Man, I’ve never felt more 42 in my entire life. Last week my doctor called me with my blood test results and confirmed that hey, not only do I have gout but I’m also pre-diabetic!
(If I don’t have it yet, am I still allowed to use the .gif? I hope so.)
Honestly, I was pre-diabetic the year before but pushed it to the back of my mind. (Repressing things is a Hsiung family trait. If we had a family coat of arms, it would include that “This is fine” dog with the room on fire.)
Now that I’ve triaged some of the drama the past couple of years, my body has, in no subtle way, told me to get my fucking act together.
So basically, it’s time for me to lose weight again. My weight has yo-yo’ ed plus or minus 30 pounds for the last ten years. Not to say my health was anywhere close to spectacular in my twenties or thirties, but losing weight this time around feels more difficult than usual. Maybe it’s the anti-depressants, where they say weight gain is a side effect. Perhaps it’s just my metabolism, just calling it in at this point. But it’s meant a lot of distinct eating habits I’ve needed to cut out, and well, it’s as fun as it sounds. No more Publix chocolate chip cookies or last-minute McDonald’s drive-through runs if I’m running out of time. It is what it is.
Exercising has been the tougher thing to do. I’ve always hated physical movement of any sort. HATED it. It remembers me of seventh-grade gym class in Portola Junior High, being the guy at the back of the pack when we were made to run laps. They called me “Cheeks” because my face was fat.
The one thing that has ever worked, honestly, has been walking. Walking was easy when I lived in San Francisco, but real talk, Miami is not a city for walkers. When we moved to South Beach seven years ago, I would walk down Ocean Drive every evening. It always makes for excellent people watching. But we’ve moved to a different neighborhood much more car-oriented. Taking a walk here is like walking a mile, fully clothed, in the worlds largest sauna room. Now, imagine a Toyota Corolla barreling through the walls like the Kool-Aid man and slamming on the brakes inches from your face. That’s Miami walking, basically.
I’ve also tried Orange Theory. Basically, Orange Theory is a gym with group workouts; they attach everyone to heart monitors while a beautiful middle-aged woman yells at you to push harder. Ten minutes before my very first class ever, the instructor put me on a rowing machine to get familiar with the equipment, and I pulled back in such a way that my butt fell off the seat, and I wiped out, my shoulder blades slamming against the metal. Basically, I’m that guy.
During a session, you can see everyone’s heart rate on a video screen the way gyms will have CNN in the background. Of course, the competitive Asian in me is obsessed with the numbers — nine fit attractive stock photo extras with their heart rates barely above average as they run a half-marathon, while my heart rate number is in deep red, my heart pumping like a rabbit on amphetamines. My Asian naturally kicks in. Am I winning? Am I losing? This is something people willingly sign up for without any hesitation? Am I missing something here?
So not the most… motivating first class ever. I’m still trying to figure it all out, part of my strategy not to physically and mentally nose-dive like I did a couple of months ago. Maybe by writing this out semi-publicly, it will keep me accountable.
Or perhaps you can FedEx me chocolate chip cookies. My glucose levels won’t thank you, but I certainly will.