Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Bar

This is a tough post for me to write. As you read, keep a few concepts in the forefront of your mind.
  1. The post is about me
  2. I am mostly idiot
  3. I know very little (which, I think, is significantly different than number 2)

I consider myself a brave man. I don't mind spiders, snakes or the closet monster. I used to be afraid of girls but haven't tested this one in a while. Yet, there are some things, phobias if you will, that wreak havoc on my soul.  Articles like this one scare the crap out of me.  If you're too lazy to read the article (and I applaud this laziness), allow me to sum it up. People are getting fatter. This statement is multidimensional. Not only is the average person getting fatter, but the percentage of fat people is growing. More than 2/3 of the American population is considered obese and the numbers are climbing. 

Where's the fear? I am not afraid nor disgusted by excessively high BMIs on other people. It's my own that I am concerned about. When I have this conversation with one of my co-workers, she accuses me of not understanding the 'emotional' side of eating. B.S. I like to eat. I eat a lot. I have been blamed for numerous other people's weight gain simply because they try to match my appetite. I eat everything.

I think she doesn't understand the emotional side of working out. Trust me, and the Wife can attest, I get quite grouchy if I haven't exercised in a while. That's probably one of the main reasons she supports my triathoning. Better for me to be gone for a couple of hours out of the day than spend the next few decades with a grump of a husband. Plus, my exercise addiction counteracts my eating problem.

I have a 'theory' about the actual cause of the obesity problem (okay, it's really more of a hypothesis as I haven't tested it yet.) I call it the Bar. The Bar itself is arbitrary and dynamic. However, I believe it to be quite real even if it only lurks in your subconscious. Simply put, the Bar is the maximum weight you will accept before you get disgusted with yourself. It may be a weight on the scale. The Bar can also be abstract. It may be the self you see in a picture that wholly conflicts with your residual self image. Finally, you decide to make a change. You've stepped over the Bar and it's time to come back.

When I start getting closer to the Bar, I decide that I want to lose weight. Then I make the mistake of sharing this with friends and family (see number 2 above). They're supposed to be supportive and help me achieve my goals, right? Friends tell me that I look fine (it's not about looks for me). My mom actually accused me of being too thin (her Bar is set much higher). The 166 BMI is 23.8 for my height. BMI=25 is overweight, which coincidentally is 175 pounds for me. I set the Bar long before I knew this (see number 3 above). Yes, I know that BMI is not a perfect measurement and that I have some muscle mass that skews the numbers. It's my Bar and I set it.

Despite my marriage to the kitchen, I have never been overweight. I've been active my whole life. I refuse to join the 68% and growing number of Americans. I am consistently + 7 pounds of my high school graduation weight after nearly 20 years (crap I'm old). I've set my Bar at 175 pounds. I let myself slip once after my second marathon, taking the recovery period a little too seriously. I was literally freaked out when that number appeared on my scale. I am currently sitting at 166. The problem is that the scalar number has had a positive slope for a couple of months. I am slowly creeping towards the Bar and I don't like it.

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