Monday, January 08, 2007

In for a penny...

I haven’t mentioned New Year’s Resolutions yet. I don’t know why I bother with the damn things as they don’t work out 90 per cent of the time. Still, miracles can happen.

Anyway, I have hatched a plan to make one of them work. I think. Of course, it involves a bit of humiliation on my part, which ought to no doubt amuse my friends and inspire me to actually complete the challenge.

It dawns on me that 10 years ago at this time I was in South Korea. Now, the country has many wonderful qualities, but one of the more interesting ones I found was that it made me lose lots and lots of weight. No kidding, in my time in the country, which was about eight months, I lost 20 pounds.

I recall after being there about five months visiting my friends Chris and Lisa in another city and they were horrified at how gaunt I looked. I didn’t think I looked that bad, but apparently I was appalling. It was the result of months of not eating much because I lived in a smallish Korean town and trying to figure out food other than ramen noodles and rice was proving to be a challenge.

My weight at that time, and I remember because they made me get on a scale, was 177 pounds. Which I would hardly call gaunt, but it’s certainly low to what I am now. (The lowest I’ve weighed as an adult was 160 pounds, but that was the result of two months of not being able to eat much other than soup after an injury that required 13 stitches in my mouth, followed by strep throat, a vicious flu and a wisdom teeth scare. As a weight loss regime, I can’t really recommend it.)

What I am now is 246 pounds. I made the mistake of stepping on a scale at my mom’s house over Christmas.

This is clearly an unacceptable amount of weight to be carrying around. Twenty-five pounds ago my doctor was pissed off at how much I weighed. I imagine current circumstances would not make him any happier. But it’s things other than a potentially pissed off doctor. It’s noticing that most of my friends now appear to be in better shape than the last time I saw them. It was shopping for clothes and getting increasingly pissed off.

So that’s that. The weight has to go.

The problem actually isn’t over-eating or eating crap. Could we eat healthier? Absolutely. But we’re not eating really poorly. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Extra lean ground beef. A decent amount of fruits and vegetables. Very, very little take-out. And I’m sorry, I’m not giving up chocolate so we might as well not even get started on that one. I give up chocolate and I’m going to be eating prison food because eventually I will kill someone.

No, the real problem is inactivity. Which is perhaps easy to understand when it’s -40 or so outside. You oddly don’t see many joggers in Iqaluit in February. Come to think of it, considering how much joggers generally piss me off, it’s actually one of the perks of the place.

So no, steps are required. We’ve both done the cliché thing and joined the gym and resolved to go at least three times a week. Tonight was our first night and it's not a bad gym. A touch small, but not too crowded and it's not packed with steroid goons.

We’ll watch portions a bit more closely. And we’ve both set the realistic goal of trying to lose 50 pounds each by the end of 2007. That’s basically one pound per week. I think that’s entirely doable. I’ll be 196 pounds, still a touch heavier than I would like, but a damn bit better than what I am now. My mom managed to lose nearly 50 pounds in the past year and is keeping it off. And mom has been on her share of diets so whatever she is doing on this one it's working for her.

(As a side note, she’s actually at 46 pounds down. When she loses 50 pounds she’s getting her belly button pierced. I’m honestly torn if I want her to reach her goal of 50 pounds down if there is going to be piercing of my mom going on.)

So why mention this on the blog? Because I have the grand plan of every Monday putting up on the blog how much I currently weigh. I got the idea of the novel writing challenge in November. I figured there were two reasons I was able to reach 50,000 words. One was that I had people to compete with. And as Cathy has lamented, I am very competitive (we may end up killing each other playing Guitar Hero before the month ends). The other reason I hit my mark was that I put the writing online. I don’t know how many were reading it, but I know that when I missed a day, I would get a few people wondering where the next chapter was. Towards the end, when things began falling apart and I was running out of juice, there was real concern I might falter so close to the finish.

So that’s the plan here. By putting my weight online each week, I can monitor how I’m doing, compete with myself a bit and I know I have people out there who will keep me honest.

And with a bit of luck, at this point next year it will be a thinner me writing on this blog.


Newfie in Nebraska said...

Good Luck, Craig! a pound a week is a challange, but you've set harder ones. After all, you did marry - and to such a wonderful woman! :^)

Seriously, We look forward to seeing (less of) you this summer!

Anonymous said...

What an impresive resolution! Good luck and I will definitely be monitoring to see your progress.