Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lose [the bet] to lose [the weight]

Okay, the time has finally come to say "Enough is enough."

You can not lose weight and keep it off by crazy dieting. Everybody knows this, but most of us -- myself included -- still harbor the secret desire to drop the weight fast and then get sensible. But I (and I suspect more than a few of you) are living proof it doesn't work that way.

The last weight bet I'll ever make concludes on September 2. I have 15 or so pounds to drop between now and then. And you know what? I could do it. I'm serious. I could eat cabbage soup, work out like Michael Phelps and drench layer after layer of sweatclothes, and I could drop that insane amount. And even as I say it, there's a part of me egging me on, saying "Yeah, man. Do it! Win!" But in this case, losing (the weight) is losing (the war).

To be healthy, we have healthy. We have to eat in moderation. Not too much, not too little. We have to exercise regularly -- and at a healthy intensity and duration. And until we embrace this truth, we will never reach a healthy weight long enough to enjoy it. We will always bounce back up.

So I am refusing to do it. I am turning my back on the cash (glorious cash) and the short-term satisfaction of Pyrrhic victory. Instead, I am cutting my losses (literally and figuratively) and going back to slow and steady. Going back to counting points and tracking what I eat on Going back to trying to be healthy -- not just thinner.

In other words, I have to be the loser to actually lose and thereby win.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Compute Your BMI -- without an advanced degree in mathematics

For those of you motivated by my last inspiring post to determine your own Body Mass Index, here's an easy BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:

BMI Calculator

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Goal: Become Overweight

Body Mass Index (BMI) was invented so people of different heights could compare there relative fatness...I mean some meaningful way. Somehow, some scientist somewhere said, "What if we take a person's weight in kilograms and divide it by the square of his or her height in meters?" (An obvious solution....) And so BMI was born. To convert that crazy formula to English measurements (i.e., to use pounds and inches), you just have to multiply the whole crazy mess by 705. In other words, here's the formula:
BMI = Weight (lbs.) / Height (in.)2 x 705
So, according to BMI, I am currently Obese. At 280, my highest weight and the point from which I began this recent weight loss, I had a BMI of 37. As you can see from the chart above, that put me at the high side of Obese. Eleven more pounds, and I would have been categorized as Morbidly Obese. Yikes.
Now, at 253, I have a BMI of 34 and I am now officially closer to being merely Overweight. To actually attain my goal of being merely Overweight, I'd have to weight 217. That means losing 36 more pounds.
But at 217, I feel and look pretty damned good, to tell the truth. To get down to Normal, or 187 pounds, would put me at a weight I haven't seen since 1982.
Let's just work on getting down to Overweight. We'll see where we go from there.