Monday, October 08, 2012

Hitting a wall

It looks like I have come up a little short of the first weight loss goal I set for myself a couple of weeks ago. I had aimed to be at - or, hopefully, at least a smidge below - 92kg (roughly the weight I was when I last attempted a full marathon six or seven years ago). Alas, I am stuck at around 94kg (93.5kg at absolutely the most flattering measurement I can procure from my bothersomely inconsistent scales; not sure quite what the problem is with that - wildly uneven Chinese flooring?!).

Now, this might not seem so bad. I have lost at least 3kg, possibly 3.5kg in only two weeks. The thing is, I'd lost a similar amount over the previous three weeks just through severe dieting - but without doing a great deal of heavy exercise, and while still drinking, at least on occasions, quite a lot of beer. Once I gave up beer completely, ramped up my dieting another notch, and began running 12-15km every day, I thought I'd be able to lose weight much faster. And I did, for a short while: I got at least 75% of that weight off in only three or four days. But since then - NOTHING. For 11 or 12 days my weight has been rock steady at just below 95kg. I've only finally made a small dent in that again today - by going for a very long run in rather humid conditions; hence, it's probably just water-loss, and will go right back on.

Now, admittedly, I'd had to take a rest from running during that time, because of a calf strain. But I have tried to compensate with doing more exercise of other kinds (lunges, sit-ups, press-ups, light weight work; stair-climbing; and LOTS of walking). And I've been eating like a sparrow. And NOT DRINKING.

But my metabolism, it seems, has had enough. However much energy I might burn off when I'm out of the house or exercising, the rest of the time my body seems to lapse into a state akin to cryogenic suspension. I sleep, I read, I watch TV, I work on the computer; and it seems I do not burn off one single calorie while I'm doing any of this.

At least now I seem to have shaken off the muscle injury, so I should be able to get back into a full programme of running. And I'm trying to make my other exercise more plentiful and more regular (conditioning myself to get up from the computer at least once an hour and do 20 reps of something or other).

But my BIG GOAL (getting back down to 88kg - the weight I was when I came to China a decade ago - before my birthday in two weeks' time) is obviously out of reach. And even that would supposedly still be borderline "overweight" in the view of those unrealistic health fascists who tout the Body Mass Index as the ultimate touchstone of well-being.

I am going to continue to make efforts to get down closer to that weight. But it is beginning to look ominously as though 95kg (+/- 1kg or so) has become my 'natural weight'; I fear it is going to be all but impossible to get much below that, or to sustain that new level if I do. Particularly if I start drinking beer again - which I had hoped to do after my birthday. Bummer.

Middle age - I DO NOT like it!

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