Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weighty issue

Back in January I was looking forward to the impending warmer weather so that I could get out and walk my five miles per day. I've done this annually for about five or six years now.

Part of this routine is the promise that I'll lose a few pounds.

And it's a promise that has worked so well in the past.

Then, in February, I turned 60. Ho hum, just another birthday. I just didn't realize then that I was on the rapid transit downhill slide. Within weeks of my birthday I learned my heart was in atrial fibrillation and that for the first time in my life, I would have to be on medication. A beta blocker for the heart, a statin for the cholesterol, and both, plus aspirin, to diminish my risk of stroke.

Pills for everything. I suddenly felt like a song from Jefferson Airplane (see here).


But when the weather warmed up, I started walking in all earnestness, sometimes putting in 25-30 miles per week.

And, since March, I have lost exactly ... five pounds. It doesn't seem to matter anymore what I do. I can walk five miles, sometimes six. I eat salads for lunch. The formula that had worked so well for me in the past — burn more calories than you consume — seems to be mocking me now.

I even asked my doctor about this during my latest check-up a few weeks ago. All my numbers were good, except for my weight.

I asked him if being on medication for the first time in my life has somehow affected my metabolism.

"Good question," he said. "But I think the only real number that has affected your metabolism is 60," he said, then clarifying, "Being 60."

Uh-oh. I'm doomed. I asked if he had any suggestions. We talked about things like creating lean muscle mass, which probably would require bouts of weightlifting. Hmm. Maybe not. I'm 60, dag gummit, I'm not lifting anything.

My latest strategy is to keep walking. I think all my walking over the years has actually kept my heart in decent shape except for the rogue atrium that apparently beats to its own rhythm. But I can still cut back on more calories, and watch the type of calories I do consume. Soooo, no more eating after 7 p.m. And when I do eat, more chicken, turkey, peanut butter, bananas, raisins, blue berries...

I think I can feel that sixth pound slipping away right now.

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