Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All Consuming

I'm dieting again, vigorously so, and as before I find it an all-consuming activity.

I have struggled with my weight all my adult life. Ever since the summer before my senior year in high school, when I put on weight purposely to try to do better at football that fall, I have struggled. Every year or two I would diet, sometimes with success. Many years I did not include exercise with that, believing I was too busy to exercise. Diet, I told my doctor, would have to suffice if I were to lose any significant weight.

I could blame genes. On both my dad's and mom's sides of the family we find problems with obesity, especially with their siblings and cousins, and in some earlier generations. But that's futile. Plus, I feel like I am naturally a thin to average weight person, and I have just let go of proper eating and exercise. No, the genes are not the cause in my case, I don't believe. Best to blame myself for laziness and lazy eating.

I peaked in 2005-2006, hitting the same highest weight over several months in those two years. But beginning in March 2006 I began losing, slowly, oh so slowly. I tried to exercise a little more (walking on noon hours, for example), eat a little less, and eat a little better. By the end of the year, I was 20 to 25 pounds lower than my peak. In 2007 I kept it off, and in 2008 I lost another 10.

Beginning the first of the year, running sixteen weeks, the company is having a "biggest loser" sort of contest, organized by some of our employees. I've never watched the program, so I don't know how closely we are matching it. Mainly it's weigh-ins every Tuesday, and encouragement during the week. Some of them are going to the gym together, eating together. The layoffs the end of January cut the ranks of the participants by a few. I was running second or third most of the time (based on percent loss), but last week surged into first. I gained a half pound, but the leader gained four, so I moved ahead.

We weigh at 8:30 AM, but I pre-weighed a little while ago and was down 2 pounds. Hopefully that will keep me in first. More importantly, I'm now at the lowest weight I've been since May 2001 when I slimmed down for my daughter's wedding.

The problem is, when exercising as I have been, and dwelling on correct eating, and resisting the temptations to pig out, I find weight loss to be all-consuming. It's on my mind every moment of the day. In the evening I think about what I could be doing to lose some more. It's on my mind when I turn out the light at night and when I hit the shower in the morning, as I'm sitting in my reading chair and when I'm at the computer.

I'd like to be able to do this without it being so all-consuming. Other things must use the gray cells too, such as writing, Bible study, devotions, reading, etc. I'd like to be able to read ten pages in Dune Messiah without thinking about what isometric I could be doing while sitting, reading, to burn an extra calorie per minute.

Maybe, just maybe, when I reach my target weight goal, I will find the obsession gone. God, let it be so.

Edit on Wednesday: At the official weigh-in yesterday, I was down 2.75 pounds! That kept me in first place. In fact, I stretched out my lead, as the two guys who are closest to me either stayed the same or had smaller loses (as a percent of their body weight). While I'm more interested in losing weight than in winning the contest, being if first place by a healthy margin is a good result. Eight weeks to go.

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