27 February 2007


Do you know Karen Carpenter's story?
I saw the movie, so that makes me an expert, right?
Karen starved herself to death. Like so many people we see during war or famine, her body was deprived of what it needed. Karen's dieting stopped her heart.
Some wonderful music stopped too.

Years ago we based our EMS helicopter at a hospital.
Initially the hospital found space for us on the same floor where they were treating anorexic teenage girls. It was an uncomfortable situation for all concerned...

We couldn't even pop popcorn in our room, because it rightfully alarmed the program supervisors. We were soon moved to different quarters.
But it was horrifying to see the shape some of those little girls were in, and hear stories of what they would do to try to keep from eating. It's a mental disease.

Then you have the other side of the coin... the morbidly obese.
It's also a mental disease... an addiction, every bit as powerful as most recreational drugs.
It damages the heart in a different way, and leads to lots of other problems.

I love to eat.
I've fought being overweight all my life.
If I don't pay close attention to my diet, I settle at a weight about 20 pounds above what I consider ideal. (I'm a little over 5' 9" tall, and on 1 January, I weighed 206 pounds.)

Last fall, I had the displeasure of using a bathroom that had a mirrored shower stall.
While conducting my business there, I took a close look at myself in the mirror.
(I know... it's an ugly visual, isn't it?)

And that's exactly my point. But it's not just my appearance...
I have to pass an annual flight physical. My overall health is vital to my livelihood.
Heart, kidneys, eyes, knees and other joints...
almost everything about your body is adversely affected when you are overweight.

So I decided it was time to quit thinkin'/talkin' about it, and get serious.
I made the New Year's resolution I've made in past years...
but this time I shared my resolution with friends, and made a promise-
I'm gonna lose a pound a week until I reach 188 pounds... a loss of 18 pounds.

Sara Jean doesn't like it when I lose weight.
The first place you notice my weight loss is in my face. I get hollow cheeks, like Abraham Lincoln. The loss of fat in my face also makes me look tired.
She also dislikes hugging me when I lose weight... she likes meat on my bones.

But turning 60 was a milestone for me in many ways. I want to establish habits that will make it easier to better control my health. I'd like to be healthy when I reach 85.
So, it's "Eat less, and exercise."
And here's the plan:
For the rest of my life, I'm gonna have a weekly weigh-in on Saturday.
I'm gonna reach my target weight, then maintain it. If I find I've gained a pound or two, I'll lose it immediately by closing my pie-hole and exercising more.

I'm in the 9th week of my diet, and I've lost 8 pounds. I'm a pound behind schedule.
Moving Big Bubba to Arizona, then coming home to a big Valentine's Day dinner was a speed-bump to my plan. But it proves my point...
I know where I am, I know where I want to be, and I know how to get there.

It's tough.
So am I.
I'll keep ya posted.


Steve said...

I enjoyed reading your ramblings--not a detrimental term, just something us old guys do. A link to your blog showed up in my inbox. I have a google alert for EMS helicopters. I fly EMS and did the Vietnam thing too. fly safely...

k said...

Good for you. Seriously, good for you! Too many people either take their health for granted, even if they're not in as good of health as they should be, or just let it go altogether with a sigh of resignation. Good luck!

Greybeard said...

Thanks K for the encouragement!
I think you're right... some take a fatalistic attitude toward their diet, and it shows!

I clicked on your profile to check out your blog, and came up with bumpkus!
Drop me an email and let's compare notes! (Chu Lai '68-'69 in Charlies.)

Andrea Shea King said...

Good outlook...
Good plan...
Great inspiration!

Thanks for sharing... and inspiring me to do same. We can never know what's around the corner, but that quality of life hangs in the balance. After all, our health is priceless, isn't it.

BTW -- Update about 3rd on RadioPatriot.

Radio Patriot

cary said...

Well, this is inspiring.

I'm not as advanced as you, GB, but I am getting up there. And, being an inch shorter than you, I shouldn't have a twenty pound advantage on you.

I'm there with you, and I'll check in here.

joyfulforever said...


Was searching for a picture of Karen Carpenter coz my officemate said my high school picture made me look like her when I chanced on your blogsite. Now I know how she looks and how she died. Sad story.

I'm only 4'11 and was used to 95 lbs. Then I gained 8 pounds. It was most uncomfortable. But now I'm back to 98 lbs after just drinking pure juice for one week (for religious purposes, well, mixed in with my desire to lose weight too) and then just controlling my eating. Good luck on your diet program!