Back at Starbucks – 6

After three Sundays off my regular routine (mostly due to vacation) now, for a while, I’ll be back on my “regular” routine. Exiled from home this is my home-away-from-home refuge. The vacation had a brutal effect on my weight loss plan but I’ve dropped 15.3lbs of “wet weight” I gained on vacation and so settled at 6.8lbs of “real gain” which will take me a few weeks to work off. Unfortunately in the next couple of months I’ll have more events that will interfere with my dedicated program and so once again I’ll be stuck in the 90s.

The unseasonably cold weather (some snow last week) has messed up my spring and early summer plans. I’d thought that maybe this week I would make my “practice” camping trip to Niobrara and now that’s delayed at least a week. But the bigger adverse consequence is that I think it will be very unlikely I can get into Tie Flume (Bighorns in Wyoming) since there has been a lot of snow in the Rockies and little warming to melt the unplowed access road. So it looks like I’ll need an alternate plan and I definitely want to get outdoors before the summer crowds.

I had a vague notion that I might resume bicycling and so take a bike with me. So I dug out my old Trek MTB, unused for about 12 years. It’s in bad shape (rear derailleur broken). Compared to modern bikes it’s a bit of an antique but I think I can get it repaired for a reasonable price (way less than buying a new, comparable bike). My weight loss program has led me to considerable stationary biking (~1600 miles since 1Jan2013) so my legs can probably handle some riding but my butt, which to be tougher to handle long times in the saddle, may not handle much riding. The trouble with riding is that it’s not much fun when I’m now in shape and staying in shape, here in Omaha, is tough due to the weather (I react badly to summer heat, so it’s not just the winters). So without a clear outdoor training plan it’s not clear I can resume cycling. So a new bike, while tempting, has to wait to see if I can stay dedicated enough to justify it, instead of just continuing to use my old bike(s). So we’ll see on that.

After a decade of being a couch-potato my getting-in-shape plan has multiple components:

  1. get BMI back down to 25, requiring a steady-state weight of 185 (14lbs still to go)
  2. get muscle tone back, especially legs, for more vigorous outdoor activity (biking, hiking)
  3. get BP and cholesterol under control, ideally without meds. But I’m not there yet on that so this week I used my new Part D Medicare, for the first time now that we’re retired, to renew both meds. It looks like months before I’ll be in the shape I want to see my doc and see if I can go off meds, but at least all the exercise tied to weight-loss plan has BP in good shape with only minimal meds
  4. but now I have new issue, a severe (very sharp) back pain that in turn caused wider spread pain, while driving, that would make the drive to Wyoming unpleasant. So, despite my skepticism, I’m now signed up for weeks for “adjustment” by chiropractor to see if I can get spine, esp. neck vertebra, “adjusted”, now that my belly weight isn’t pulling me down so much
  5. stabilize all these factors and get to some steady-state diet/exercise plan that will leave me in target weight zone with other physical issues good enough to support a vigorous lifestyle

This experience with huge “water weight” gain, mostly just due to “normal” eating is discouraging. When I was first loosing weight my progress was fairly steady and now it’s highly variable. For instance, yesterday I ate, more or less, normally and yet I’m up 1.5lbs today. And my Starbucks day always produced an uptick and tomorrow it’s off to Dantes for a special five course meal, so it will probably be Wednesday before I’m back to where I was yesterday, at the starting gate for resuming weight loss (first burning off the “real” vacation gain). It’s clear I have two weights now  – a “wet” weight (after several days of normal eating where I regain body water) and a “dry” weight (my level after several sustained days of near-fasting). In reality, the wet weight is the steady-state so I now realize that to achieve 185lbs I really need to hit 170lbs dry weight. That’s 30 real pounds from where I am now or about 12 weeks of my previous 2.4lbs/week loss trajectory. I don’t actually believe 170 dry weight is achievable since that is where I was while rowing crew 45 years ago, so it appears my steady-state will be stuck somewhere in the high 80s, good enough but a little disappointing.

So for nearly half a year my life has been almost entirely focused on weight-loss and that kept me focused, but now after vacation and the upcoming outdoor activities I need to refocus again. In short, what is my steady-state life, now with both of us retired and still reasonably fit, but with no real goals. It’s a bit depressing to think that the best I can do for the rest of my life is just struggle with weight and fitness and boredom.

I discovered, soon after moving to Omaha, that travel was critical to my mental state. The winter depression (literally cabin fever) has to be compensated by determination to get back outside again. This was not an issue when I lived in California since: a) I was working as my primary focus, and, b) the climate permitted year-round outdoor activity. So it’s time for a new adjustment where I find a way to allow physical activity (and hopefully good health) to keep my mood up.

So today, back on routine, it’s time for a new beginning with 2013 as the transition year, from my past life (now gone) to whatever lies ahead.

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About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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