A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ammunition to Fight Concern Trolling

Below is my current weekly workout schedule:

Monday: One mile walk on my lunch break, followed by one hour of Zumba (high-low impact cardio) in the evening.
Tuesday: One mile walk on my lunch break, followed by one hour of Zumba (high-low impact cardio) in the evening.
Wednesday: One mile walk on my lunch break, followed by a two mile walk in the evening.
Thursday: One mile walk on my lunch break, followed by one hour of Zumba (high-low impact cardio) and then another hour of Yoga in the evening.
Friday: 20-30 minutes on a cardio machine (elliptical cross trainer or treadmill) followed by 45 minutes lifting free weights. When possible, I attend fun special events at my gym on Friday evenings such as Zumba Step or Glow Yoga or take a two mile walk.
Saturday: One hour of Yoga in the morning, two to three mile walk in the afternoon.
Sunday: Two to three mile walk.

This is my training schedule under ideal circumstances. I do not always do all of it every week (for example, if it’s cold, raining, or snowing, that impacts my taking a walk outside). However I do most of it on most weeks, so about 80% of what you see up there gets done on an average week. Also, you don’t see me taking a “rest day” because at my current fitness level walks don’t really count as “workouts” per say, they’re just my body performing its normal form of locomotion. So Wednesday and Sunday where all I do is walk – those are technically rest days.

So why am I sharing this?

For one thing, I’m sharing it because I’m proud of the level of physical activity I have worked up to. Judging by every statistic I’ve ever read I get far more exercise than the average American, and that is something to be proud of. I didn’t suddenly start doing all of this on a whim, I used to just walk five or six days a week and that was it. I’ve been working up to this level for the past eight months so as to include a good variety of cardiovascular training, endurance work, balance, and strength improvement. Even so, every single day, some part of my body is always sore. I don’t consider that a bad thing.

I am not doing this to make you feel bad if you don’t do this much. I have several things going for me that allow this schedule: such as not having to care for small children, not being impeded by a physical injury or disability, not working several jobs simultaneously, or simply not wanting to. It’s a human’s perfectly natural state to want to conserve calories – before our environment became so obesogenic that trait actually kept us alive. If you don’t want to get up and do cardio every day that actually makes you perfectly normal.

And even though I have the luxury of time to do all this, things suffer as a result. My family doesn’t usually get dinner cooked for them on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays – which means I eat a lot of quick sandwiches before running to the gym and my family winds up grabbing fast food burgers way too often. Left to their own devices the two skinny dudes I live with will tend to do that.

So I work out a lot more than the average American and have been doing so for the past eight months, and this is what I currently look like:

I am not thin. I may get thinner, I’m certainly trying to, but I don’t actually know what I weigh right now because I haven’t checked in over a month. My clothes fit, so I suppose I weigh whatever I did a month ago – which I think was 230 lbs. Believe it or not, 230 lbs. when you have the eating disorder that I do is not too bad. After all, I used to weigh 295 lbs. However for the moment I don’t seem to be losing weight to any large degree, and it is what it is.

So as you go about your life, you may encounter someone who snorts derisively at a person my size and says something to the effect of, “if they’d just workout now and then they wouldn’t be fat like that”, or “if they would just get their fat butt off the sofa and take a walk every day they’d lose all that extra weight”, or “they probably have diabetes, look at the size of them!”

If you encounter someone like that (often referred to as a “concern troll” because they exhaust a great deal of mental energy being overly concerned for the health of other people based on the use of physical appearances they think are ugly as a diagnostic tool), feel free to send them to this page so I can say, “hello”.

I realize they might shrug me off as a liar – but why would I do that? I’m not claiming that I defy physics by eating barely 1,000 calories per day and working out this much and still not being thin. True my metabolism is slower than average, but I still weigh this much because I still eat enough calories to support my 230 lb. body weight. I eat very healthfully overall but I struggle against binge episodes on a daily basis and I enjoy dessert now and again. That being said the concern-troll battle cry of, “put the fast food down, fatty!” does not apply to me either. I eat a fast food meal about once every three months or so – or about three times a year, which is not enough for it to account for my weight.

In fact, according to quantifiable physical metrics such as blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. I am “healthy” – but I’d still like to take 60 more pounds off because I want my joints to last and those numbers may not stay so good as I continue to age. It’s not about appearance. An appearance that is physically attractive in the socially acceptable way would be nice, but it’s not happening. Sixty pounds down from here I’m going to look even more like a sag-bag than I do right now, and that is what it is, I’ve got to accept it. I can be healthy though, I can be strong, and I can have amazing endurance – those are attainable goals. Heck, I’ve already attained them I just want even more of them. I also have binge eating disorder and it’s not going away, so it could be a whole lot worse than it is right now and I’m genuinely proud of how far I’ve come.

Concern-trolls simply may be enlightened to know that sometimes the work a person puts in at the gym doesn’t show like they expect it to on the outside for a myriad number of complex reasons they surely cannot understand at a glance. And as always, it is impossible to judge a person’s health or even activity level by looking at them.

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