November 28, 2009

New BMI = 26.28

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 9:22 am
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HALF of me is GONE!

I started at the highest recorded weight of 335.6  and I’ve gotten rid of HALF of it!  I’m now 167.8

Next milestone in 1.9 lbs when the BMI will drop below 26.  Once it drops below 25, I’ll be in “normal” BMI range (18 < BMI < 25).  From “Super Morbid Obesity” (BMI > 50).  Wow.

Here’s where I started, in May 2007:

BMI Chasing
Ok, that’s it. I’m done.I don’t want to be in the Extra-Super-Scarey BMI category I’m currently in (52.6). According to some websites:

Patients with this condition incur much greater weight-related health risks, including an increased risk of dying – estimated at 5-10 times greater than that of people of normal weight – as well as arthritis, breathing problems, cancer, depression, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux, heart disease, hypertension, infertility, loss of bowel/urinary control, menstrual problems, obstructive sleep apnea, swollen legs, and venous disorders.”

So I’ve pulled out all my old WW materials and started using the journals again to keep track and limit the intake. And I’m walking 1.5 miles every day after work. And I’m starting an 8-week Tai Chi class at work next Thursday. I’m weighing myself once a week at my doctor’s office near work. I set up a computer to email me a motivational quote on persistence every day. I pulled out my copy of Make the Connection and started re-reading it. I’m re-reading The Mastery of Love. And I’m relying on several others at work for moral support who are dealing with similar challenges. And I’ll post my progress here.

Entry posted by origamifreak on May 26 2007 at 10:14 am

I posted that entry on my old Upsaid blog two and a half years ago. It feels like a lifetime and a half ago. Back then I was still going to the doctors at the Finger Lakes Medical Group. I didn’t even own a scale that could weigh me. Over the subsequent months I did remove 40 lbs. And gained back 30 of them.

Eleven months ago I posted this:

January 28, 2009

Back to the BMI chasing. Today=47.08

Filed under: food, health — origamifreak @ 5:48 pm

After a really bad lapse where last fall I gained back up to almost the same weight where I started, I’ve pushed it back down again. Mostly through the help of the pre-gastric ulcer which acts up when 1) I overfill and 2) I eat at night.

The most recent bout on the evening of December 11 / morning of December 12 was so very painful and unpleasant that something clicked in my head and I realized that I would rather be hungry than feel like that ever again. EVER again. Even though this has been going on sporadically for years, the most recent memory of the pain and the vomiting has stuck with me long enough that I have maintained a healthy fear of overeating for over 6 weeks, and as a result am finding out what it feels like to be hungry, how to manage my blood sugar, what being full feels like, how long I need to wait in order to even know if I’m full, etc. In effect, I’ve got the same symptoms as a friend at work who had her stomach stapled, but without the cost and associated issues of elective surgery.

People have asked why I don’t go to the doctor about this. I have two reasons, and I think they’re sound. First, the problem only happens when I overeat at night (i.e. it hasn’t happened since 12/11), and second, this is the first thing ever that has worked that hasn’t involved obsessive calorie-counting (i.e. using WW points, etc.). And I’m sorry, but while obsessive calorie-counting does in the short term help with managing my eating, it does NOT work in the long term because it presents significant quality of life issues. There is an inherent psychological problem with focusing on NOT doing something that I’ve never been able to overcome. So I’ll take the ulcer memory and use it. Consider it my disulfiram.

All the years of calorie-counting have given me the tools to eat in a healthy way, and I’m doing that, but just without counting anything. Oatmeal for breakfast, homemade soup for lunch, etc. Just less of it and not overfilling. And not eating at night. If I’m bored I can clean the bathroom or organize the garage, for Pete’s sake.

Also I’m back with the H2O aerobics, and will hopefully start working out in the basement soon as well. (As soon as the rest of the bamboo planks have been distributed to the rest of the house for acclimation.)

Stay tuned.

P.S. This may have helped, too:


(internally synthesized, of course)

I was in a very different place at that point, mentally and physically. It took a really painful condition to snap me out of my complacency and push me toward being mindful of my food. Since that point I’ve had exactly 2 reflux episodes. And both times because I ate too much fatty food.

Here are some ways in which my life is different from each of those times:

May 2007 December 2008 January 2009 November 2009
Calorie & nutrient tracking yes, WW points on my own no no yes,
protein intake not tracking not tracking not tracking minimum of 100g per day
cardio walking water aerobics water aerobics spinning
strength none water aerobics water aerobics weight lifting
weight 335.6 326.2 300.6 167.8
BMI 52.56 52.53 47.08 26.28
clothing size 4x 4x 3x 12
pets Miaumoto(Latte had just died) Miaumoto & Sunny Miaumoto & Sunny Miaumoto & Sunny
church no no no yes
self-esteem no no no yes
crushing on someone yes no yes no

…and in some ways it hasn’t changed at all.

cleaned out the garage yet? no no no no

After all, I’m not a COMPLETELY different person! Just literally HALF of the previous one. chart of my weight


November 26, 2009

New BMI = 26.56

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 5:58 am
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hit a nice milestone this morning.  I am now under 170!  Woo-hoo!

And the VERY NEXT milestone will be VERY VERY COOL.  The next milestone (in 1.8 lbs) will be the point at which I have removed 50% – that’s FIFTY PERCENT of my starting weight.

I will quite literally be half the woman I was.

But this current milestone is pretty cool in its own right, because I remember being in the 160s in college.  Not  HAPPY about being in the 160s (It seemed too high and it was), but I looked and felt pretty good.  Especially compared with how I’ve looked and felt for the past 15 years…  😯

When I started this “BMI Chasing” project back in May of 2007 I would have been ecstatic just to get under 200 and stay there.  Or even 300 and stay there.  I don’t think I ever really believed I’d actually be at a weight range I recalled from college, or a stone’s throw from a “normal” BMI of 24.99  (which is exactly 10.1 lbs away from where I am now, and completely do-able).

When I hit that 50% mark I will paste my original BMI Chasing post in with it, just so I (and anyone else interested) can see how far I’ve come…

And baby, I sure have come a long long way!

November 23, 2009

New BMI = 26.72, “Your RealAge is 38.6!” and the ugly fact about perception of obesity

Today, on my 44th birthday, I reached another milestone.  165 lbs off.

The next milestones coming up are pretty cool:

  • in 0.7 lbs I will drop into the 160s.  Which is where I was in COLLEGE.  (And briefly in grad school after I lost 100+ lbs the first time.)
  • in 2.8 lbs I will literally be HALF the woman I once was, by weight.
  • in 11.1 lbs I will be out of “overweight” and into “normal” according to BMI.  I’m not sure I EVER really believed I might get there.  😯 Hoped, yes.  Believed?  I dunno.  But now I’m sure I can.

DDOORN on Spark People has an amusing tradition. Each year on his birthday he goes to to calculate how much YOUNGER he’s getting, biologically, due to the improvements he’s made in his health and fitness.

This is a fun idea, and I’ve adopted it this year.

I went there and filled out the information for approximately what I did, ate, and weighed last year (around 330) and got the answer that I was 46.1 (3 years older than my calendar age). I can tell you, I FELT a lot older than that. I was already having trouble with my arthritic knee going up and down the stairs in my house and was starting to wonder how I was going to cope as I aged further.

Things happened (you can see my Spark Page for details) and I started losing weight again in early December. I had lost 40 lbs by the time I was introduced to SparkPeople in March.

Now, 160 lbs lighter than my maximum recorded weight and approximately 150 lbs lighter than last year, my supposed biological age is 38 and a half. It feels like less than that – I haven’t felt this healthy or strong since I was in my 20s. Of course, I don’t actually KNOW what it feels like to be biologically 38, because I was over 300 lbs for approximately the last 15 years…

Some other thoughts about the changes since my last birthday, some of which may be uncomfortable to read:

While talking with Lisa on the phone this morning we discussed how the world is different for me now. One of the things that came up is how it felt to be super morbidly obese and how people treat others who are obese.

I felt kind-of cushioned and “safe” in my “fat suit.” My parents were very strict and physical disciplinarians. As a child I never considered myself to be “abused,” as there was always a “reason” for hitting me – with the metal end of the belt, with a heavy hairbrush, etc.

One incident that sticks out in my mind is the day around 8 years old when I went to school in shorts and a classmate asked why there were giant, father-sized handprint-shaped welts on my thighs. I explained that I’d done something I wasn’t supposed to the previous evening, and had been spanked. She was horrified and offered to tell her parents for me (her father was on the city council). I declined, and after that wore long pants to school. Looking back on it, this strikes me as the behavior of a child who might be experiencing a degree of physical abuse.

My mom wasn’t the most nurturing person in the world, either. She was extremely tightly wound, insecure, and unhappy as a homemaker. Just about the only time I felt loved and accepted was when I was being fed. I came home for lunch in elementary school. She’d make me lunch and we’d watch Split Second and Password on TV, shouting suggestions to the contestants. I remember when I was 8 or so one of my favorite lunches was Kraft macaroni and cheese. I could have as much as I wanted. It was common for me to eat THE ENTIRE POT. I still love boxed macaroni and cheese, and for this reason studiously avoid it.

Don’t get me wrong – you could do a lot worse for parents; they pushed me to excel in school, provided more than adequate food, shelter, and clothing, taught me how to read at 4, bought a 1972 World Book encyclopedia and put it in my bedroom, brought me on trips (Boston in 1970, San Diego in 1975, all around the US in 1976, England in 1977), taught me how to garden and fish, encouraged me in music and scouting, brought me camping every summer, etc. They were just from a different generation where kids were brought up strictly and a fat baby was a healthy baby (he was born in 1910; she, in 1921).

Anyhow, the result was that I associated food (quantity rather than quality) with emotional comfort and felt the need to protect myself physically from the world.

Fast forward to a year ago. Although I was physically uncomfortable, the fat suit made me feel safe. There was a physical buffer between myself and the rest of the world. And it also helped keep away people who didn’t genuinely like me for my mind and my personality.

What I didn’t factor in is that the fat suit also attracted people who saw me (rightfully) as emotionally vulnerable and used that information to get things from me by stroking my ego. I didn’t factor in the fact that the fat suit, while acting as a physical buffer, also weighed me down and made me slower and weaker physically.

And here’s the part that may be uncomfortable to read. Wearing a fat suit was blatant advertising that something was wrong with me, mentally and/or emotionally. It’s not just that it made me physically less able. It broadcast to the world that I had serious problems that were interfering with taking care of myself.

I am not talking about the fat that constitutes “overweight,” or even necessarily “obese.” These conditions are the new “normal” in the US, and can sometimes be caused by medical problems. But when you get into “morbid obesity” and “super morbid obesity” (which is where I was a year ago), it’s like wearing a big sign that says “I’m a mess. I may be high-functioning and in denial about it, but scratch below that veneer, and you’ll find a messy unresolved issue.”

This is the ugly fact that Lisa pointed out, and I have to say I agree with her. No wonder people often give other Very Large People a wide berth. It isn’t necessarily right or fair or kind, but it does make sense.

150 lbs of fat less, and “8” biological years younger, where does that leave me now? I still have a bunch of the issues that I had a year ago. With years of counseling and drugs they haven’t disappeared; losing over 100 lbs isn’t going to make them go away fast, either. But at least I’m no longer advertising them to the world or letting them get in the way of taking care of myself physically. And that’s something.

If I have to be vulnerable (and it seems that I do, since that’s basically the human condition) I might as well be in good physical shape to face it.

November 20, 2009

New BMI = 26.97

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 11:36 am
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Hit TWO milestones, on the exact same weight, today (always before when I’ve hit multiple milestones it’s because they’re close together – but I’ve never had two coincide on the same exact tenth of a pound, before)

  • Another net 5% off – that’s 13 down and 3 to go.
  • My BMI is under 27.  When it is under 25 I will finally be a “healthy” weight range.  That’s 12.7 lbs from now.

Next milestone in 1.6 lbs when I’ll have removed 165.  Maybe I can even get there before my birthday on Monday…

November 11, 2009

Scale numbers

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 8:03 am
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My scale estimates other things based on my weight and % body fat.

Here is what the numbers were on July 27, 2007:

  • fat: 50.2% (which makes sense, because I need to drop about half my mass)
  • water: 37.2% (I’m supposed to have a number between 45% and 60% – which means I’m dehydrated – no kidding; it’s the hottest, muggiest day of the year, so far, and I’m dripping sweat all over the place)
  • visceral fat: 17 (which would be under 13 if I were healthy)
  • muscle mass: 150.4 (This is supposed to equal the weight of muscle in my body.  I am sceptical.  Perhaps this has to do with my dehydration.)
  • physique rating 3 “Solidly-built: Large Frame Obese – high body fat % and high muscle mass”
  • bone mass: 8 (It’s supposed to be around 6.5 lbs.  Again, I suspect dehydration.)
  • caloric intake to maintain: 3772 (According to my BMI it would be 2685 if I were sedentary; not sure about this one.)
  • metabolic age: 50 (9 years older than I actually am.  Not as bad as I thought it might be.  Again, I suspect the estimates could be off.)

Here’s what they are today:

  • fat: 36.2%
  • water: 45.3%
  • visceral fat: 7
  • muscle mass: 105.6
  • physique rating: 2 obese (medium frame obese- high body fat % with mod muscle mass level)
  • caloric intake to maintain: 2774
  • metabolic age: 50 (It’s the maximum the scale can do, so given that I’m overweight by BMI and by % body fat I’m still not yet under that.)

I guess after removing 160 lbs I was kind of hoping that my physique rating would be better than that, but they don’t have a category for “overweight,”  so I guess “obese” is the closest thing.  I was also hoping for a lower metabolic age, but it is what it is.

For my own future reference, here are all the physique ratings:

  1. hidden obese (small frame obese- high body fate % with low muscle mass level)
  2. obese (medium frame obese- high body fat % with mod muscle mass level)
  3. solidly built (large frame obese- high body fat % and high muscle mass)
  4. under exercised (low muscle and average body fat %- average body fat% and less than average muscle mass level)
  5. standard (average muscle and average body fat%- average levels of both body fat and muscle mass)
  6. standard muscular (high muscle and average body fat%- athlete- average body fat% and higher than normal muscle mass level)
  7. thin (low muscle and low fat- mower than normal body fat % and muscle mass level)
  8. thin and muscular (thin , muscular athlete- lower than normal body fat % while having adequate muscle mass)
  9. very muscular (muscular athlete- lower than normal body fat% while having above average muscle mass)

November 6, 2009

New BMI = 27.47

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 7:47 am
Tags: , , , ,

I have now officially removed 160 lbs.

Next milestone in 3.1 lbs when the BMI will drop below 27.

When it drops below 25 I will no longer be “overweight.”  I can’t believe I’m here.  It hasn’t been a year even, since I was super morbidly obese, with a BMI over 52.

Miracles CAN happen – especially when we MAKE them happen…

November 3, 2009

New BMI = 27.91

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 8:38 am
Tags: , , , ,

My BMI is now under 28.  When it gets under 25 I will no longer be “overweight.”

Next milestone in 2.6 lbs when I’ll have removed 160 lbs total.

November 1, 2009

New BMI = 28.13

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 8:31 am
Tags: , , , ,

My weight has dropped below 180.

In 0.9 lbs my BMI will go below 28.  When it goes below 25, I’ll no longer be “overweight.”  Woo-hoo!

In 4 more lbs I’ll have removed 160 total.

As of this morning I have 29.6 lbs (less than 30) left to remove.

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