An unpleasant thing happened the other day.
But first, a bit of background…
That was early 2018. I was spending a lot of time on my elliptical trainer at home, and walking miles downtown every day, and averaging about 15,000 steps a day. I was eating more or less paleo, and feeling pretty good.
That’s not where I am now. A series of events occurred since then. First, later that year, there was the campaign, which left me basically no time for serious walking and forced me to grab whatever I could to eat. And since then, there was the stroke, and the long COVID, and other stuff, punctuated finally by lightning frying the electronics in my elliptical. I still get out and walk, but it’s not regular, and I haven’t been at all thoughtful about what I eat.
And then, the unpleasant thing happened. It was a week ago today. I had an appointment at one of the many medical offices in which I find myself these days. No big thing, just a followup. But as the nurse led me in, we paused for one of those little rituals that are usual in such places. We stopped at the scale.
Now first, so that you know the scale was in some way dysfunctional, she had trouble getting it to come on. I made a lame joke about “Who broke it?” She muttered something about “batteries,” and fiddled with the back of the column that has the display atop it, and it came on. And I stepped on.
And it said I weighed 190. Actually, it said 190 point something, but I’ve managed to block that much of it out. What I can’t forget is that I have made a scale register 190 for the first time in my life. An unhappy landmark.
Now let me quickly say that I was not only fully dressed — shoes, shirt, pants, belt, plus iPhone, wallet, keys — but I had on a jacket, and I think even a hat. So I don’t really weigh 190. Since this happened, I’ve stepped on the scale at home a couple of times when getting into the shower, and I was in the low 180s.
That doesn’t erase the fact that in the past, I always considered 180 an unhealthy mark.
Now I know a lot of you guys will laugh, and say you wish you could get back down to 190. After all, my BMI may say I’m slightly overweight, but I’m still below the average weight for my height, which is 199.7 in this country.
But not me. I was a super-skinny kid, and a skinny young man, and it’s a bit late to expect me to adopt a new self-concept. To give you an idea based on the Vision Quest standard, when I was Louden Swain’s age and still on a high school wrestling team, I was in the 132 class. And the same height I am now. Yeah, I was a real Ichibod, but I was strong and except for the injury that ended my wrestling career, I felt great.
And now, I have made a scale register the weight that Louden started at, before losing down through two weight classes to wrestle Shute. And I don’t feel at all great like this.
So when the New Year comes (there’s not much use trying before that), I’m going to get serious. I’m going paleo again. And I’m getting serious about the walking — I’m even looking around for a replacement elliptical, so the weather can’t stop me.
Warn Shute. It’s the fair thing to do. The poor beggar deserves that much…