Monday, May 28, 2018

The Island in the Wreck Room

"My God, you just keep on losing weight," said my client last night. And then, her voice sharpening -- she's in her seventies, the age when losses keep coming -- "are you all right?" 

My Dad remarked, in his slow, thoughtful way, "160 seems kind of low."

Maybe. I'm at 158 now; trying to level out. I get no help whatever from my appetite, which so far as I can tell still believes I should weigh 75 pounds more than I do. I have to steer this thing myself, carefully and deliberately.

I am nothing like emaciated. But I do note a curiosity about just how small I could become, and a delight in having control over it: the germ no doubt of anorexia, which bears watching. Still the greatest risk by far is simply falling back. I have no intention of dropping the reins, and I have no expectation that exercising this control will ever be much easier. This is my life, as far as eating goes. It's a good life. I like my food. I like knowing what I'm eating tomorrow, and making sure everything is ready and prepped well ahead of time. I like being master in my own house. 

So I just watch the numbers carefully: the numbers will take care of me. The process becomes very slow, now, but I have a goal still: getting my waist measurement to be 90% of my hip measurement. At present those numbers are 35.25" and 36.25". When my hips were 37.5" I thought that number could not really go down much, but it did, by almost two inches. I really do think it's stopped, and will even rise now, as I'm working up my lower body strength (which has always lagged, almost ludicrously, my upper body strength). The nice thing about this goal is that I can't be tricked into mistaking muscle loss for fat loss, or fat gain for muscle gain. But it's slow going, building muscle while losing a bit more fat -- reaching this goal may take half again as long as losing the 75 pounds did. Which is fine. I am smack mid-channel, right where the charts and tables say I should be. There's no urgency about the finishing touches. So long as the distance between the two numbers is lengthening, I'm making progress.

Holding the hip number still, the waist number would need to drop to 32.6"; holding the waist number still, the hips would need to grow to 38.8". Just reckoning roughly, here -- there's no point in being exact -- I should be trying to lose an inch or so off my waist, landing somewhere around 33.5", and gain an inch or so in the hips, landing somewhere around 37". This of course strikes me as impossible, but I already am living in an impossible world, in which my waist has shrunk by fourteen inches. All things, apparently, are possible.

I work out every morning, alternating core-and-glute days (when knee and elbow joints get to take the day mostly off) with days of lifting, pushing, or pulling. I find all of this very satisfying, but it is a sort of Robinson Crusoe endeavor, alone on my carpet-island in the wreck room. I feel sometimes I should be more in the world than I am, more in contact with people. But when it comes down to it, I'm not feeling very sociable or very well-disposed to my countrymen. Let them lie in the bed they've made: I have other things to do.

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