Since about my early/mid 20s I’ve been one to mostly stay physically fit. When I was a teen I was bordering on morbidly obese and I just got sick of it so I kicked things into high gear. I dropped about 80 pounds in the course of a year, started running and strength training. It’s something I’d maintained for a long time up until about three years ago and was even underweight at a particular point.
My physical fitness started deteriorating in March/April of 2014 when my last relationship came to an end. We had some minor issues that could have been worked out but one major issue that was non-negotiable: children. She caught baby fever, I’m adamantly antinatalist (not just childless/childfree – antinatalism is a stronger position than that). As such, that irreconcilable difference forced us to part ways.
As such, I spiraled into deep depression and didn’t even get out of bed for about three months. I quit running, exercising, ate and drank myself into oblivion and I gained back about 3/4 of the weight I had dropped. As I started recovering several months later I dropped a bit of the weight again as I resumed normal activity, but then another stressor entered my life and derailed that: my job, and it’s an office job so I was relegated to sitting around in front of a computer screen all day. With that, the snacks readily available in the break room and still more or less was a functioning alcoholic. It’s how I coped after work.
Yes, I paid dearly for it. I didn’t think I’d gained that much weight back until I went to the doctor last December for my company mandated annual physical. When I weighed in at nearly 220 pounds I nearly cried. I knew I had gained weight but had no idea it was that bad. Of course, the doctor reminded me that I was overweight and I should drop some. Alas, that would have to wait until 2017 as we were in the midst of holiday season.
Well, with that new motivation I decided to make some major lifestyle changes. I can’t run as much as I used to due to knee issues but still do some. Fair enough. I decided to make up for it with more weight training. I also decided to re-structure my diet and alcohol consumption some. Knowing that my drinking was the main culprit of excess calories I made a conscious effort to limit myself to my natural tolerance of 3 drinks/day. Probably my other biggest weakness is ice cream. No more of that for dessert, but you won’t deny me my ice cream so what do I do? I move that to breakfast (a cup of ice cream has about the same number of calories as a bowl of cereal with milk). I also check calorie counts of my alcoholic drinks in a day and adjust accordingly at dinner while still making sure to get ample protein and fat. I still allow myself one or two “cheat” days per week where I just kind of have whatever I want (because you can’t deprive yourself all the time). I’ve had this routine since January (with the exception of St. Patrick’s/birthday weekend where I didn’t pay too close attention) and it’s pretty solid now.
The result? I don’t know how much I’ve lost off of my gravitational attraction to the earth but I have lost about 3″ off of my waist; which was my goal to begin with. I’m actually portioned pretty well. I can fit into (men’s) size 34 and/or 87 lower half wear again (87cm that is – most of my shorts are in metric measurement as I get them from Down Under where you can still get short men’s shorts), which was pretty much my goal to begin with. I’m to the point now I can start slowly transitioning back to a maintenance level of caloric intake with simply a restricted day after my cheat days to even things out. That’s kind of what I do already anyway.
So yes, I definitely feel better physically. Not only am I not carrying around as much weight but there for awhile I was having some absolutely horrible IBS-like symptoms. I’d cycle between being horribly backed up and not being able to stay out of the bathroom every few days (TMI, sorry) as well as almost constant stabbing stomach pain. I was wondering if maybe I had torn a hole in my stomach lining or something but that wasn’t it as I still handle insanely hot/spicy foods just fine (my heat tolerance is insane – I’ve eaten ghost pepper, scorpion pepper, etc. without breaking a sweat or having any ill effects). It was just a side effect to my horrible eating/alcohol habits.
Anyway, it’s good to be back to “normal” and I hope to keep it that way. Of course, now that I’ve built this routine into my structure I should be alright.