My weight, my nemesis

Let me be honest, I don’t like exercising. It’s not that I dislike it, it’s just I’m not the type of person who gets off on adrenaline rushes and looks forward to their next iron pumping session at the gym. However, given that I work at home and I’m a Software Developer I have to exercise regularly otherwise I’ll either develop a DVT due to sitting down all day or bloat up to two hundred kilos and start sweating and panting every time I get up to pee.

I’ve been fighting with my weight for about fifteen years now, ever since I left University and started my first job at Nortel Networks in Maidenhead. It was the first time that I’d really been away from home (after all I went to Bradford University, in the town where I spent most of my youth) and emotionally it was a tough time for me. I turned to food, as people often do, to help me deal with the loneliness. That said, it didn’t help that Nortel gave free breakfasts to all the techies as an incentive for turning in early and subsidized lunches at the office canteen to encourage them to stay on the campus. My lack of will power, cheap nasty food and my natural disdain for formal exercise led me balloon to well over one hundred kilos.

I wasn’t always this way though, as a kid I was constantly on the move, always exploring and trying my best to have adventures. We used to play “hares and hounds” as kids which involved a one or two of us having to find and then chase down the remainder of our little group. In short, I was as slim as a beanpole despite nearly eating my long suffering mother out of house and home. Even at University, being too poor to have a car (even an “old banger”), I would up having to walk everywhere carrying stupidly heavy books like a pack horse. That and eating nutritionally dubious food meant that by the time I started looking for a real job I was svelte and still sported the six pack nature had blessed me with.

Fast forward to five years ago and late one night, close to Christmas, I find myself watching post midnight TV. For those who tend to go to bed at reasonable hours, this is the domain of the infomercial and usually I have little to no interest in the bizarre wares they peddle. Really I have no desire to purchase the fantastic and innovative looking twenty eight piece vegetable peeler. But one segment caught my eye, it made me not want to eat the last butter cookie perched high up my mountain of a belly. It was an infomercial for a fitness program called Power 90 by Beach Body. It gave me reason to pause because it said that if I wanted to lose weight then I would have to work at it. This sounds obvious to those who already exercise but there are so many exercise programs that promise a lot in return for little effort that you tend to tune them out after a while since you know they can’t be true. This one was different. The next day I ordered a copy, lost thirty kilos and haven’t looked back. I even bought their follow up program P90X which led to me feeling fitter and healthier than I ever had before.

Fast forward again to December 2009, I hit a snafu, my second son was about to come along and Rebecca was taken into hospital for a couple of weeks before his birth as a precaution. I felt it was important to ensure that my first son continued to see his mother and so we daily made the hundred kms round trip to the hospital. To compound matters further, a few months after my son’s birth I was working hard on getting my writing application Quoll Writer completed and available for sale which meant working long into the night putting the website together, fixing bugs and adding features. With all the stress and lack of sleep my thyroid decided to throw it’s toys out of it’s pram and became under-active. The upshot of this is a. I fall alseep at strange times and have little to no energy and b. I put on weight like a pig being fattened up for Christmas. As Rebecca pointed out, I’m one of the few people who can actually say they have a “hormone problem” to explain away their size (not that I would want to use that as an excuse however even if it is the reason). The thyroid condition is interesting because I can, quite literally, put on a kilo or more in a single day, much to my annoyance and bewilderment. Luckily I’ve now brought my thyroid under control again with medication but the weight has remained and I’ve suffered with a number of illnesses this past year. I have a running joke now that I’m planning what will strike me down in the coming month.

Recently I have been loosely following the workouts designed by Scooby a 49 year old Engineer who lives in El Salvador. Ah the joys of the internet. I say loosely because I have been doing extra cardio, two twenty minute sessions extra per day. This works out well for me since I sit at home all day. It ensures that I get up at regular intervals and doesn’t consume a vast chunk of time. It’s been working reasonably well, I’ve followed the intermediate workouts thus far although I’m thinking of upgrading to advanced with a couple of changes. I have learned over the years is that it’s important to adapt workouts to your specific needs/lifestyle/preferences.

What does the future hold for my weight? Who knows. One thing I can be certain of is that I will be battling my nemesis for a long time to come. Damn, that’s a bit of a sour note to finish on isn’t it. Here’s a puppy.

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