That’s what the digital readout on my bathroom scale showed me yesterday morning (Saturday).
207! That can’t be right. Let’s toe tap the scale again and step back on. 207! Crap!
According to the BMI chart created by the US Department of Health and Human Services, my weight of 207 pound combined with my height of 5 feet 9 inches means I’m officially obese. Ouch!
I have had a powerful weakness for sweets and bread for my entire life. My wife calls my “weakness” an addiction and I have to admit that she is probably right. I have been able to keep the weight off for the most part over the years through participating in cycling, golf, tennis, martial arts, skiing, and even time spent at the gym. Until the last few years, my love of sports combined with an active life has allowed me to keep the obesity wolf away from my door.
Over the last fifteen years, my weight would drift up to 195 (BMI of 28) which would inevitably trigger another health and exercise binge that would pull my weight back down to the 185 range (BMI in the 26 to 27 range). I would still be overweight, but it never really bothered me too much as I continued to exercise and I knew I could always drop 10 pounds when inspired to do so.
Over the last few years, I have been noticing how clothes stopped fitting as well as they used to and I was wearing larger sizes. Probably the most demoralizing thing was that I started to avoid having my picture taken. I have always thought I was a reasonably decent looking guy, but suddenly I didn’t like what I was seeing in pictures from holidays or events. Still, I managed to convince myself that I wasn’t “that fat”.
In 2017, I discovered during a check up that I had shrunk in height from nearly 5′ 10″ down to 5 foot 9 inches tall. By that time, my weight was swinging between 190 and 200. That meant my BMI was ranging from 28 to 29+ which hovered just below the magical Obesity Zone. Somehow, despite the obvious signs, I was able to convince myself that I didn’t have a weight problem. After all, I could still ride as hard as any of the cycling instructors at the gym.
The effects of a poor diet begin to show:
In 2017 I started to have digestive issues. I was experiencing wicked bouts of GERD (acid reflux) and began to vomit in my sleep. For those of you that suffer from GERD, you will know what it feels like and it ain’t good. My physician prescribed PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor) tablets. My doc said he had been taking them for 19 years and they were amazing. In an attempt to get my life back in order, I took the tablets which helped, but I began to feel sluggish and I continued to gain weight.
As the son of a physician who was as anti-drug as a physician could possibly be, I was determined to get off the PPI drugs. I began to eat better and exercise more and try to wean myself off the tablets. It worked….until it didn’t. As soon as I would revert to eating bad foods, my acid reflux would return.
I also started to experience blockages in my esophagus whenever I ate too quickly or didn’t drink a lot of water while eating. The blockages would result in gagging and I would have to force myself to throw up to clear the blockage.
The blockages in my esophagus lead me to four different visits to the hospital over the course of a year to undergo Upper GI (Gastrointestinal) Endoscopy. The procedure entails the docs putting you to sleep and then feeding a tube with a camera on the end down your throat and into your stomach. The procedure is easy but any surgery comes with a degree of risk. Each of the four surgeries came back with good results and the surgeon didn’t perform any esophageal stretching or install a stent.
Since the exploratory examinations in 2017, I have been taking the PP drugs when needed and my weight continued to creep higher. In addition, the incidences of blockages in my esophagus continued to escalate.
The turning point:
I guess there are really two turning points rather than a single incidence that have spurred me to finally take action to take better care of myself.
The first event happened early this past week. My wife bought me a new hoodie. I looked at it and told her it was huge and it wouldn’t fit. She looked me in the eye and said “you are huge”. That hurt….a lot. I tried on the hoodie and it fit. The proverbial light came on.
Then on Friday, one of my sons said “Dad, I love you. Take your pills and go to the doctor. I don’t want to lose you”.
Unfortunately my faith in physicians isn’t great. My current physician has terrible people skills, has been taking the PPI drugs for 20 years, and is as overweight as I am. My previous physician falsely diagnosed me with prostate cancer when I didn’t have cancer. Therefore, I have decided to take my health into my own hands. In truth, we all take our health into our own hands but far too many of us don’t do anything about it. If we took care of our bodies as well as we take care of our cars or lawn mowers or appliances, most of us would likely be in much better shape.
Based upon the wretched chart above, I need to lose about 40 pounds to have a healthy/natural body weight. I have decided to do something about it
Keeping track of my progress
I have never kept a diary but I have been blogging for 9 years about the importance of drinking clean and healthy water. About three years ago, I began to focus on the incredible benefits of drinking hydrogen enriched water. I pretty much ran out of things to say about the hydrogen enriched water a couple of years ago, as you can only point out so many studies and benefits before you just start repeating yourself.
I’m going to start writing about my new health regimen which you can read here.
My plan is to keep things really simple. I’m not going to start dieting in the classic sense and I’m not going to turn into a fitness fanatic. What I am going to do is stick to what I know best, which is water. Water is incredibly important to your body and I strongly believe that replacing snacks between meals and after dinner in the evenings will help me achieve a healthy body weight. After all, the snacks we eat are not necessary as the cravings we get between meals and in the evening are almost 100% the result of our bodies telling us we are thirsty. You see, you brain is unable to distinguish the signal it receives for thirst and hunger unless you experience a dryness in your mouth or your body is over heated.
I will be providing progress reports about what is working and what doesn’t work in regards to replace snacks with water.
I’m open to reasonable and respectful suggestions and comments from readers as I’m eager to learn and share. I certainly don’t have any magic secrets or products to sell.
I hope that “putting it out there for all to see” will encourage me to stick to my plan to achieve my natural weight. As my son says, nothing else matters. I also hope that if my plan works, it might encourage others to consider attempting a similar regimen which intuitively makes sense to me.