Friday, October 19, 2007

Thirteen years

On my drive to work this morning the radio announcer tells me that I will die thirteen years before I am supposed to.

Turns out being overweight is more dangerous than smoking, according to the latest from experts in such matters. Smokers live three years longer than us fatties.

Upon hearing this bit of information, I stopped for a large coffee and a bacon, egg and cheese bagel from McDonald's. Threw the egg and bacon in the garbage and tried to scrap away some of the cheese. Made for a very dry breakfast. No, really, I did.

When Ian was born and I went on a reading frenzy, I started freaking out. (Still am a bit, I suppose) Although children with Down syndrome live longer than ever before, one of the main contributors toward shortened life expectancies, other than congenital heart defects, is obesity.

I lead a sedentary life. I sit in front of a Mac G5 all day editing videos (with the occasional video shoot here and there) then sit in front of my computer at night to watch reruns of The Office or read about people who are out living their fantastic lives, climbing Everest in shorts or tanning on a yacht in Monaco with one of the many princes of Saudi Arabia.

But this is a serious matter, people.

Thirteen years! I have got to get out on that skateboard tonight. Or make a trek up North to get in the water. I owe it to my kids. I owe it to myself.

Of course, last night's episode of The Office is probably on-line by now...


Kim Ayres said...

One of the things you have to be particularly careful of is losing the weight and putting it back on (which 95% of dieters do). If a man loses a significant amount of weight, then puts it back on, he doubles the chances of a heart attack - you are better off staying overweight if you cannot be sure you will keep the weight off.

The primary thing you need to do is eat healthily, and eat in a way that is sustainable for the rest of your life - DO NOT DIET - it has to be a lifestyle change, and that requires preparation and dealing with a number of issues about why you eat more than your body requires - some of it is food choice, some of it is habits, but some of it might be comfort or for psychological reasons and it's worth investigating your relationship with food. Otherwise, keeping it off becomes a near impossible task.

As someone who used to be 275lbs and is now 175lbs, I'm more than happy to pass on any help or thoughts you want.

Aim to be healthy and you will lose weight as a side effect.

Steve said...

The Office, The best.

Elbog said...

"Slip sli-din away. . . Slip sli-din a-waayeayee. . . you know the nearer your destination the more your slipsli-din awa-ay. . . "
That's the music I hear in my head, reading your post. I don't remember the day I looked in the mirror and saw my Father's body, but it was not a seredipitous epiphany, if youse gets my drift(pun intended).
Now's the time to get with it. Kim's last sentence is a great start.

Carole said...

I am enjoying an ice cream cone as I read this post. I do have apples in the fridge, but... If I have to give up pork chops, I am not sure I wouldn't prefer the heart attack. After all nursing homes are filled with lonely people in great shape.

Tom said...

Kim: Seven years ago, I lost 90 lbs, only to put every pound back on (Atkins). Last year I lost 50 lbs, and once again (Will power and no fast food). The week Ian was born I lost 10 lbs., but there it is again (stress). I haven't been able to keep it off and have read your blog on losing the 100, just can't seem to make it happen right now. Be healthy... hard to do for me.

Steve: You can bet a Shrute buck on it.

Elbog: "Your butt is wide, well mine is too, Just watch your mouth or I'll sit on you, The word is out, better treat me right,'Cause I'm the king of cellulite, Ham on, ham on, ham on whole wheat, all right" Weird Al

Carole: I stopped by Ben and Jerry's today and enjoyed every last bite. "Little beer will put out that fire," to quote the philosopher Homer Simpson who was referencing his 'heart burn.'

bella said...

I hear you.
For me it is the evil nicotine.
And one day, maybe, I hope, I believe, I will be free.
Maybe now, soon, this year?
What I do know is this: it won't work unless I (you) are truly ready and it is not done for moralistic "I should" reasons". Two: gotta know what it is to love myself fully even if I never quit, meaning this is not about being a "better" person but about loving myself enough to choose this and loving myself enough to be okay if I never choose this.
Good luck.

Tom said...

Thanks, Isabel. I love myself with a plate of mashed potatoes, so why quit, I think. To bad my arteries aren't loving me as much. Great advice.

God is Great Beauty Salon said...

I had no idea that obesity was such a big problem amongst people with Down Syndrome. Where did you find that info? Would be interesting to read.

I've been working with people with Down Syndrome for about ten years now, and none of the people I work for have a weight problem.

So don't worry too much, with a pretty healthy diet and a bit of exercise now and then, I'm sure both you and your kids will not lose those thirteen years :)

Tom said...

Good to know. I've got to stop reading all this scary literature.