Wherein: We Are Fat

By | April 8, 2019

Jay and I are fat.

We’re suffering from the same fate that afflicts a lot of prosperous First World people with demanding jobs and insufficient get-up-and-go: ample “padding” and clothes that don’t fit any more.

It doesn’t help that:

  1. Jay suffers from major depression
  2. I suffer from depression and a certain amount of media addiction (translation: I watch way too much TV)
  3. We both suffer from seasonal affective disorder to a certain extent — we tend to cocoon during the long dark winter months and get almost no exercise
  4. Jay travels for work and isn’t here at the end of the day to kick my ass and get me to exercise
  5. Jay travels for work and so he’s not here at the end of the day so I can kick his ass and get him to exercise
  6. We snack too much
  7. We’re both really, really, really good at making excuses

Thus, we’ve decided to take the dramatic and possibly futile step of publicly sharing our attempts at losing weight. We’re planning on posting weekly weight and exercise updates … hoping that sharing our progress with the world will keep us honest.

We have every app in the book (MyFitnessPal, MapMyWalk, Strava, Fitbit, Google Fit, MyRally, Mindbody). We have Fitbit Ionic smartwatches with GPSes. We have a smart scale that syncs our weight automatically to four of those apps. We have a treadmill. We have a stationary exercise bike. We have actual bicycles that we could, you know, use once in a while. We have kayaks for when Lake Champlain gets above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Jay has fitness centers in all the hotels he stays in. We have free weights — dumbbells and mini dumbbells in various sizes.

None of those make a bit of difference if we don’t use them.

We know diets can work if you have enough willpower. Back in 2009, Jay got … a bit zealous and dropped his weight from 238 (or so) to 178. He did this by strictly limiting his calories to about 1400 a day and spending an hour on an inclined treadmill at 4.7 miles an hour. Obviously, that’s kind of extreme. And it led, in Jay’s case, to a slow rebound back up, via various plateaus every ten pounds or so, to where he is now. Neither of us expects to repeat that kind of monastic discipline; we’re ten years older and have ten more years’ worth of bad habits. But still…

I’m not going to say what I weigh now. Let’s just call it X. My goal is to get down to X-30, ultimately. And X-10 this year, preferably by the end of the summer.

Jay told me to go ahead and share his actual weight – as of this morning he’s at 251 pounds. He’s 6’2. He wants it to be noted, furthermore, that based on his height and weight he’s got a BMI of 32.2 and that means he’s obese. If we wants to be out of the “overweight” zone on the BMI scale he’s got to get his weight down below 195. (Yes, we know the BMI concept has its flaws.) So that’s Jay’s goal long-term — to get back down south of 195. And in the short term, he wants to get back down below 220. So, a loss of 30 or so pounds for him as well.

We’re both planning on walking the 2019 Twin Cities Susan G Komen 3-Day in mid-August and we’re planning on doing as many training walks as possible. We did a four-mile walk yesterday on a chilly, but not cold, day. We’re going to increase our distance week by week until we’re doing 13 miles and 15 miles and so on. Last time we jointly did a lot of training (again, back in 2009) I got in much better shape. So that’s the ace in our sleeve – we’re going to do a crazy amount of walking.

We apologize in advance if our posts about our weight loss progress become annoying — but it seems like holding ourselves publicly accountable is the only option we have left. Thanks in advance for your understanding and support.

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2 thoughts on “Wherein: We Are Fat

  1. Ruth

    Sounds like you’ve got a plan, but just in case it’s helpful, here’s what’s helped me stay fit and of normal weight since my early twenties: The Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s aerobics point system. I highly recommend his latest book: START STRONG, FINISH STRONG Prescriptions for a Lifetime of Great Health by him and his son Dr. Tyler Copper. (I’ve read all his books starting in 1968, the year after the first one was published, but this is the most up-to-date.) As a testament to his approach, I am now 72, my weight has remained normal (all my first degree relatives became obese or overweight in middle age, so we have the genes for that) and I’m still doing sprint triathlons and living a very active life. No fit bits or high tech devices. I measure distances with my car odometer, time with a stop watch and track my points on my “fitness calendar.” Two lessons I’ve learned the hard way: 1. Cross train – don’t just run, swim, etc. or you’ll get “overuse” syndromes. 2. The older you get the more you need to do strength, flexibility and balance exercise too. I have a regimen for that also and do it more than when I was young. Re diet: I used to count calories, which gave me a feel for the caloric content of different foods, but not for years now; just eat a healthful Mediterranean-type diet, get weighed every morning and reduce intake if I’ve gained. Keeping tempting fattening unhealthful foods out of the house is key.

    Of course there’s more than one way to achieve health and fitness and you can do it!

  2. jackd

    Good luck! I’ve done the same thing as Jay except at a smaller scale. Dropped 15-20 lbs, then rebounded over the last couple of years by 10-12. Exercising enough isn’t my problem, it’s not eating so damn much. Hope you guys can stick with your program.

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