Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son

Well, I never really had to worry about the last item. I was strongly encouraged to give up the second item. (Law enforcement personnel can do wonders for you.) Now, that first item ... um ...

I was poking around my Excel neighborhood, trying to find further evidence that my cholesterol has always been good (unlike some people I know), and I found a file called Health.xls. Naturally, this is what I wanted.

I open it up, and no, there's no cholesterol in here ... but there are weight readings.

Let me explain. I am a compulsive data taker. I like to record things. Everything. I have tons of useless or nearly-useless data all over the place. I used to weigh myself every day (yes, I know, you're not supposed to), and I'd type it into this neat little workbook, complete with line graphs and automatic formatting on the numbers.

So first I see a lot of blue (decent), a lot of green (good), and a little red (not so good). And I scroll down to the bottom, where I have max and min rows, and I see ... 160.6.

And a long string of green surrounding it. For about eight months, apparently I weighed less than 170, and on December 1, 2004, I weighed 160.6.

This is somewhat disappointing. I had hoped that I'd only been able to drop to 170, and thus my current "goal" would be reasonable, but no ... there is unmistakable evidence that the cats have not been sneaking hot water into my closet and carefully soaking all of my pants, just to get even with me for, um, something.

Now, the problem is that recording data is not the same as using it, and it was clear that I was not using it. The data stops around October 4, 2005, when I weighed 175, and it's pretty clear that ever since, I've been steadily adding weight.

We did a health assessment in September. (Free!) I scored below the national average. Why? Well, I don't eat that well, I don't sleep enough, I don't avoid germs well (funny, I don't get sick often) ... and I need to lose weight.

My BMI is 27.9. Now BMI is a really, really crude way of measuring obesity, but let's face it, you don't really need a number like that to tell you what you need to do. Even at 5'9" (+1 to the screener for rounding my height up, and another +1 because I got an extra half-inch that required the rounding up), 185 is not acceptable. (Well, it was 189, but I was wearing clothes. I mean, who weighs themselves in full work clothes at home?)

So I have 25 pounds to lose by April 1. Why then? I'll be 41.5. I need a specific goal or it's not a goal. And because I said so.

Of course, the problem will be keeping it off, not removing it in the first place. Unfortunately, losing weight has always been relatively easy for me when I've tried, so I don't try hard enough to keep my weight down. You'd think seeing my dad and his dad ballooning in their 40s and 50s (well, my grandfather; my dad was 49 when he died) would have made a difference, but not yet, apparently.

But for now, I have a goal, and the clock is running. Eating better, exercising more (and not just playing DDR) ... sigh.

Of course, it could be worse. I could be dead, or diabetic, or a dying diabetic. Fortunately, the only numbers that weren't so hot on my screening (from the blood work) were my hematocrit percentage (borderline high, likely from dehydration), HDL (borderline low, need more exercise), and LDL (pretty high, need more fiber and less fat). Pretty much everything else was square in the middle.

Good health is a great gift. I'll try not to waste it.


  1. Hold on. I just noticed this. Did you write about my car accident and then make fun of my cholesterol all in one night? You insensitive bastard! I think that if the boy gets -1 for making me drive the yellow car, this is at least a -2.

  2. It's okay, I wrote it on my blog, so no one else will see it. It's not like I wrote that on your blog.