Tag Archive for weight

Heart Healthy

The following Tweet from Brion Salazar sounded very familiar:

Sal's TweetIt goes the same way for me. The nurse guides me to the scale and starts it at 150lbs, and they’re surprised when I quietly nudge it up to the correct range. Then they strap the cuff on me and are very pleased to find I’m down around 116/75/70. I have further proof my pump’s in good shape after a stress test and some pictures of my heart all came back aces.

Point is, big guys aren’t always unhealthy guys, which is why BMI needs to go away. Doctors must feel like idiots when they have to flag a patient as obese because his BMI is 31.6 but he’s a 5’10” bodybuilder weighing 220lbs and his body fat is well south of 10%.

People—medical pros included—are used to equating big with unhealthy. They don’t know I spend a good eight hours a week in the dojo. They don’t know Sal is a boxer. The bodybuilder in my theoretical example would spend a lot of time on a bike or treadmill to keep his body fat down to show off that muscle.

Some of us are just naturally bigger and could never make it into the appropriate BMI range for our height. That’s not to say we don’t have excess weight we can dump, just that we’re not on the verge of having a grabber like our insurance companies assume given our numbers on paper.

The key is movement.

Get up off the couch, out of the office chair, and move around. Martial arts, boxing, and bodybuilding not your thing? Find something. My brother-in-law plays soccer. Three of my co-workers are avid runners and another is a kayaker. My wife runs and practices tai chi. There’s something for everyone.

Get healthy. Get your activity levels up.

Then worry about weight loss.

Diets are bullshit without activity.

End of rant.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Fat Guy in a Little Gi

All in all, I’m in good health. I’d like my cardio to improve, but I’m ahead of many people my age and most people my weight. Despite a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure, my blood sugar has been consistently good and my blood pressure has dropped from borderline to just a tick above normal (for systolic, anyway) in the last couple of years.

Cholesterol has been a tricky animal, but it’s under control. I take 20mg of a statin every night, and while my HDL is three points low, everything else is aces. I think part of the problem was the glucosamine chondroitin I was taking for my joints, but I’ve been seeing many reports about it elevating cholesterol and I stopped taking it the same time I started on the statin. Boom, my cholesterol dropped like a rock. (The studies may show the cholesterol isn’t going up, but I suspect it’s at least causing false positives.)

The only nagging problem I have is my weight. Now, to be fair, I’m still forty pounds lighter than I was in 2005. I also don’t put any stock in body mass index (but of course my doctor does because my insurer does), and I’ve never been the “ideal weight” for my height, even when people would have called me thin. As such, I don’t put a lot of stock in the actual number. However, I do concern myself with the extra padding I have around my gut, my sides, and my thighs.

It’s not so much a vanity thing (though I’ll admit, there’s some of that there) as it is a concern that this extra weight is starting to affect my knees and is generally slowing me down. When I spar, for example, I don’t think I’m getting beaten on skill, I think many of my opponents are simply faster. Blowing a knee isn’t going to do me any favors, either, and I don’t need this extra padding contributing to other health problems in the future.

My weight has been relatively static for the past couple of years. Here’s a picture of me from January 2008:

Wow. Its tough to look at myself in a blue belt.

Wow. It's tough to look at myself in a blue belt now that I wear brown.

I should take a new picture for comparison, but really, it wouldn’t look much different. A year later I weighed seven pounds more, and today I weigh eight pounds more. That’s a small fluctuation given my weight, and I’ve been stuck right within that range.

I credited some 2008 weight loss to running, when I dropped down even lower than where I was above. I gained a few pounds back when I stopped running over the winter, but then I ran at least as often this year with no effect. I’ve tweaked my diet a bit, but perhaps not enough. One speculation is I’ve swapped heavier muscle for fat, but my pants still fit the same so I don’t think it’s that simple this time.

I think it’s time to change up the home workouts, get in some more cardio/aerobic exercise. That’s very easy to do with karate, switching over to bag work (I bought the damn thing I may as well get back to using it) and sparring drills on top of kata and wazas. Not to mention I need to start practicing my ju ju undo (free exercise) to music, which I need to do at least once to get to ikkyu (first degree brown belt).

In fact, it’s probably time to revamp the whole after-work routine. I’ve got a few ideas here that involve both karate workouts and writing. I’ll have to ponder it some before I move on to next year’s goals.

Meanwhile, it’s also time to take a harder look at my meals, both content and portion. I’ll get started right after the family goes out for Chinese tonight…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Sudden Realization

The other problem with slow weight loss is you don’t see the differences right off. Maybe you start to notice your clothes fit loosely, or you compare some numbers if you’ve been keeping track of your weight for any length of time, but there’s rarely a WOW! moment.

I had one today today.

The daylight savings change was like a switch for many things. One week it’s cool but not cold, and the sun’s still up into the evening. Then the time changed and the Wife and I are busting out the kids’ winter jackets and talking about sealing up all the windows. The sun’s gone shortly after 5pm.

I haven’t been cold walking to work, but yesterday the winds kicked up and cut right through my zip-up hoodie. I broke down and got out my own winter jacket. Halfway to work today, I zipped it up, and was blown away by how much extra room I had. Last year, if I zipped up the jacket it fit snug across my belly. It wasn’t tight like the year before, but it was right there.

Today I was able to grab a big handful of the front and tighten it up. I may not have been swimming in the jacket, but I had inches to spare.

Now that’s progress. The BMI calculations say I’ve got a ways to go, but even if I was convinced BMI was in any way definitive (I don’t think it accounts for muscle), I wouldn’t let it bring me down.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.