I’ve been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember.
I am 53 years old (54 next month) and except for a time in my late 20’s when I was coked up all the time, haven’t been able to achieve any meaningful weight loss in the 25+ years. The numbers keeping inching upwards.
I wonder if I’m old enough not to worry about it anymore. I’m married to the love of my life. I have a great job that I look forward to going to almost every single day. I have the privilege of traveling around the world. And I am lucky enough to lead a epicurean lifestyle nestled between foodie San Francisco, a booming Oakland food scene and the insanely gorgeous wine country of Sonoma and Napa to the north. Why should I care now?
I don’t feel like I’m in my 50’s and I should just give up. I don’t feel old. I still value attractiveness and (as much as I would like to be evolved on the topic and fervently oppose a culture that values looks over everything else) it is hard to be attractive when you are fat. Some people manage to do it with beauty, style and grace. But not many. And I’m not one of them.
My health has been suffering for a number of years and is getting worse and worse. I don’t think that my weight is the cause per se but certainly a contributing factor.
- GERD with Barrett’s Esophagus — I have extreme heart burn and problems with acid reflux. Apparently it is now so bad that the tissue in my esophagus has begun to change due to the onslaught of acid over time. This is a pre-cancerous condition. I’m on daily medication for this which has other side effects like inhibiting calcium absorption and possibly other nutrients.
- Plantar fascitis — This resulted in surgery on my left foot and now it looks like the right foot may be following suit.
- Pulmonary embolism —A few years ago I had a PE. One of the contributing factors is excess weight.
- Menopause symptoms — I started menopause early and used to suffer extreme (and I mean extreme) hot flashes. I tried all of the eastern and western medicine protocols and treatments and none of them worked until I started using a hormone patch. Night and day difference! But I had to get off of the patch once I had the PE. The only thing I have ever tried (other than the patch) that has worked is cutting out — or down — on sugar. But have never done that for any significant amount of time.
- Fatigue — I am tired ALL OF THE TIME.
Professional and life success
I believe that my excess weight has been a barrier to my professional success. I have been reasonably successful in my career but people value discipline and self control and my body says that I am not disciplined nor do I have very much self control. Let’s face it, when people look at someone who is fat, they don’t automatically see someone who has it together and that can be a serious impediment to advancement.
The same holds true in social circles. There are friends I haven’t seen in years because I am embarrassed about how much weight I’ve gained. How sad is that?!
So what do I do about it?
I have tried diet after diet after diet. With about zero success. I spent several thousand dollars to attend a Women, Food and God retreat focused on mindfulness in the spring. I loved the retreat, ate super healthy, connected with myself — then came home and didn’t continue doing a single practice that I had learned. Last night I looked up bariatric surgery options and I’m not quite fat enough for that so that isn’t an option.
So I am going to have to come up with a plan for myself and tackle this issue once and for all.
Here are my initial thoughts:
- Start Whole30 on September 5. I will plan to be “off” for dinner on September 15 to participate in a Farm Dinner that I’ve already paid for. I am traveling onsite to support an event from September 26–28 so I may have to make some modifications and may drink but I think I can stay pretty close to plan. September 29 is my birthday so I will likely have a celebratory dinner either that night or during the weekend some time. But this is about as good of timing as it gets.
- I see a doctor on Tuesday to get the test results evaluating all of my hormone levels (including cortisol). Hopefully, there are some identifiable issues there that will help me tackle this.
- Pick one of the practices from Women, Food and God each week to implement. I don’t need to wait until I start Whole30 to do this.
- At each meal ask myself, what is the best choice I can make right this minute?
- Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day.
- Get up and move each hour at work. Walk for at least 20 minutes each day (though I may have to ease into this due to my foot).
- Log and journal each day here. What did I eat (and what did I not eat), what seems to be working, what are my challenges and how do I overcome them.
- Tweak the food practices to find something that works. I’m starting with strict elimination and the paleo Whole30 plan but don’t expect I will stick to this forever but maybe some modified version.
- I expect some related issues are lack of discipline in the areas of spending and keeping my home neat. I say this because I believe that they are all manifestations of the same thing — at least on an energetic level. I’d like to add in a few practices addressing these issues along the way.
- Get down to 130 pounds. I’ll have to lose 60 or so pounds.
- Alleviate the GERD (or greatly reduce it) enough so that I can get off of the medication.
- Increase energy levels (by a lot!).
- Live in health, wealth and gratitude.
I’ll begin the Whole30 prep in earnest when we return from Vegas on the 29th. Between now and then, I will begin easing into this and developing my plan.
Acid Reflux Symptoms:
Women, Food & God Practice:
Graceful Living Practice: