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Monday, November 26, 2012

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. has caused fad diets to sprout up overnight. People who are overweight throw billions of dollars towards the next best thing, the magic pill, and the fastest solution to drop unwanted pounds. However, simply losing the weight does not attack the root of why the weight was gained in the first place. There is a large psychological component to weight gain that these companies do not address. This causes a yo-yo effect where clients on a “weight loss plan A” lose some weight and then quickly revert to old habits and gain the weight back. Diabetes alone costs the health care system about $170 billion dollars a year and this is growing at an alarming pace. I am one of those statistics. Like I said before, statisticians love people like me. I (we) keep them employed. However, I feel like being a success story this time around. I, too, have searched for the ever-allusive magic pill that will make me look like Christian Grey “looks” over night. I will just break the news to you…I don’t look like Christian Grey. Wait, I take that back. I DO look like Christian Grey that got stung by a really, REALLY big bee. I always joke with people about my weight because it is comforting. If I make it a joke, I beat them to the punch. At the same time, the seemingly comical digs at myself do take their toll. I often wondered if I would be as funny as I am skinny. In about 6 months, I’ll know I suppose.

The Ideal Protein protocol allows for a 5-7 pound weight loss per week for men. My initial consultation indicated I had 187 pounds of fat mass. My wife weighs 150 pounds. Somewhere tucked in between organs (visceral fat) and just about everywhere in body is my wife, plus about 40 pounds. The 40 pounds is enough to make me cringe, but a whole other PERSON? I wrestled at 190 pounds as a freshman in high school. I looked just like a pear….with head gear, and a singlet that, let’s be honest, never fit right, even as I shrunk. Come my senior year, I had gone down to 158 pounds. Come to think of it, my initial weight was 348 pounds…My freshman weight (190) and my senior weight (158). Good Lord! I am carrying around a couple of teenagers….literally. I am carrying 190 pounds of unnecessary flub….this hurts my knees, ankles, back, hips and so many other internal problems that will kill me. If I do not follow this program, to the LETTER, I will die. Especially when I look at it from the aforementioned perspective.

The good news is I have 162 pounds of muscle mass…and 8 pounds of bone. So at 0% body fat, I will be at 170 pounds. Why is this important? The BMI chart states that at 5’6”, my ideal weight is 136 pounds. Unless Auschwitz is in my future, that is NOT my ideal weight. Even if I lost 150 pounds, which is my goal, I will still be considered obese by the medical community. Do I care? No, I don’t care one bit. This isn’t about getting back to “the glory days” when I wore 32” waist jeans and could pull them off without unbuttoning them. This isn’t about becoming more recognizable to people who knew me at my lightest. This is about my health, my kid’s health, setting a positive example for them to follow. I am not being a good role model when I tell them that carbohydrates are bad for you, and then haul off and eat a truck load of carbs. My pancreas needs a break, my heart and liver need a break. Frankly, my wife would love to have her happy husband again.

Why not surgery? Simple, really. God did not make a mistake. I made the mistake. To alter what He has created is asinine. I never really considered a surgical procedure to make me eat less. Honestly, that would have been the biggest mistake of my life. It, again, does not even address the real issue, the psychological grip that food has had on my life for 20 years. Why would interrupting the natural digestive process inhibit me from stuffing my face with the wrong things? It wouldn’t. I would also lose the muscle mass I currently have. I would literally waste away to skinny, which is incredibly unhealthy. However, as I have always said, there is no money in preventative medicine. As long as insurance pays, right? I remember doing mortgage loans and people would want to get one of those fancy reverse mortgages that allow you to live in a $500,000 house for $384 a month. I spent more time talking people out of that product than I care to remember. This is relevant simply because I believe that having surgery to correct a problem is done simply out of desperation without thinking about the ramifications. The risks do not outweigh the rewards, in either case. I don’t believe that is really discussed at the right length or depth. I believe that there is due diligence only, being able to check off a client’s list that the psychological effects were discussed. However, I do not have any personal experience regarding these pre-surgical consultations. I have seen people, however, that have said that they had gastric surgery for weight loss over 1 year ago and you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. So they risked death with the surgery, to lose weight to avoid death, and are still killing themselves, AND they have medical bills to boot. So why is there an obesity epidemic in the U.S.? Education has fallen by the wayside. No money in preventing chronic conditions. No money for pharmaceutical companies to eave medication on the shelf. No kickbacks for doctors if the meds are not prescribed. I said before that there is no money in prevention. What do you think?

What have I learned on day one? So far I have 1.5 liters of plain water. I have had 2 UHT shakes….or protein in a box. They were actually very good. It is a little after 11:00AM (had my first shake at 6:45AM and my second at 10:00AM) and I am a little hungry but I know in an hour I will have my ginormous chicken salad. I am looking forward to that. I did not have my coffee because I don’t care to have it. It’s allowed, but why bother? I am not having any cravings at all. I attribute this to the fact my body has about 3 day’s worth of carbs to gnaw into and at the moment, it is humming right along. We can talk about day 3-4-5 when it comes. I imagine if cravings kick in, like the coffee, I will set them aside. I have the best will power in the world. Death. That, coupled with a very patient and loving wife, kids who need me in their lives and a healthier life, make avoiding the potential derailment while being on this program fairly easy. I know, it’s only day one. Remember, this fight is daily. Being able to compartmentalize this into a daily “war” makes tomorrow a little easier.
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    Your first step on a long term journey, will keep you in my thoughts.
    2276 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.