Weight... There's More!...

Growing up I was taught not to compare myself to anyone else – whether that’s in sport, scholarly stuff, or looks.

Well I always thought I was better than most kids in my class at surfing & swimming. In fact one of my mates often suggested to my mum to come down to the beach to watch me!

The scholarly stuff? Hmmm… my report cards often said ‘Could do better!’ even though there were plenty of ‘A’s and ‘B’s there. And yes I guess we can all always ‘do better’

But as for looks?… well just ask my wife. She’s sure to give you an ‘honest answer’ right?

Seriously though it seems there is a lot more ‘body shaming’ these days thanks to social media.

And sadly it seems there are a lot more obese people around. But why? It’s true some may have medical conditions that preclude exercise or some other factor that makes it difficult to shed the kilos, but even more sadly ‘lifestyle’ and diet mostly seems to be the culprit.

I have to say that when Kaye and I first started going out we were in our early 20’s and she often bought clothes for me from the boys department of the local store!

Over the years with her amazing culinary skills our diet has been what dieticians would probably say was ‘pretty good’… and even better these days! More on that in a moment.

Now as most people reading this would know, our weight fluctuates over the years right? It depends on a lot of things. Mostly exercise – or lack of it – and diet. And that includes alcohol.

There was a time I remember a friend called me a ‘skinny little runt’! (yes runt… a very old-fashioned word right?!) – Then we went to live & work in Spain for a while. I soon learnt those afternoon siestas weren’t just about having a snooze.

The party often got started early in Spain and well into the night!

But this story is all about weight… body weight, and the ramification of too much of it and what we can do about it.
And I promise you... there is NO sales pitch at the end!

Since my 15th birthday work has been pretty much 100% sedentary. As a panel operator, producer, editor in radio/TV merging to a recording engineer in music over the years and now working online, I am literally on my butt all day every day.

“But that’s no excuse for not exercising Brian is it?” I hear you say!! – but for me it was. Not a very good one I’ll admit but some physical activity combined with a good diet is what keeps us all going I’ve since discovered!

Anyway as you might have guessed… I started piling on the kilos, but like most weight gain – especially in males – you simply don’t notice it immediately. The typical ‘beer belly’ starts forming – even though I’m not really a beer drinker! And other parts of the body start sagging. *SIGH* - so much for that sexy young ‘chick magnet’ all those years ago!

But life has a way of reminding us we need to do something about all that.

About a year ago I had a massive wake-up call. I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Coming back to bed I literally collapsed on the floor. Luckily Kaye could sense something was not quite right and rushed to catch me as I fell hitting my head on the bench. It could have been worse had she not saved me!

The doctor scheduled a CT scan the next day which confirmed I still had a brain. But what made me fall? A TIA otherwise known as a mini stroke maybe? – A full blood test came back confirming I did in fact have Type-2 Diabetes. To clarify Type-1 is generally an inherited condition and requires regular doses of insulin. Type-2 is referred to as a ‘lifestyle’ condition. 

By the way research has indicated there may be half a million people or more right now, in Australia with undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes!

Now for some people this is an ‘embarrassing’ admission. But I have to say our ‘lifestyle’ was pretty good! – Good quality fresh food. Not too much of anything ‘special’. No Maccas or KFC at all. No greasy BBQ’s. The list goes on.

Alcohol? Sure! – A few glasses a day of my favourite red. After all it also has resveratrol in it with known ‘health benefits’ right? But just like that old Aussie song goes… “… and we never ever ever get rolling drunk”! and we don’t drink excessively.

So what caused all this given I had been ‘so good’!? It seems a combination of things over time. Mostly the sedentary lifestyle and overall weight gained.

Brian in Fiji - a few years ago!Well the most recent blood tests came back ‘perfect’ according to the doctor who originally diagnosed the condition.

So much so I no longer need to take any medications for that and keep the whole thing well under control thanks to ‘mistress-chef’ (or should that be ‘mischevious’) – Kaye, who really should get some credentials as a dietician!

The other contributing factor to the weight loss – from approx.. 110Kg’s at my heaviest to 90.4kg as I write I attribute to a few things.

#1 - Portion size. I used to eat SOOO much at every meal and would often have seconds.

#2 - No alcohol. I’m now drinking Edenvale alcohol removed Shiraz and various Low or No Sugar soft drinks. And if we're out yes... I will  happily have a 'normal' red wine or two - no fuss at all.

#3 – Exercise. Walking around 30-40 mins every day also gets me off my butt and is a good time for enjoying the world around me. And while the last one could be more, I blame my dodgy knees for not wanting to go much further!!

Overall I’m happier, healthy & hoping for a long and enjoyable life.

Photo: Brian on holiday in Fiji taken umm...  'not that long ago' :-)

(c) 2021 - Brian Pickering


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