November 7, 2012

Mark Millican: Trying to lighten up a weighty matter


Even after I kicked off my penny loafers and sucked in my gut, the scales still registered 212.

And that was just the second indignity. As soon as I walked into the clinic room to get a sore throat checked out a familiar nurse from years past asked me how old I was now.

“Is that any way to welcome a guy back?” I retorted.

She laughed and then I gave my age — to her.

During the weighing process the nurse began by setting the heavy weight slide to 150, so I let her know right away that wasn’t going to work — she would have to start at 200. Then she just kept tapping ...

tapping ...

tapping it up.

To 212.

I felt my blood pressure rising. Isn’t that the temperature water starts to boil?

That may not seem like an immodest number to some, but it was a slap in the face to someone who has sworn for years he would do whatever it takes to get a middle-aged, out-of-shape, rugby player-like body under 200 pounds. What hurts so much is just a few months ago I had hovered around 202 to 204. Finally the goal was within grasp, I dreamed! Just a few more reps here and there in the fitness room and some longer walks, right?

But then came a new job with a different set of stressors and more time behind a desk, and trying to find the right amount of exercise in a new environment.

212. You’re kidding, right?

Because it’s not like I haven’t tried, having cut out sodas and sweet tea years ago, then decreasing red meat consumption to an occasional barbecue sandwich or a bowl of chili at Wendy’s. But do they have to put a picture of a Frosty up there on the illuminated menu board above the counter where you order? It’s one of those visual orientation things with me, I guess, like the seafood — “see food, eat food” — diet.

My sole addiction these days is coffee, and truth be told, at times I drink more of it than water in a day. Since one of the dictums of weight loss is drinking lots of water, it appears I’m spoiling my own efforts there since …

1) Water is needed to flush fat-laden toxins out of one’s system; and         

2) Coffee is a diuretic that flushes water from the body. So essentially I’m flushing my own efforts.

But wait! I read somewhere that if you eat one apple a day over a year’s time the fiber you consume will carry away four pounds of weight. Well, I may not eat one a day every day of the year but during apple season I might consume three or four a day. Does that not compensate?

Evidently not, judging by my increasing waistline. Speaking of which, I read somewhere that a male’s waist in inches should be half his body height. Let’s see, I’m 5-foot-10, which means 70 inches tall divided by two translates into a 35-inch waist.

When you’re stuck on 38, those are big inches.

The way my weight loss program is going (obviously in the wrong direction), it looks like I’m going to have to subscribe to the “set point” theory of weight accumulation. That is, for an adult who’s having trouble losing pounds their body has about a 10 percent “cushion” on either side of their average weight where they go up and down but never get the loss they desire. In other words, at 200 pounds one would have a range of 20 pounds where their weight fluctuates according to environment, stress, weight loss attempts, etc.

At least, that’s pretty much the summary of an explanation given at bigfatblog.com. And yet I’m stuck — er, set — on the topside of that 200!

My wife is a great cook and prepares healthy meals. So you see, “set point” for yours truly seems to be working pretty much like this — every time I find myself “set” down at the table I seem to make it a “point” to overeat. In other words, for me, rather than doing pushups on the floor I should be doing “pushaways” from the table.

Oh well, there’s always New Year’s resolutions. Just wait till next year!

(After the holidays, of course.)

Text Only
  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014