Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm Losin' It

Now that my vacation is over, and the in-laws have left (fled?) the guest bedroom, I have moved the exercise cycle back in. My intention is to lose weight.

Okay, you can stop rolling your eyes and thinking, "Great, another stupid weight loss story." The Angry Lab Rat blog isn't about weight loss, and you can rest assured that this will be one of only a very few blog posts on my personal weight loss attempt until I either succeed in my goal or give up completely. The exception is that, in the margin to the right on this blog site, I will keep an update of my progress, for those who are morbidly interested (or morbidly obese). Additionally, I will be joining a number of coworkers in the attempt, though we will surely be doing things differently from each other.

Now, I'm not the sort of guy who is obsessed with weight. In fact, I really don't mind the fact that I'm short, fat, and hairy. Aren't all rats? But now I'm hoping to be short, not-so-fat, and hairy.

This attempt at weight loss has happened before. Back in February 2003 I was 231 pounds with a waistline of 48". My liver enzyme readings were high, suggesting I had Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (yes, that's its real name!), a potential side affect of, you guessed it, being a fatty. I cut my serving sizes in half, generally ate better food, and, most importantly, exercised rigorously at least 15 minutes every day, no matter how tired I was. No special diets, no calorie-counting, and no fads. The only special thing I did, at the beginning, was get some idea of the nutritional value of what I was eating in order to insure I wasn't going to starve or go deficient in protein and vitamins. Over the course of 8 months, this technique led me to lose 23 pounds (to 208) and almost 8 inches off my waist (to 40.5") (click on the graphs). Most importantly, I have pretty much kept off the weight, even to today, though I've been slowly creeping back upward over the years without any real exercise, but my liver readings have been normal ever since. I was very hungry at first, but then I was fine, and I have generally maintained my eating habits.

It is an interesting coincidence that just a couple days ago the results of a very thorough study found that being a fatty around your belly around 40 years old significantly increases your chances of having Alzheimer's and dementia in your senior years:

This correlation is apparently independent of other common health issues, including general weight problems (other than belly fat). According to the article, if you lie down on your back on a flat surface and then have someone measure the height of your belly, and that measurement is greater than 9.8 inches, you are at risk. I tried it. I'm somewhere just above 10 inches.

The researchers are unclear why having belly fat affects the brain later in life, but I think I have the answer: Your brain really is in your stomach! No wonder food is such a motivator!

So wish me luck in my weight loss endeavor. You can keep tabs in the margin of my blog. Hopefully I'll be successful, making me even sexier than I already am, and less likely to be senile in my old age.


Sparkling Red said...

I read somewhere that there are more neurons in your guts than in your skull, so you really do think with your belly. Trusting a gut instinct makes a lot of sense in that context.

Tantalus Prime said...

When I was 16, I did the same thing: I charted my slow weight loss from 230 pounds down to 185 (where I am today). Having that sort of feedback, a visual reminder of where I had come from, was very helpful.

Good luck!