Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Lose Weight Now, But Don't Ask Me How

Look, I know any public talk of weight is weird, and I'm not trying to get compliments or anything, I'm just stating some facts.

I had a typical weight over the past ten years that we'll call X. This weight X was 128% of the middle of the "normal weight" range on the BMI charts for my height. When I got up to 1.05 X, I would say to myself, "You've got to do something about this." Then I would eat more-healthful food, limit my portions, and exercise. When I got down to 0.97 X, I would say, "Day-umm, you look good!" and I would eat whatever I wanted, then the cycle would repeat.

In preparation for coming to China, my wife and I spent two months eating whatever we wanted. As a result, when I got on the airplane I weighed 1.11 X, which was my heaviest since my first year of marriage, when I was happy and rich and gained a bunch of weight seemingly overnight.

Since arriving in China, I've lost 16% of my weight, and I'm now the lightest I've been in 10 years. I've gone from technically obese to the low end of technically overweight. My current plan (yes, I have a schedule for everything) is that I should be technically normal weight by the end of the year, and the middle of my normal weight range when I leave China in July.

I have two things I want to mention. One is that I look at myself and I cannot believe that I am more than halfway to the middle of my normal weight range. My body looks pretty much identical to me. Rolls in all the same places. No wonder so many people find losing weight demoralizing. If I can lose 1/6 of my body and not even notice it's gone, what's really the point of losing 1/6 of my body?

The second point is related: not only can I not tell a difference, no one else can either. Yesterday was the first time anyone has said anything to me. A colleague said, "You look a little lighter." I wanted to grab him by his beard and yell, "A LITTLE lighter?! Try over 40 pounds lighter, jackass!" But I didn't. Mostly because he keeps his beard trimmed really short.

I'm sure I seem like a terrible person because this entire post is about superficial appearance and receiving public recognition for it instead of being about becoming healthy or whatever. The thing is, if I can't see an appreciable difference, can my heart? My blood tests right after I got here said I had "fatty liver." (I said, "It's called being a BBW connoisseur," and they said, "Liver, not lover," and I said, "Oh. My mistake.") Is my liver any less fatty now?

How does this story end? It can go one of two ways. I either return to the U.S. with no taste for processed foods and animal products and continue at something close to my normal weight range, or I immediately eat three Double-Doubles upon landing and continue from there. Which is more likely? Well, I've been thinking about In-N-Out a lot lately.

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