Saturday 21 February 2015

Fat Guys On Bikes

Even my leaner summer weight is still
overweight / borderline obese.
I got called in for a checkup at my local MDs last week.  I'm not a little fellow, at 6'3" I usually tip the scales at about 110 kilos (~240lbs).  At that weight I don't carry much extra weight anywhere, though my BMI tells me that I'm on the verge of obesity there, which doesn't make it a very effective tool for encouraging reduction.  According to the BMI I should weigh 175lbs, which is astonishing.  I think I'd look emaciated at that weight on my frame.  Even as a lean teen I was about 200lbs.

The checkup was a followup for blood pressure, which I'm in a healthy range on.  The shock came when I got weighed.  The middle of winter isn't the best time to weigh yourself, especially when we're in the middle of the coldest winter on record.  When going outside hurts you tend to turtle by the fireplace.

At 262lbs, I'm well into obesity now, though I still consider myself active and can get out of a chair without making strange noises.  I've been doing yoga once a week, but dropped hockey because of the driving involved and the general level of jerkiness I experience playing with frustrated middle aged men.

The nurse asked what goals I'd like to set considering the good blood pressure but surprising fat-guy score.  I'd been thinking about exercising more, but when you don't tell anyone about it you're not held to anything.  I told the nurse I wanted to get back to 240lbs, so now I've told someone and I'm on the hook.

I've been hitting the elliptical twice a week for half an hour each time in addition to the yoga.  Between that and not eating everything that comes my way, I'm hoping to get back down under the 75th percentile for my gender and height.

Hopefully I can avoid the specialty
leathers when I finally get kitted out.
I've always tended to approach getting in shape backwards, I wait for the opportunity before preparing for it.  When I was preparing to join the police force, I was working out regularly while aiming for that physical exam.   With no reason to get into shape, why bother?

This time round I've set a reward for getting in shape.  If I can hit the weight goal I'll sign myself up for the weekend racing school.  Those little 125cc Hondas don't need a fat guy sitting on them, and the other riders don't need to see a 260+ lb guy trying to squeeze into race leathers.  Bruce Willis once said he can't be bothered to exercise at all, the only thing that motivates him is vanity.  If he knows he's going to be filmed with his shirt off he hits the gym.  I've got vanity and physics encouraging me.

As the nurse said, it's not a matter of binge exercise or diet, it's about habit changing.  I don't need to get all monk like and have only cabbage and water.  If I can get into a comfortably doable new normal, I won't worry about the numbers and just see where I end up.  Be active at least 3 times a week (with a heart rate above 130), be reasonable with food consumption, and see where that gets me.  Enjoy my exercise (I have been so far, I've been watching Closer to the Edge while I get sweaty), and see how it affects my mood (positively so far, I look forward to it).

One of the tough things about getting older is staying active.  Life is busy, and the whole, 'if you stay fit you'll live longer!' argument doesn't do much for me.  If that means I'm sitting in an old-age home drooling on myself in forty years, I'd just as soon not be.  What is motivating is setting reachable goals, feeling better and rewarding myself for it with a bucket list experience.  With any luck I'll be blogging about that race weekend in June (and looking good in the pictures).