(SNN) - Being ninety pounds lighter (for over two years now), most days I love my new shape and slimmer clothes and powerful reserves of energy. But this journey has come at a cost. I have outlined below the top five reasons I have misgivings about this new lifestyle I am living. Now I don’t know if all “thin” people deal with these issues, but they are factors to consider before diving into a get healthy regimen.
Number 5: N.F.E. Syndrome
You know how occasionally you sleep with your ear flap folded over? And how when you wake up and “unfold” it, it slowly comes back to life? And as blood-flow is restored, it fills with excruciating pain? Yeah that. It happens to me nearly every night now, occasionally several times per night!
I call this Nocturnal Folded Ear Syndrome and I have yet to figure out the whys and wherefores of it. Perhaps the geometry of my head changed—the geometry of my throat has changed and I no longer snore, much to my wife’s relief. The geometry of my chest/abdomen has changed as well and I no longer experience the chronic heartburn/GERD that plagued me for three decades.
I suppose another possibility is that I now sleep so blissfully (the lack of a CPAP mask strapped to my face is very conducive to deep sleep) I am oblivious of the syndrome taking place before it’s too late to correct. Whatever the cause, NFE Syndrome is something to take into consideration if your plan is to lose excess weight for health reasons – your ears may pay the price for your decision!
Number 4: Freezing Phalanges
There was a time, about 90 pounds ago, when I could barely conceptualize the idea of feeling cold. I seemed able to skate (not ice or roller, just slide on through) Minnesota’s winters with only a vague sense of cold. Those days are over.
Even in early spring (or late winter as the case may be – 2013 comes to mind) as I prep myself for a run or bike ride, I run through my mental list of must haves: two pairs of socks, thick gloves, knit cap if running, hoodie if riding (and of course, adjust the straps on the helmet to accommodate the hoodie’s thickness), thick but loose jacket over shirt. Sadly, it seems the cold seeking my fingers and toes like water seeks rice usually wins the battle anyway. My wife suggests I'm just getting old.
And it’s not just my extreme extremities; I feel the cold all over, like a subcutaneous layer of insulation has been eliminated in the last 24 months or so. Suddenly I am susceptible to the human experience of cold! I often wonder if it’s worth it.
Plus, I feel so Mr. Roger-esque when I arrive to my office: off comes the heavy jacket and on goes the sweater (actually, it’s my Monster Dash Half-Marathon Finisher’s running jacket complete with thumb-holes). I even wear my (other) Monster Dash jacket at home. To think I used to sweat just couch-sitting. In the living room. Watching television.
Number 3: Fluff
This may be unsettling for some of you, but I would be negligent if I did not reveal all the sundry inconveniences of weight loss, no matter the “ick factor”. So turn away if the subject of belly button fuzz bothers you.
It’s weird, I know, but I find I have more naval lint than ever before. I’m not sure the cause, maybe it’s the architecture of my smaller shirts—3XL down to XL—over my smaller belly, thus rendering the fuzz fibers’ favorite gathering place more accessible?
I suppose it could be the new shirts – I rarely bought new ones when I was stuck at 3XL (especially since the 4XLs that would have fit better cost so much more and were harder to find). I suppose the new ones, by virtue of their being new and unwashed 1500 times might just possess more of the fuzz-making ingredients than my old ones.
Which brings up another thing, for the men, especially to consider: these days I seem to actually enjoy clothes shopping more than say, 24 months ago. It might just be too much estrogen in the air from GMO soybeans or something.
Number 2: High Cost of Veggies
It’s true, a handful of kale at the grocery store is pretty inexpensive at $1.99 a bunch. But after five months of daily harvesting from my garden –both green and fancy purple kale—that price seems just a touch too high.
Of course I can’t blame the cost of vegetables on my dropping weight, but since turning to conscience and intentional eating, organic gardening has become a passion of mine. And besides the low-cost of daily fresh veggies, the taste –after all the sweat and hard work—is exquisite. And priceless, making the grocery stores’ prices even harder to swallow.
Whereas shoving sugary doughnut holes in my pie-hole whilst watching Biggest Loser requires zero investment of thought or time, savoring a fresh, non-GMO, non-pesticide-ridden seven-ingredient salad (lettuce, spinach, kale, parsley, basil, cucumbers, tomatoes) from the backyard requires planning, design, preparation, building, not to mention—gardening. That’s a lot of thought, energy and focus! Be sure you have a lot of it available to invest if you decide to go this route to get healthy!
(I should mention there were also sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes in last year’s garden, but they never made it into the house—they were consumed on the spot by whomever was the one to first notice them on the vine).
Number 1: Tick Tock
The number one disadvantage to losing all this weight, ending the 10-year dependence on Prilosec and the four-year CPAP experiment, weaning myself off the daily dose of the 3Cs (candy/cookies/cake), and trading that fix for the new addiction of running, is the incredible amount of time this lifestyle eats.
There’s also the time it takes to prep healthy food to consume, not to mention healthy snacks to ensure no backsliding; the time invested in the garden; the amount of time eaten away by running 15-20 miles a week just to get a good runner’s high; the tremendous amount of time it is still taking to repair the model of healthy living for my 13-year-old son. Healthy living is very time-expensive.
But it’s not the time cost, but the time lost that saddens me the most. I wasted 40-plus effing years to realize this truth: nothing, NOTHING tastes as good as being healthy feels. Nothing.
Photo by: Steve Baker (kevinkonica) flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed.
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