Wednesday, December 27, 2017

End of Year Check-In

So. 2017 is a year that will live in infamy, but still: a good thing happened for me. In early May, finding myself fifty inches around the waist and 222 lbs, I set myself the task of losing a pound a week, with the concrete goals of bringing the waist down to forty inches and the weight down to 180. Both goals are drawing near, but the most astonishing and heartening thing is that I have actually been eating exactly what I planned to eat for seven months now. Nothing remotely like that has ever happened before -- this has been an issue all my adult life -- and the effect on my morale, even in the midst of sociopolitical dismay, has been remarkable. The weight has steadily dropped.

Weight Loss: Blue Line = a pound per week; Red Line = my weight

It looks like I'm due to hit 180 ahead of schedule, end of January or early February. The loss of girth has been less steady and puzzles me a little -- I keep working on the geometry of cylinders and spheres and it seems like, with a linear loss of mass, my waistline should shrink slightly more rapidly as I become smaller, but instead it's leveling off perceptibly:

The blue line here was just extrapolated from the first couple months' measurements

So that now it looks like my other major milestone of forty inches -- with the typical perversity of the actual measured world -- is due to fall, well, in the end of January or early February.

I have topography now where I have never had topography. The furrow down the middle of the rectus femoris (the front muscle of the thigh) is obvious, and there are engaging hollows under my biceps: I am becoming downright sinewy, which is something I have aspired to, wistfully, all my life. At my age, of course, the distinction between "sinewy" and "wizened" may be a little blurry: but still.

The point, however -- well, one of the points -- is not vanity, but health: to get rid of the visceral fat which is associated with "the diseases of civilization." The reason for the 180 and the forty inch goals was simply that pretty much everyone agreed that a man of my height ought to be under them. Now authority is less unanimous, and I can't really tell if people really think dreadfully aged men like me ought to weigh a little more -- and why would that be? -- or if they just do. If I'm still supposed to have a waist that's 90% of my "hips" (as we euphemistically call measurement around the bulge of the glutes), that looks like a bit of a project. One of the most striking effects of aging is the dwindling of the glutes: they really don't bulge much any more. What used to be the handiest location for fat reserves gets cut off, for some reason, right at the age when you could really use something soft to sit on. 

Anyway -- all in good time. I have still to get to the milestones: another month or so. Plenty of time for planning.


Dale said...

You can see the blip of Thanksgiving distinctly, on both graphs :-)

Pascale said...

This is downright awesome! I'm so pleased for you!

I suspect with the waist that some sort of exercise may be necessary to give it definition. That's been my experience anyway. Not that I do much exercising. Because: sweat. Ick.

rbarenblat said...

How strange and delightful. I am glad that you are pleased and that you are feeling good.

I miss you and I send love from afar.

Dave said...

"the distinction between "sinewy" and "wizened" may be a little blurry"
LOL. I am still struggling with the unfairness of it all: how can I weigh as much as I do and still have no goddamn ass? Life is a pain in the butt.

Nimble said...

So impressive. Or as RB says 'strange and delightful'. Wishing you a strange and delightful new year.

marly youmans said...

Wow, congratulations! That's definitely an achievement of bigness!

The blip of Thanksgiving! Haha! And Dave's comment... Guys complaining about their butts. Very amusing.

Peter said...

Wow. 2017 also saw my wife lose around the same amount of weight that you did. She's so pleased and doing all of the right things that I think she'll meet her long-term goal of keeping it off.