Sunday, 30 July 2017

Thought Picnic: To the gym for a Jim?

Sweet tooth dilemma
I cannot deny I have always had a sweet tooth, a characteristic of which has gone to war against my dentition from decades ago. Whilst I count myself more a tea-drinker than a coffee-quaffer, the beverages have required sweetening and milk.
Then I started changing elements of my diet out of concerns for my health at first and to address some fears of body dysmorphia that might accompany a certain age. I have thankfully never been fat, but I am a bit troubled about things getting out of control, like bundles of unexplained tissue at the back of the neck and a tummy ballooning into an embarrassment.
My medication can change the physiology that some people can be susceptible to lipodystrophy where fat deposits show up in parts of the body to cause discomfort and possible deformities.
Figures and numbers
Maybe if I spent a bit more time in the gym and took up swimming as I have always wanted to, I could bring that and the other under control. When I had cancer some 8 years ago, I lost a quarter of my body weight, having had a 32” waist for as long as I could remember, I was down to about 28” that my doctor in discussing the change to my physique wanted me to gain back all that I had lost and a little more.
I have never been comfortable to gaining back all of it, I would rather I was 10% to 15% short of my peak weight. Besides, I have too much of a head for the numbers in checking the Body Mass Index (BMI) or making metric comparisons between height and weight where I imagine you are fit if your weight in kilograms is less than 100 units taken from your height. So, the comparison for a typical height of 6 feet which is 183cm should carry a weight of 83kg or less.
I guess that thinking, especially for males, belies a predilection to physical attraction defined as slim, slender or skinny, which would put the weight at lower than 75kg. On matters of body dysmorphia, one can suddenly be quite fickle, for both oneself and others.
Changes to diet
On my diet, I started with taking the Maggi essence out of my cooking completely, I am good enough in the kitchen to make tasty food without enhancing it with additives. Though it is not what I would get from eating out. One radical change was when I stopped putting sugar in my tea and consequently stopped having it in my coffee too.
It was not an act of the will of determination, I just decided to try it and then concluded, it was doing me no harm. It has not knocked the kilograms off the scale, but I am a bit happier for it. My next activity has been reducing salt in my diet too. Along with this change, I rarely take fizzy drinks, drink more water and where I make yoghurt shakes, I use honey as the sweetener.
To the gym for a Jim?
I probably can shed a lot of weight by doing more exercise, my three months in Edinburgh involved walking to my office, sometimes up to 2 kilometres each way, even if I could get a bus. I thought it was good exercise.
However, the struggle remains to maintain a fitter body into my 50s without getting obsessed with the way I look. This blog shows I am a bit concerned, I just don’t want it to take over my life. That is my fear of body dysmorphic disorder.


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