A little over a year ago, I not only knew, I accepted that I was overweight, as a fact. A real, live, in-your-face fact.
I did what I would have done 20-25 years ago. I started running. That went really well for awhile. I managed to get off some medications and I dropped 20 pounds.
Then my knees let me know that I was NOT 20-25 years younger. I thought that the next best thing would be swimming. I joined a gym that had a swimming pool. In I dove.
Initially, I barely made 250 meters before I thought I would die. Unlike my competitive swimming days, I had a LOT of extra poundage, the damage from 30 years of cigarettes (I quit some 20 years ago) and a case of adult onset asthma.
I noticed some “old” guy in the pool using a snorkel. A bit of research led me to the discovery that snorkels were often used for swim stroke training. They were designed to allow the swimmer to concentrate on the stroke and worry about the breathing practice at another time. Great excuse.
Then I noticed some regular swimmers using flippers. Further research let me to the conclusion that said flippers helped concentration on the kick. Great excuse.
I went from 250 meters in half an hour to 2100 meters in just under an hour.
Not bad for someone who was 20-25 years older than she thought she should be.
Then the gym got me. It reached out and grabbed my ego and said, “Thou shalt do the boot camp challenge.” The goal was to lose weight and the winner of said weight loss program would win a bit of cash and some private training. I joined the class.
I didn’t win the weight loss portion but I did win the most improved. That title won me some private training.
I stayed with boot camp and gradually got a lot stronger. I kicked off the flippers and made even better time in the pool.
But I was not losing weight. If anything, I was putting it on. I was reassured that I was putting on muscle and that weighed more than fat. Great excuse.
That is when my trainer sat me down and said, “Gael, what are you eating?” Hmmm…
I dropped out of the boot camp class in order to go to Spain. (See https://muellermusings.com/2018/11/06/spanish-inspiration/ or https://muellermusings.com/2018/11/02/if-this-is-sunday-it-must-be-spain-ronda/ ) My intention was to be back in November.
The night before we came home, I got a sore throat. It only got worse on 16 hours of recirculated air in a tube with 600 other people at some 45,000 feet. Flying commercially is a germ festival.
I didn’t make it back to the gym in 2018. I even missed the first Christmas Concert of my beloved VAE. (Can’t sing when you have no voice!) But I did make it to the doctor. While taking care of my cold, flu, bronchitis episodes she noted that I had regained some weight. She sent me to a nutritionist.
Now I figure I am going to get the same lecture–more vegetables, less starch. Maybe a diet that would require me to cook. (Oh, god help us all! My kitchen skills leave something to be desired. Even for a starving person.) But I went.
That was last month. Exactly, last month. Exactly thirty days.
The blood tests showed some startling things and the diet prescribed was a matter of do’s and don’ts. I could eat anything I wanted that was not on the forbidden list. ANYTHING! It was, in essence, a version of the old Atkins diet. But it was designed for those like me–a bit older, a bit insulin resistant, a bit pre-diabetic and in need of a careful eye on my body’s reaction to the new regime.
There were no lectures. There was one simple fact. To avoid the looming diabetic issues, the weight must come off and this is the logical way for you (given the demographic) to do it.
THIS IS NOT SOMETHING ONE SHOULD UNDERTAKE WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION! It is NOT for everyone. I am making no recommendations.
At today’s check-up I had lost the additional weight and some additional poundage!
I am astounded that I have stayed with the program this entire month. I had one cookie at a Christmas party and, as far as I can tell, I have eaten nothing else on the forbidden list. I confessed my failing to the doctor who almost fell off his chair laughing. My health is back and I start at the gym tomorrow. There is a private training session and a dip in the pool awaiting me.
I am so excited!