Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dropping a Few Pounds

I know I'm far from alone in fighting the battle of the bulge.  You can hardly pick up a newspaper today without finding an article somewhere that talks about how overweight Americans have become.

I've spent a good deal of adulthood hovering somewhere in the BMI defined "overweight" category.  Whomever invented that scale must have been rail thin, because even at my "skinniest" I can only barely seem to creep into the upper end of the "normal" range.  Or maybe the inventor is simply sadistic.  Although I've been a regular exerciser for many years, I've always managed to eat enough to easily replace whatever I've burned off in calories.

For most of the last ten years, however, I've had things pretty well under control through regular distance running -- particularly with regularly scheduled marathon races in my future.  That all came to an end a couple of years ago with a knee injury.

I tried the normally prescribed fixes for the knee -- rest and recovery.  Over the course of a couple of years, no matter how much cross training I did, and no matter how long I laid-off, it just seemed to get worse.  That finally resulted in a trip to the orthopedist, and knee surgery this summer.

With a repaired knee, I was mentally ready to run again.  Except my body was far from ready.  I'd added almost twenty pounds since my last regular running activity, and was forty above what I considered a "running friendly" weight (the one just on the BMI normal borderline).  So I promised myself I'd diet, and reward myself with a return to running upon success.

That was six weeks ago.

Dieting is a funny thing, at least for me.  I find myself able to restrict calorie intake, at least for a while, but frequently run out of gas as I reach the point of diminishing returns, and mental and physical fatigue.  The failure usually starts as small "cheats" on the diet, which grow on a day by day basis until I'm no longer really following it at all.

And another oddity I've noticed -- I almost always do better with a new diet regime, than I do trying to repeat an old one, even one that's been successful before.  Not sure exactly what that's about, but it does appear to be a fact.

So this time I'm using a Bodymedia fit monitor, and receiving daily emails from a nutritionist.  So far, I've lost seventeen pounds, but have hit a stretch where things are getting more difficult.  It's not so much that I don't know what to eat or how to exercise, it appears to be more a question of accountability.  I'm liking this system, at least thus far, even if constantly wearing the Bodymedia does sometimes make me feel like I'm somehow under house arrest.

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