What I Can Do..

I’ve learned a lot over the last 14 months.  Where I began seems a lifetime away from where I am right now. I hope in another 14 months I will have learned just as much more.

In a way, I am still doing exactly what I set out to do, which is improve my health and defeat my insulin resistance issues. The difference now, is, that I am more focused on building a body that is capable. I want to be able-bodied in the most straight-forward sense. I want to do things.

Initially, rather naively, I thought losing weight alone would achieve that for me, and in some ways, it has. I no longer carry around the burden of 115 extra pounds. This is good. But, somewhere along the way, I have discovered that losing weight does not equal being healthy or able-bodied. I realized that not only did I want to be less fat, but I wanted to be stronger.

I’ve mentioned many times before that I don’t really have much in the way of equipment for strength training. I use body weight exercises and have a set of adjustable dumbbells with a total of 40lbs at my disposal. I have to say, it is pretty amazing what one can achieve with such a limited arsenal.

I am very close to being able to do a proper, full-on, no-fucking-around push-up. This is a goal I have set for myself and it will be a great moment when I achieve it. Right now, I still use the arm of the sofa to do push-ups. Not quite horizontal, but getting there. I started out doing them standing up, hands against a wall, so I’ve definitely made some progress.

Earlier this month, we had to have one of our beloved dogs, Heidi, put to sleep. She was 12 years old, and had a health emergency that escalated very quickly. Nothing could be done. The very tough decision was made to bring an end to her suffering. By the time we reached the emergency clinic, she was unable to walk, so I had to lift her up from the ground and carry her inside. She’s a 70lb Australian Cattle Dog.  I wasn’t sure I could do it until I did it, and when I did, it seemed effortless. I was able to keep my dog comfortable and deliver her to assistance with the least amount of pain, trauma and anxiety possible. It meant a lot to me that I was able to do that for her. For the first time, I was able to apply my strength to a real life situation, and it made all of the days pushing around a couple of dumbbells and doing squats worth it.

This is why I want to continue in this vein with my health and fitness goals.

Being strong is more than just flexing a muscle in the mirror.  It’s not a “look”, it’s a state of being. I want to apply it to my life. I want to be able-bodied and useful. I want to know that I can handle life’s unexpected situations where physicality is required. That I can help others that aren’t able to help themselves. That I can help you move your sofa into your new 4th floor apartment without an elevator.

My last weight loss update was in March. I’ve lost 7lbs since then, bringing me to 215lbs. I am 1lb shy of being out of the “obese” range of the BMI chart, and into merely “overweight”. I never thought I’d feel so relieved and flattered to be called overweight. I am 22lbs away from my initial goal weight of 193, but that has really lost a lot of importance for me at this point. I’ll still mention it, just for the sake of perspective, though.

Lots going on for me in July, and hopefully a few photos to share, too.

Thanks for reading me and for the support!

In limbo..

I had a bit of a breakdown moment at the beginning of April. I wanted to eat everything. All the time. I didn’t, but I really wanted to. It scared me, because I felt like I’d been eating well/enough and not really struggling with hunger much this entire time, and then suddenly, the Hunger Within took over.  I didn’t want to undo my progress. I didn’t want to bring back the diabetes symptoms. I was pretty worried, and then I became worried about being so worried.

I went looking for answers to my new dilemma, and a few trusted weight loss veterans told me I should simmer down and try eating at maintenance level for a little while. That, essentially, I should take a break from dieting. So, I did. Because of this, I’m only 2lbs less than I was over a month ago, but that’s okay. I feel better now, and I feel like I can pick up where I left off without any major issues.

I’m still a little off-balance where my anxiety about losing weight is concerned, so I’ve really been trying to focus my attention on building strength instead of the number on the scale. The problem is, I have a very limited set of equipment with which to accomplish that — a set of adjustable dumbbells with a total weight of 40lbs, and my own body weight. I’ve been looking into joining the YMCA and applying for the po’ folk discount they offer, as well as considering a few other options.  We’ll see what I can come up with.

The main realization I’ve had is that I now know that I want to start lifting heavy weights. Often. I want to be strong, and I want to find out what my now much lighter body can really do.  I’m borderline obsessing about it, which is actually a good thing, because that means I won’t likely give up on trying to make it happen any time soon.

I’ve been following a couple great fitness blogs written by science-loving skeptical reasonable people who are very into keeping shit real. One of which is gokaleo.com. She’s a badass, and when I grow up, I want to be just like her. She is also one of the people that has inspired me to want to lift heavy.

So, this is where I’m at… in this odd sort of holding pattern situation, with very little to report, but a whole lot to say, anyway. Thanks for listening.