This is because my goal is to lose half my weight 350lbs down to 175lbs. I was going to call it “Operation Half-Assed” and admittedly I still like that moniker but still perhaps a little decorum is in order.  Now admittedly, according to BMI at 175, I am still anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds overweight but I will see what I look like then and besides losing half makes better copy.

So how do I do this? Can I do this? Thinking about the task before me is almost as scary as the test results. But I have broken it down to a few components. Many of these I’ll post in greater detail about in future entries.  But here are some of them:

How long and how fast do you plan on losing all this weight?

My goal is to lose two pounds a week. Doing the math it will be approximately 88 weeks. Now 88 weeks from today is January 21, 2021. ( I should mention the next US Presidential Inauguration is the day before). Since I try to avoid discussing politics on this page, I will just let the observation be. But it would be hopefully an auspicious time to officially be at a normal body weight range.

What are you doing for exercise?   

At this point my options are limited. I can’t walk every day because my knees and ankles start to hurt. (once or twice a week is fine if the pace is fairly slow  like 2-2.5 mph) and if I do it an hour or less. Any more than that and my body feels like I was put in a gunny sack and beaten with a baseball bat. Biking is totally unfeasible, my legs can’t pedal my weight. I have done stationary bikes but get winded after a few minutes. (As I progress I am very much looking forward to biking as I just LOVE it, but for now I can’t. I plan to revisit this when I get to around 250lbs).

But swimming works great. I really enjoy it, feel like I get a nice workout and my body doesn’t get very sore. I shoot for four days swimming, one day walking and swimming and two days rest. (one of those days off is a self-care day where I take an Epsom salt bath, or lotion my skin or something nice for my body to show I appreciate my body temple.

What about diet? 

Well, up to the time of my check up I was mostly vegetarian and some times vegan. I ate eggs and cheese, but little meat. The Dr suggested we try the Keto Diet for six months to see if it helps me lose weight. As someone who didn’t eat a lot of meat, eating bacon doesn’t much appeal to me. In fact, it seems downright counter-intuitive to eat fatty meat to lose weight. So what I am doing is more of an Atkin’s/Keto thing. In other words, lower carbs, higher fat, and protein. I usually shoot for about 50 grams of Carbohydrates a day and around 1500 to 2000 calories a day. Usually around the 1500 mark on rest days 2000 on workout days. As far as the meat it is mostly fish (Tuna or Salmon) or Poultry. I have something red meat like maybe once a week or so. I also eat a salad each day to try to eat all vegs except the more starchy variety (potatoes, carrots, beets) also corn, bread and rice are also out (and I love brown rice) But losing beans makes me really sad because I really miss my hummus. As I begin to get more weight behind me I will raise the carb limit more, but even in recovery I will be eating fewer carbs than average ( My body seems to not process them too well)  But will tone down the meat and try to edge back to a more vegetarian approach. Just more mindful than last time.

So how long have you been doing this? Have you gotten any results back? How do you feel?

Well, I officially started the next week after I got the results which were almost a month ago.  I got a digital scale (which I’m not sure I trust because my weight fluctuates like crazy and I have my scale at the YMCA where I swim. I will give you a live reading on my digital scale. (Okay,  not live per se, but I’m going to stop typing and make a photo for you).

me4
So 13.7 pounds in a month, seems a little high to me.

Now according to the scale at the YMCA which isn’t digital but the old fashion kind it shows me at 343 so, 7 pounds lost. I am not trying to be a pessimist and say it’s just seven pounds lost for sure but even if it is 7 pounds it is still almost 2 pounds a week which means, either way, I am ( almost) on target.

As far as how I am feeling, I think the lower carbs idea may be right. I feel less sluggish and tired than I have and less glum. I was really trying to focus on being true to the diet/exercise regimen and it did impact my writing here. I still haven’t mastered the “work the real job, exercise and write on the blog” balance yet.  It’s kind of like juggling chain saws, take my eye off of one of them and boom off comes a finger (well thankfully not literally, but you get the idea).

Do you have any official “Before Pictures”? 

Dammit!!! I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me that question. (Kidding I am asking my own questions) But I am not really happy with how they turned out. But really before pictures perhaps aren’t supposed to be flattering hence that’s why they are called “Before” pictures. But I really want to be upfront and honest with you about who I am the good and the not so good so yes, I will show them.

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This is what 175lbs overweight looks like.
me2
I really want to look at these pictures and say “I love you” because love is better or worse and if I can’t love myself heavy, I won’t love myself thin.

There’s more to me than these pictures. I have talent and intelligence and hopefully kindness to share. I don’t want my weight to be the first thing people notice when they meet me, because there’s more. Alright enough talk about who I am time to talk about who I’ll become.

So how often are you going to post on this? And aren’t you still a travel blog? 

I plan on doing weekly weigh-ins. I do these on Monday but may not get to post until Tuesday. (Wednesday and Thursday are “my weekends” from work) I will also post observations or (hopefully) inspirations as they arise as well.

As far as a travel blog YES!!! Globetrotting Grandpa will always primarily be focused on travel ( with some weekly haikus) so there will be plenty of travel posts coming up. But this matter needs my immediate attention and is a journey of sorts as well. A journey I would be deeply honored if you joined me on.

Much Love, your friend GG

potatoes fun knife fork
Since potatoes are (sadly) off limits I thought this picture was apropos

 

15 Replies to “Operation “Half the Man I used to be”: Week 1”

  1. Sorry to hear about your bad blood numbers. I’ve been there! Remember that through good diet and physical activity you can improve the numbers before getting to your target weight, so don’t let the amount of weight you need to lose discourage you- your program should make you feel better and improve your health quickly and then the weight loss can come over time.
    “swimming works great. I really enjoy it”: that’s great!
    Good luck!

    1. This November I go in for a follow up on the blood work. I will post the results either way, but i am confident they should improve by me sticking with the program. “It works if you work it” as the say in Al Anon

  2. I for one am glad that news wasn’t worse. I haven’t gotten lab work done, but I am also the heaviest I have ever been. I am really mad with myself for picking smoking back up within the last month, also. Your before pictures are the most authentic vulnerable thing I have seen this week. If you can do that with your big readership then maybe I can do what I need to do for my health and well being.

    Thanks again GG for keeping it real here.

    1. Thank you for the support.. I have sadly been over 300 pounds for the last 15 years and up until now the numbers have been pretty good. Chances are very high you have nothing to worry about, but I am glad to read your going to get them checked out. I am in your corner on the smoking I used to smoke myself. It’ took me a long time to quit for good. So hang in there it will happen. You have my support and know if I can quit anyone can. (Cause I was a serious chimney) I am here for you if you ever need encouragement.

  3. I wish I had your BP. Do you have a fitbit? I know it won’t help give you ‘credit’ for the strokes earned while swimming, but after wearing this thing for about 5 years, I’ve come to realize a direct correlation between my average resting heart rate and my general overall health. Right now, it’s about 10 bpm higher than where it should be. By looking back at the charts, I can also see what I need to do in terms of steps per day and active minutes to get the resting heart rate down. Having a protein smoothie and hard boiled egg for breakfast every Saturday and Sunday also starts to get the needle down. Now I just have to do it 🙂

    1. Interesting you should ask about a fitbit, my insurance company (which for years chosen to disregard my imploring for assistance) now tells me if i participate on an online fitness program for 30 days I will get a fitbit. (it might be a cheapo version but hey it’s still free) I never had one It should be fun. They actually have a fitbit like device for swimmers which tracks bp and heartrate. I am intrigued but the money fairy will have to bless me first. Who knows maybe a six month present to myself for making it 180 days might be in order. I have only my genetics to thank for my BP and resting heart rate being good. (although BP is creeping in the wrong direction). I have always had low numbers for cholesterol, and heart rate. I think my luck is starting to run out, so I have to take the numbers I got from the exam seriously. So glad to see you are being proactive, I am certain it will yield outstanding results.

      1. One of the fun things about Fitbit, is you can friend people and do challenges with them them to meet goals. Our company gave everyone one a few years back and ran a challenge for highest steps…we were all out walking at lunch on nice days together and if you met the minimum requirement, you got to keep it after it was done. It was fun, helped us bond and we all slimmed down a bit. Wish they’d do it again

  4. I love your honesty and sense of humour. These alone will help. Good luck with Operation Half the Man I Used to Be. You go for it! I look forward to reading about your journey.

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