Thursday, August 19, 2010

The first day of the rest of my life....

I just love that song by Matt Maher!

Well, last night I ate Polish sausage & buttered noodles. Then I figured it all up & realized that I just ate 1500 calories! I wanted to puke! I am learning what has lots of calories and what does not. Breakfast today was a diet Mountain Dew. Lunch will be two bologna sandwiches, no chips, and water...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jeff's journey....take 2

Well, here I go again. I tried this about two years ago, and failed miserably. So, here it is, I’m gonna lay it ALL on the line.

First, the problem: I am seriously overweight. Here’s the stats-6’2”, 435lbs, 40 years old. That gives me a BMI(body mass index) of 56. 56!!! The CDC classifies that as “morbidly obese”. Some even have a more horrifying term “severely obese”. Whatever term you prefer, I have a very serious problem…
How in the world did I end up like this?!? Let me just tell the story. As a kid, I seemed to eat junk food all the time. I started growing outward in the third grade and have been overweight ever since. During my high school years, I wasn’t too bad at 238. I have always carried my weight well and had no problems until several years back. I battled with alcoholism from an early teen until I accepted Jesus as my Savior over ten years ago. I also was addicted to Skoal and He took that from me about 18 months later. I praise Him daily for doing miracles such as these in my life! But, an adverse affect of cutting out the beer and tobacco was that I ate more and more. Ten years ago I also was blessed with a great desk job, so my exercise level fell off dramatically. So, I blimped out. With a busy lifestyle, we eat out a lot and as you know, that is not wise for people like me.
I would go to the doctors’ office and due to their incompetence, they could not accurately weigh me. Therefore my weight would fluxuate between 360 and 390. My actual weight I found out at the beginning of this year was 439! What a shock that was! Do you know how embarrassing it is to weigh on a shipping scale because they don’t make regular scales big enough? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, too many Sonic double cheeseburgers, fries, and cokes later, here I am.

The solution: Calories. The intake far exceeded the output for too long. Now I have to reverse that. But how do I do it? I know, Sonic and Mc’ds are off limits from now on. I really have no problem with that, it’s just how do I eliminate fast, cheap junk food on the go with a lifestyle like mine? It is gonna be a challenge, for sure.

The options: 1. Eat smart and exercise a LOT.
2. Do nothing.
3. Some form of weight loss surgery.
Let me discuss these options. Option 1 is the most sensible as it involves me eating right and exercising and nobody cutting or inserting any foreign object inside of me. The only problem is that will it be too little, too late? What I mean is, if one pound=3,000 calories then how long would it take for me to lose, say about 600,000 calories (200 pounds)? Walking 15 minutes will burn about 400 calories. Now IF I can cut way down on my caloric intake and walk for the rest of my life, MAYBE I could lose the weight by the time I am, say, 65. Now that is a bit exaggerated, but this is a huge mountain that I am climbing.
Option 2 is out of the question. That is what has got me here. My legs hurt, are swollen severely most of the time, I am tired most days, suffer from asthma, sleep apnea, borderline high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low vitamin D levels, and a host of other complaints. THINGS CANNOT REMAIN THE SAME!
Option 3. Wow, I have never even considered this until very recently. Reasons? Several friends had the gastric bypass (formal name is Roux-en-Y) and almost died from resulting complications. Now I know where I’m going when I die, but I just am not convinced that I should speed up the process. Now there is a relatively new procedure called the Lap Band. A surgeon laproscopically inserts a band around the upper part of the stomach and it is filled with saline fluid. It has a port permanently installed to inflate/deflate the band in order to properly restrict food intake. I am so intrigued by this that I have consulted with others that have had this done as well as attended a seminar on the band-the first step in getting “banded”. If I do this, it will be a tool that will help me along my journey. Like a stepstool helps you gain access to something out of reach, the band is a tool to help the output exceed the intake (calorically-speaking).

Conclusion: I have to do something. I have been watching what I eat most of the time for almost a year. I have lost as much as 4 lbs in a week but it comes right back the next. I have been struggling with the issue for too long now. My health is going downhill as I predicted two years ago, and if I don’t do something this time, I may not see my grandchildren born. That is hard to type. I feel like a walking time bomb because my dad had his first heart attack at 45, and the docs told him that he needed a triple bypass then. He went against dr advice, but lived almost another 20 years. In the end he died of a massive heart attack. That could have most likely been prevented and dad may have still been here just if. My brother died almost a year ago at 59 of a heart attack. Maybe if he would have changed his lifestyle he would still be here. We weren’t close in the later years but I still long to talk with him. I don’t want to leave loved ones behind. Something has to give. This is the beginning of my story. Feel free to comment below.