Friday, May 12, 2006

Don't want to be a fat man...

"Don’t want to be a fat man,
Have not the patience to ignore all that.
Hate to admit to myself half of my problems
Came from being fat."
-- Ian Anderson

Last week I was referred to the Fat Man Walking web site. Three hours later, I’d read the whole thing.

The site is about a journey, completed a few days ago, across this entire country from San Diego to NYC (about 3000 miles), by one man on foot. That man is Steve Vaughn, an ex-marine, who had a few bad years, started gaining weight, and didnt stop until he was VERY unhappy with his life, and had reached 410lbs.

Through this journey, and the changes it brought in him, he eventually ended up losing something on the order of 130lbs, then gaining back about 20 of it, but getting much healthier in the process.

The journal entries are very interesting stuff. Most interesting I find, was how once he’d hit that 100lb weight loss mark, he’d burned away a lot of the weakness, depression, stupidity etc… and his writing was vastly better. In fact, he was almost certainly “smarter”; simply because of his improved emotional state.

I’m going through that with my wife right now, in that her depression makes her stupid. Those are her words not just mine; the worse her emotional state is, the stupider and less useful she becomes. The better it is, the smarter. She's also been gaining weight the last few months (about 35 lbs since the beginning of the year), and that makes her depression worse.

Then there's MY weight gain.

I really need to update the weight loss page on my web site. There hasn't been any loss, and in fact has been some gain since last April when I said I was going to dedicate the year to getting my body back.

Unfortunately it turned out to have been one of the roughest years of my life, which makes for both a great reason, and a great excuse not to do what you should. Weakness is easy, strength and discipline are hard; and I wouldn't be where I was today if I hadn’t gotten used to taking the easy way… at least when it comes to my body.

After my injuries, I simply allowed myself to become what I am, beacuse it was easy; and I was spending my energy on the difficult things elsewhere in my life.

Ten years ago I was a 265lb man who could benchpress over 400lbs, do 100 pushups and 100 situps without thinking about it, and run 7 miles a day. I have become a man who weighs almost 400lbs, can barely do 25 pushups and 25 situps, and can’t run 700 yards (I tried 500 yards a few weeks ago. Made it that far and absolutely could not go any further).

I am still enormously physically strong, but I am quite simply entirely unfit. I have almost no endurance at elevated heart rates, or energy expenditures; and I am easily winded.

I can walk for quite a while, and have regularly been walking one to two miles a day, with some missed days, for the past month or so(gotta walk the dog that much or he gets too frisky); but I can’t run at all (never mind the knees), and I get sore and achey after any real excercise.

How did I get this way?

Because it was easy, and I was lazy.

Mel wants my help in losing weight. I've agreed. I want to lose weight too; and to excercise more. Now that we're eating at home all the time that's easier to do, and now that I'm going to be in a job without ridiculous hours, or massive travel it will also be easier.

The fact still remains, I've gotten lazy. That's what I have to overcome.