Thursday, 17 January 2019

Weighty topics

When I was young, I was scarcely concerned about my weight. As a teenager I felt I could eat whatever I liked without putting on weight, although my family might disagree with that! This was aided by the fact I was often in pain, and hence my appetite was stifled, and hindered by long periods of inactivity due to the pain.

But I don't think I was ever particularly overweight. I had my last operation in May 1998, I took up walking as a hobby immediately afterwards. 1,000 miles a year tended to keep me trim and, although I scarcely ever weighed myself, I got the impression that I could eat whatever I wanted, only to lose any weight gained during a walking trip.

Then came the coastwalk, a year and 6,200 miles of walking. Although I was already quite fit, my weight decreased markedly during the first three months, plateaued for six months, and finally increased for the last three months despite an increased average mileage. I can only assume that my body had got used to the exercise, so I required less calories per mile. Pictures of me from that time show a slightly gaunt, bronzed and well-weathered figure staring at the camera - I was certainly fitter than I had ever been before, and perhaps ever will be.

Perhaps the fittest I have ever been.
What went wrong?
As I passed through my thirties, work and other obligations weighed on me and my weight slowly increased. I got married, and happiness induced a certain sloth that also helped my paunch grow. Then, a small back problem and the birth of our son led to me reaching 100kg.

This is overweight, but I have short legs and a long body, and I kept on telling myself it didn't really matter.

Then, on February 1st 2016, I got meningitis.

The meningitis was not caused by my weight, nor by my general health. It just happened. But I was shocked when I went on scales in the hospital and discovered I weighed over 105kg. I had to face it: I was in my mid-forties, overweight, and with a young son who I wanted to see grow up into adulthood. The meningitis had been an almighty scare, and my mortality had been made clear to me.

I decided to do something about it.

I started in September 2016. A two-pronged approach of boring calorie counting and even more boring running led me to a weight of 95kg, which I was more happy with. I also cut down on my drinking, which I was less happy with. Since then, more of the same has led me down to about 90-92kg. This means my BMI says I am still overweight, despite there not being much more to loose.

I find I can maintain 90-92kg fairly easily, without undergoing too much suffering and without doing too much exercise. Best of all, it's not trying mentally: I don't find it hard to do. Attempts to go below 90kg always fail within a few weeks.

My ideal weight in my mid-forties seems to be about 90kg. I wonder what it will be in my fifties or sixties?

No comments: