I’m obese! Either the dietician was a good actress, or she was, really, just as shocked as I was. I’m probably hiding it well, at least to myself, but according to the chart, technically, I’m Class 2 obese.
By a formula that computes the relationship between body mass and weight and height, at 136 pounds, I’m 19 off normal, and if I hit 155, I’d be dragged down to Class 3—the point of no return!
Mercifully, as a senior, I’m entitled to a discount; my normal is conceded at 129, not the impossible normal normal of 115. In short, I need only to lose seven pounds, a mission quite doable.
But even if losing weight makes me fit into a Size 8 or 10 again, it won’t make me look even a shadow of myself when I was that size, at 40 or 50. It would require a yet unknown miracle of plastic surgery.
My dietician gave me fair warning: Weight loss would show last in my middle, where the resultant loss could be little noticed, but first in my face, where it could not. I don’t know how much exercise or liposuction or a combination can do but neither, especially the latter, impresses this idle coward.
I’ve already lost six pounds in just two weeks, from 142, but it took a bout of diarrhea, proven to be the most effective way. As desperate a case as I may look, my diarrhea was definitely un-induced; it was a severe reaction—along with body aches of the sort that Pacquiao must feel after a fight —to a tablet that controls the amount of sugar in the blood.
Not Gulag standards
With no medication to help me along, I have no recourse but to go on a 1,300-calorie daily diet—not exactly Gulag standards, in fact, generous, if only in vegetables, with a snack thrown in between meals. Every meal and snack contains a consistent amount of carbohydrates, ironically, to “promote better sugar control.”
Surprisingly, my rebellious streak against diets isn’t surfacing, and I suspect the steady, small fixes of carbohydrates are holding it in check.
For the days I can’t treadmill, I dance, or, more accurately, I move, to a Zumba beat in the living room or in front of the full-size mirror in the foyer. I usually do it after office hours, when the offices in the buildings across have closed for the day. It’s somehow more fun with instant mirror feedback. And the rattling and shaking that Zumba inspires makes me sweat more and faster than the lonely walk, however brisk, on the treadmill.
I prefer walking to and around Greenbelt, but my daughter tells me that, unless I pick up the pace, it hardly counts for losing weight.
Thirty minutes of continuous Zumba, moving as many body parts as I can, is more exhausting than 45 minutes on the machine, which is about what it takes for me to only begin to perspire; besides, moving to music is definitely more enjoyable.
It is even more fun, I’m told, if I were part of a Zumba group, but that would mean having to get out the house, which I’m sure I won’t be able to sustain. Anyway, I feel lucky that exercise and diet still work in bringing my sugar and lipids back to normal levels.
The best news is that I’m not a diabetic yet, and that the sooner I’m able to return, and keep, to my ideal weight, the surer diabetes is not going to happen in my lifetime. In my 50s, I remember asking my mom’s diabetes doctor how I might be spared the family scourge. His deadpan answer: Don’t live beyond 60.
I’m long past that, but it’s an uphill fight, and, knowing myself, I’d just have to fight the fight in some enjoyable way.