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Adventures in Weight Loss

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A couple of weeks of food.

It has begun!

Regular readers of Medary.com probably realize that I don't really write a lot about my personal life. Scandanivian reticence, perhaps, or maybe I'm just a really, really, really private person. Maybe those two things are the same thing. Anyway, much of what I write about is external to me--things that are happening in the world around me, and not so much what is happening to me personally.

Well, let's shift gears for a little while.

I'm overweight. Obese, actually. Not the kind of spherical obese on display at the low-rent buffet restaurants, as I've been blessed with a rather large skeletal frame. People are always amazed that I weigh as much as I do--279 pounds at last official measurement. That's too much, by about 70 pounds, according to the doctor.

I've finally had enough of carrying around that extra 70 pounds. I've got one really bad knee and another that complains on occasion. I've snapped one achilles tendon, and have had bunion surgeries on both feet. My wheels are hurtin'.

This February, I promised to my Snookums that I'd get down to 230 lbs by her next birthday in February, 2010. With the shoulder surgery (rotator cuff) and the achilles surgery I've had this year, that's been on hold for too long.

I finally decided I needed some professional guidance. On the KCMO Morning Show, host Chris Stigall sings the praises of a place called the Center for Nutrition, a short drive away in Lenexa, Kansas. The stars came into alignment, my promise to my wife intersected with my determination to--this time--lose the weight and make it stick--so I called and made an appointment.

They sent me an extensive questionnaire about my health history, which I dutifully filled in before my first meeting. The first meeting features a body composition analysis--one of those devices that sends a low-level electrical current through your body and measures your fat vs. lean body content, and from that, figures out your basal metabolic rate--the number of calories your body should run on.

Well, I'm fat. I knew that. But I also have lots and lots of lean muscle mass. Underneath all the blubber, I'm a studly guy! Woo-hoo! My basal metabolic rate is 2107 kcal, and my current target weight, according the the machine, is 209 lbs. The nutritionist at the first meeting utterly failed to scare me off--not that she tried all that hard, so I came back a couple of days letter for the blood draw for the medical lab tests, plus an EKG (NOT an EEG--that was a typo that I just fixed!). Other than the half-hour drive to and from the clinic, no problems, so far.

A week after the first meeting, Snookums and I are back in the office, talking to Dr. Rick Tague, the Guy behind the Center for Nutrition. Again, no big surprises. My labs are generally good, but show that I have a Vitamin D deficiency (I guess that's actually pretty common), I've got Metabolic Syndrome (otherwise known as insulin resistance--basically a pre-diabetic condition), and a possibly slightly underactive thyroid. My white blood cell count--the neutrophils, to be specific, are also a touch on the low side.

Dr. Tague's basic message is: "we can fix that!" I get the "Rapid Reduction Weight Loss Phase" right off the bat. That's the picture you see up at the top of this article. Special low-carbohydrate, low-fat foods (if you do the verbal math there, you figure out that it's a protein diet) and lots and lots of supplements to make up the nutritional difference between the diet foods and what humans are really supposed to eat--whatever that is. Anyway, my target weight loss goal is 3-5 pounds per week, until I get down within shouting range of 220 pounds.

In order to do that, my goal is to take in about 1,100 calories a day--about 142 grams of protein daily. AND, up the exercise level, to get in at least 4,000 steps per day as measured by a pedometer, in addition to 20-35 minutes 4-5 times a week of getting my heart rate up into the 94-129 beat per minute range. Lots of numbers.

I can do this.

But kids, don't try this at home without medical supervision. It can mess you up. Srsly.

Next time: The journey begins.