The ever-expanding waistline

Frequent readers of my weekly ramblings undoubtedly will know this hasn’t been the healthiest of years for me.
I’ve spent most of the past calendar year consulting with doctors, undergoing tests, having surgery, and recovering. And while everyone I’ve dealt with in the medical field has been lovely, I’ll be really happy if I don’t have to see another doctor or nurse for a long time.
I’m feeling pretty good these days—knock on wood—but there is one aspect of my medical adventures that continues to haunt me.
It’s not the scars. It’s not the creaky joints. It’s not even the fact I no longer can play a lot of the sports I’ve enjoyed my entire life. No, my daily reminder comes every morning when I get up to have my shower.
An average day for me starts around 7 a.m., when my clock radio chimes in with the CBC morning news. I’m far from a morning person, so it often takes me most of the next half-hour to find the drive to get out of bed.
Once I’ve managed to gain some semblance of consciousness, I grab my towel, stumble into the bathroom, and park myself in front of the mirror to brush my teeth.
It’s usually at this point that it hits me: good Lord, I’m getting fat.
For me, the hardest part of all the surgeries this year has been the inactivity. I really haven’t been permitted by my doctors to do very much in terms of exercise—and it’s been making me crazy.
Apparently, it’s also been making me fat.
Like anyone who knows they’ve put on a few pounds, I’ve been avoiding stepping on a scale for months now. Seeing as how I wasn’t allowed to exercise, I really didn’t want the extra kick in the teeth of knowing exactly how chubby I was getting.
That all changed this week.
I finally got permission from my ever-growing medical team to get back into the gym. Excited by the news, I came back to the office and told my co-workers, Heather Ogilvie and Melanie Béchard, the good news.
I explained to them I officially was verging on tub-of-lard status and was excited at the prospect of getting into the gym and shedding some pounds. To my surprise, both Heather and Melanie announced they, too, wanted to lose some weight.
We got to talking and decided it would be a good idea to enter into a weight loss pact together.
After some discussion, it was decided we’d set individual target weights for ourselves, Heather would bring her scale into work, we’d do a weigh-in, and then follow-up with weekly weigh-ins.
For those of us with competitive problems, it was the perfect way to get motivated to exercise. Losing weight is good. Losing weight while being able to gloat to your co-workers about how you’re “beating” them in the race to look sexy is even better.
Our first task was to determine an appropriate target weight.
Wanting to set a healthy goal, I consulted the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website in order to determine appropriate Body Mass Indexes (BMI) for Heather, Mel, and I.
Alas, I quickly discovered BMI may not be the best way to determine a person’s ideal weight. While Mel and Heather’s target weights appeared in line (they’d each have to lose between 10-15 pounds), mine was a little off.
The computer suggested the ideal weight for someone my height—5’11”—is 165 pounds. In order to hit that goal, I’d have to drop 50 pounds.
I think I could to do it if I didn’t eat from now until New Year’s and cut my left leg off.
But seeing as how that may not be the healthiest of plans, I settled for a target weight of 190 pounds.
Next up was the official weigh-in.
Before anyone stepped on the scale, I insisted on one rule—there is no crying at the weigh-in. Looking back, it wasn’t my greatest idea, either, as I’ll admit to tearing up as the scale flashed 217.2 pounds at me.
Next up were Heather, followed by Melanie. I’d detail their experiences but I’m concerned for my health and well-being. I don’t want to suddenly go missing and end up tied to a tree in the middle of the forest waiting for some bear to wake up this spring and eat me.
Let’s just say neither cried and leave it at that.
Which takes us up to the hard part—the actual process of losing some weight.
I’m hoping that with some regular exercise, a few fewer trips to the local fast food establishments, and some good luck, I’ll be svelte in no time.
I’ll update how things are going in a future column but in the meantime, I’d like to invite all the wonderful cookie-makers, chocolateers, and cake-makers to drop their delectable wares off at the Times for Heather and Melanie.
I’ll win this thing yet.
acruickshank@fortfrances.com

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