I left it open for people to ask questions so I would answer and guess what? Crickets. Not a single blessed question. Fine, you guys are therefore stuck with what I WANT to tell you.
Q: Why is the blog called “50 Lbs. to Normal?”
A: The intention was to journal my weight loss. At the time I started the blog, I was 50 lbs. from the weight that would put me at normal BMI. At the time, I thought it was 146.9 lbs. However, I find out that it’s actually 159.6 lbs. Nope, not a mathematician. That was my best friend’s job.
Q: So what do you weigh now?
A: Let’s say less than when I started and leave it at that. I haven’t been on the scale in a while.
Q: What’s your favorite reality TV show?
A: “Mythbusters” on Discovery.
Q: Really? What about “American Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars”?
A: They don’t blow shit up. Adam and Jamie have vaporized a cement truck and launched a water heater into near Earth orbit. And they get paid to do it. God, I love this country!
Q: How are the Red Sox doing this season?
A: Shut up.
Q: How are you going to vote in the upcoming election?
A: By secret ballot.
Q: What size clothing are you wearing?
A: I started in January 2011 wearing size 18-20, depending on the garment. Right now, I’ve been wearing size 14 (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) and size 13 (Calvin Klein) jeans for the last 6 months at least.
Q: That doesn’t sound like progress.
A: No, honestly, it doesn’t. And if I think about it, I can get discouraged. HOWEVER, I’ve been told by one of the friendly body builders at the gym that the waist is the last area to shrink and (this part’s kind of questionable) that the fat from the areas that are getting slimmer and more defined kind of drops down to the waist. I’m not eating more and I’m not exercising less. However, people tell me that my waist IS shrinking and my arms and legs are getting VERY defined, so it’s a matter of keep on keeping on. I’ll get into those damned size 11s sooner or later.
Q: How are your eating habits?
A: I’ve gone Paleo for the most part. However, when I’m stressed, I’m finding that I run for the carbohydrates, especially sugar. And I’ve discovered (remembered, actually) there's sugar in soy milk (which I’ve been substituting for dairy. .Back to half & half). Getting the grain out the diet hasn’t been an issue. If I can have a sweet potato for something starchy every now and then, it’s good. And grass fed butter (the Irish stuff, Kerrygold, that you get from Trader Joe’s) on the sweet potato.
Q: What IS your exercise routine?
A: I’ve been able to get to the gym and lift weights 3 times a week, take 2 yoga classes a week and 1 Pilates class per week. I used to do a lot more cardio and I may get back to it. As life and work schedules change, I’ve needed to change with it.
Q: Why the variety?
A: The resistance training (the weights) are for building muscle. Strength training helps prevent osteoporosis and maintaining/improving strength is good for anyone. There’s something kind of meditative about counting your repetitions (although I’ve forgotten how many sets I’ve done from time to time). Yoga is great for improving my flexibility; that helps prevent injuries. It’s also great for calming and centering the mind during stressful times (e.g. my adult life). The Pilates is mostly for the “core” muscles in the abdomen. Good posture prevents chronic pain. Do I think Hef’s going to ask me to pose for Playboy? No. I’d rather write for it anyway, but I enjoy feeling stronger and being able to move more and do more without feeling like I’m going to keel over.
Q: What do you think of the fat acceptance movement?
A: I don’t think it’s acceptable to discriminate or torture anyone for any reason (unless you start it and then it’s open season): race, sexual orientation, religion, body size, whatever. In fact, bullying says more about the bully and his/her insecurities than it does the bullied. Epithets of any kind are ugly. And that applies to the activists who use them while trying to gain acceptance for their particular group. The term “fatty” for example. It’s an ugly word because it’s particularly unimaginative. It’s the kind of word that someone of little intelligence or education would sling if he felt he was losing an argument. It’s right up there with “poopyhead” in terms of creativity and zing factor. It’s straight off the kindergarten playground. Arguing that you’re fighting for the acceptance and dignity of fat people while still referring to them and yourself as “fatties” or some other epithet is hypocrisy. It says you don’t truly believe what you're saying. Calling yourself an insulting name while demanding respect and dignity from others undermines your own message. If you're not going to treat YOURSELF with respect and dignity, why should anyone else? I will call myself fat, but not a "fatty" or "porker" or "whale" or any of the other terms created and used to cause emotional harm. Calling yourself a "fatty" argues towards anger and a degree of self-loathing. It's like the old saying of "charity begins at home." People respond to how you regard yourself. Deeds, not words, Man.
Q: What are you proud of?
A: Well, I’ve maintained my exercise program for over a year. I’ve kept weight off for over a year. I’ve begun to voluntarily eat Brussels sprouts (with bacon), sweet potatoes and spinach. Yeah, that sounds kind of funny, but I found a way to eat them because they’re very nutritious. I’m proud that I’m sticking to my goal of doing pushups.
Q: Do you think you’re making a difference?
A: That’s an old Buddhist story: two monks walking along a beach come across thousands of starfish stranded by a receding tide. One monk starts picking up stars and flinging them back into the water. The second monk says, “There are too many for you to make a difference.” The first monk throws another starfish back into the ocean and says, “Made a difference to that one.” I am making a difference to myself. I have at least one friend who is making some of the same life changes I am and she’s noticeably thinner, feels better and happier. A couple of other friends for whom weight is not necessarily an issue have told me that they’ve benefitted from some of the things I’ve written about improving sleep or walking a labyrinth for stress relief.
Q: If you could be any tree, what kind would you be?
A: Huh? Look, you’re not Barbara Walters and I’m not Katharine Hepburn. Next question.
Q: Are you planning to run any 5Ks or half-marathons?
A: Not at this time. The Wonky Right Knee wouldn’t hold up. Once I get it fixed, who knows? I had to run down a hallway the other day and for the first time in years, it felt GOOD. I wasn’t winded, I didn’t feel awkward or clumsy. It was almost back to when I was a kid and the one event in the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge that I could do well was the 440 yard run. Back then, running felt good. Up on the toes and hitting a stride. I’d like to feel that again.
Q: Do you pray?
A: Sure. “Dear Lord, let me prove to you that winning the lottery won’t spoil me.”
Q: What are some of your goals? Bikini body?
A: No. Maybe eligible, but I don’t see myself in one. I want to go on a zip line tour. With decreased weight, it’s a possibility. I want to get to the Grand Canyon. I don’t see myself hiking it, but with the lower weight, I can ride a mule. When I started, I was 35 lbs. too heavy. That’s humiliating to think that a half-ton animal couldn’t carry me without risking injury.
Q: What has changed since you started?
A: Besides my body, I’m putting a lot less emphasis on the “between the toes” (weight) that I did when I started and getting down to a particular BMI. They haven’t moved much recently and that has the potential to be so discouraging as to derail everything. Lately, I’ve focused more on seeing muscle definition where there was none (Yes, pictures are coming), on the ability to do more physically and on just plain feeling better. I’m wearing my Little Feat tour shirt and for about 20 years, I couldn’t even pull it on. THAT is an achievement. And it also tells me that although I may not be seeing a noticeably smaller belly (or don’t think I see it), it is actually shrinking.
Q: Are you seeing anyone?
A: I don’t kiss and tell. I will say that the guys at the gym are getting friendlier…except for the Fucktard. He nearly knocked me over today and didn’t even apologize.
Q: What would you like to say in closing?
A: Do what it takes to be the best possible version of yourself.