Friday, May 20, 2011

236.8 (To the future, and beyond!)

Well, I found a few helpful resources for crunching numbers, with the primary one being HealthStatus.  Trying to figure out how many calories are burned doing various activities, Basil Metabolic Rate, true BMI, average weigh by body-type, etc.  Very helpful.  Anyway, one of the things I was able to do was make a projection with regards to potential weight-loss if I stick to my plan and caloric deficit goals.  It is as follows:



Time to
Reach Goal
236.8 lb160 lb76.8 lb10008 mo 29 dy
236.8 lb180 lb56.8 lb10006 mo 19 dy
236.8 lb200 lb36.8 lb10004 mo 9 dy

Now, as pie-in-the-sky as these numbers and projections may be, I am at least encouraged by the fact that a) no matter what my final target weight goal may be, I'm closer than I've ever been, b) my next "goal" is less than 40lbs and about 4 months away, if I can keep this up, and c) this actually looks possible for me.  And yes, I'm well aware that this may be optimistic time-wise, but even if I add 50% more time on, it's still achievable within about a year or so.  I'll take it.

A bit additional:

I have an acquaintance that I follow on a web community who just underwent gastric surgery (sleeve, I believe).  This web community allows for uncensored images to be put up, and I've been seeing rather candid images of her as she loses weight.  I do observe that I feel a tinge of jealousy seeing the pounds fly off her body.  She was a very large woman (admittedly, she's about 6' tall to boot) but even with that, she easily weighed upwards of 300lb.

Now this has nothing to do with attractiveness, per se.  I always considered her rather pretty, and yes, the weight-loss improves upon that (as I'm sure it does in my case as well).  But for some reason, the whole weight-loss surgery just... really puts me off.

I've thought about weight-loss surgery.  A lot.  Over and over.  The last time I truly considered it, it was bypass.  Roux en-Y (proximal) or something similar.  In reading her reasons for chosing the sleeve, she states that she didn't want something so invasive, extreme or potentially fatal, so no fault there.  One thing she mentioned was that it she considers her sleeve "forced evolution because we don't need large stomachs anymore".

Wow, do I not buy that concept.  For a number of reasons, this is just not a good way to look at this.  First, while it is true that the only way to reduce the size of the human stomach after adulthood is via surgery, in my eyes, the human stomach is designed to be very flexible and adaptable to change.  One of the main reasons for this is not holding varying amounts of food, but for gas.  Eat something that interacts with the stomach acids in a certain way, and gas is produced.  With a restricted stomach, that gas has no place to go, and will cause great pain, discomfort, and illness/vomiting.

Secondly, the large stomach was caused by something, and that something is over-indulging and over-eating.  It didn't happen by itself.  It happened because the stomach owner in question had an underlying issue that caused it, and that is a hunger of a different type.  Mind hunger, heart hunger, eye hunger.  None of those hungers will be reduced by reducing or restricting the physical stomach.  So, bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure to correct an emotional or mental condition?  Nope.  Doesn't work that way.  If you don't address the emotional, mental or spiritual issues that underlay the behavior, what actually changes?  Sure, you'll drop weight rapidly, and may even keep it off, but what really changes?  Interestingly, one of the major issues with GBP is one most doctors and surgeons  don't talk about, and that's depression.
[From Wikipedia:] "Gastric bypass surgery has an emotional, as well as a physiological, impact on the individual. Many who have undergone the surgery suffer from depression in the following months.[13] This is a result of a change in the role food plays in their emotional well-being. Strict limitations on the diet can place great emotional strain on the patient. Energy levels in the period following the surgery will be low. This is due again to the restriction of food intake, but the negative change in emotional state will also have an impact here.[14] It may take as long as three months for emotional levels to rebound."
Wow. Talk about a grave solution!  Being depressed about your weight is bad enough.  Now you get to be depressed over food for the rest of your life?  Not being able to truly enjoy your food?  I'll pass.

Back when I was 17 or so, I actually had a gastric balloon inserted into my stomach.  I lost about 20lbs, expressly because I didn't change my behavior.  Even with that failure, as I said, I recently thought about GBP and bariatric surgery again.  A lot.  But the thing that I always came back to is a knowledge that food didn't get me here.  Hunger did, and not physical hunger.  I got myself here, and the only way to truly fix this problem in my life--the only way to deal with this issue long-term--is to address it head-on.  To see that I am the problem.  That's not blaming myself.  That's owning it and taking responsibility.  This constant emotional hunger that I allowed to ride roughshod over me is what did this.

In Buddhism and Zen--as I said--we have this tenant to "seek its source".  Over the past two or so years, I've really decided to seek the source of that damaging hunger.  As I have, I've gotten closer to understanding where it lives, what it wants, and how to properly deal with it.  Is it still hard work?  Hell yes.  But it's not anything that a doctor can deal with or treat.  It's only something that can be managed with a great and abiding faith in the Three Treasures, the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path.

Everything I need to be healthy and happy I already have.  I have always had it.  And I need not pay someone thousands to short-cut the sanctity and sacredness of my body in order to change the outside of me, when the inside is where the issue truly lies.  Every time I've ever tried to short-cut things in my life, bad things have resulted.  Every time I've stuck it out--I mean really stuck with it, be it meditation, sesshin, work, or what-have-you--I've always felt better as a result.

I fault no one for having GBP or other bariatric surgery, but I know it's not for me.  My illness is inside, and only truth, openness, metta and a radical acceptance of the moment as it is serves to heal me.

1 comment:

  1. "Everything I need to be healthy and happy I already have. I have always had it." So difficult to remember, and so important. This is a great post, and thanks for the Health Status site!