Thursday, July 02, 2015

My Belly Is Now a Problem

I just noticed a couple of weeks ago that my weight had suddenly ballooned up to 170 lbs. By "suddenly," I mean that back in only May of this year, I was hovering, as I had been for the past 7 years or so, between 155 and 160, with a completely reasonable goal of getting down to below 150 before my upcoming 50th birthday in August. (I'm 5'8". When I graduated high school, I was a too-skinny 118. I consider my "picture/fighting weight" to be 137. I consider 150 or below to be "reasonable" for me.)

Around June of this year, though, some weird ballooning seems to have taken place. I haven't gone through menopause yet (though, at nearly-50, I'm surely about to). I haven't been drinking more or eating more. The pre-/post-stress of my move in late January has subsided. Perhaps I've just reached that fabled middle-aged plateau where you're just all-of-a-sudden dumpy?

I have a scale, and a couple of weeks ago I noticed the big jump in weight. And so took some minor steps that I thought would correct the problem: At my work cafeteria, when before I'd order some fries or a slice of pizza with my salad, I started just getting a bigger salad and deleting the fries or pizza. Mid-afternoon snacks at work I almost completely deleted. Eating fast food, I almost completely deleted. Eating around midnight after hours on the computer and just before bed, I almost completely deleted.

In my past experience with my body, changes in diet usually have taken about 2 weeks to kick in before showing results in weight. This time, though, I was puzzled that my weight had stayed the same even after my efforts. Fuck. It might be just like losing my 20/20 vision around 2010.

With weight, though, unlike vision, you do have a bit of control. In my latter high school years, I used to do 50 sit-ups a night, just for the hell of it. (After watching my mother's mild at-home exercise regimen.) But when I was 18, 50 sit-ups didn't feel like anything. I had daily PE at school, I was young and limber, I didn't yet smoke, I had milk and orange juice for breakfast...

Now, though, I can do about 15 sit-ups when I try... and I don't usually want to try. In the morning, I just want to get up and get to work; in the evening, I just want to either drink beer while I'm on the computer or else lie on the couch and watch TV before I go to sleep. Where/how does exercise, other than the 2 miles I walk per day on the way to/from work, fit in? And why isn't that 2 miles of walking enough, dammit?

Post 18 years old, I've never had to exercise or diet. As I said above, 155-160 felt "kind of heavy" but not crazily so. 170, though, has crossed into the realm of a problem I haven't yet been used to dealing with. Because I don't want to be a "fat office lady" and I don't want to be denied every single bit of clothing that I find attractive and I don't want to walk around like the schlub that I feel like right now, I do indeed have to do SOMETHING. I can't eat much less, and I don't want to drink much less... I guess exercising above and beyond walking is what's called for.


Alessandro Machi said...

Stressful sitting while on the computer is one issue. Another could be not doing cardio-vascular exercise on a regular basis. Even walking 20 to 30 minutes a day could turn the tide. Of course, always consult with a doctor. And watch the sugary drinks. I dilute all of my drinks with at least another 100% to 250% worth of distilled water mixed in.

Beth Austin said...

Thanks, Alessandro. Not having a car, I do walk from 20 to 30 mins a day. Haven't consulted with a doctor about anything since the '90s. Drink a Coke a day, and 6-8 beers 4 or 5 times a week (none of which I'm going to dilute).