The Death of Pudgy Delusion

For most of my life, I’ve had ‘issues’ with my weight and body shape. When I was 10 or 11, I could (and did) eat as much as I liked, and never gained a pound. It probably helped that I ran, jumped, skipped or bounded wherever I needed to go. Some time around my twelfth birthday, this golden age came to an end, and I began to accrue fat and pounds.

When I joined the Army as a flabby 198-pound twenty-year-old, the kindly folks at Fort Leonard Wood helped me to embark on a crash diet (they called it ‘Basic Training’). Burning upwards of 6000 calories a day while eating whatever morsels I could snatch in 60-second meals, helped me to a loss of 35 pounds in a matter of twelve weeks.

Entering my calories
Can I afford the calories today, for a cup of Caramel Caribou?

During my three-year enlistment, I managed to stay on the right side of the weight and fitness limits, so (in spite of a knee injury) I was still reasonably fit and under 190 lbs. when I returned to college. By the time I graduated from college, I had bulked up to about 215 pounds, some of it muscle from a regimen of weight lifting and occasional jogging. Life as a programmer doesn’t sustain much muscle; even so, I’ve somehow managed to stay in the 225-245 range for the past 16 years.

As long as I can remember, I’ve believed I was ‘pudgy’. Oh, I knew in my head that this was a delusion, but I still believed it. I carefully suck in my stomach and flex whenever I stand in front of a mirror, raising my eyebrows to make my face look thinner. I avoid looking at my profile as reflected in store windows or bathroom mirrors. I wear tall, baggy shirts so they don’t become un-tucked and reveal my belly.

Even so, I know that pretty much any nutritionist or physician would consult the charts for a man of my age and height and weight and conclude, “Dude, your body-mass index is 33 — you’re past ‘overweight‘ — you’re obese!”

I don’t talk to those kind of nutritionists or physicians, especially not those who would call me ‘Dude’. They’re usually young and skinny, anyway.

Body Mass Index
Not my actual body mass index chart. I’m 5′ 11″, and, um, weigh quite a bit more than 157 pounds.

Last Monday evening, I ate a big supper, and followed it up with a slice of cherry pie, a huge chocolate-chip cookie, about a half-pound of pistachios, and several large handfuls of M&M’s. As I lay reading, on my side in bed, I felt sick and bloated. Suddenly, I noticed something large, pushing down on the bed. It was as though one of my children had sat on the bed beside me.

In a sickening rush of comprehension, I realized: it was my belly.

Even now, six days later, it is unpleasant to talk about this subject. All these years, I had convinced myself that I was merely ‘plump’ or ‘pudgy’, but now I could no longer avoid the ugly truth: I am fat.

A sample belly profile
Not my actual belly. Sorry for those of you now requiring therapy.

I mulled it over in my mind all day on Tuesday, while Kathy and I drove back from Oregon. I skipped breakfast that day to alleviate the immediate feeling of being over-stuffed, but I wasn’t able to shake the memory of my belly, almost pregnant in its shape. By Tuesday night, a determination to make a change crystallized in my head, forged in the fires of self-revulsion and (as I later discovered), Kathy’s prayers. It turns out that Kathy has been praying for the last couple of weeks (years?), for me to take seriously my responsibility to look after my physical health. The andarine is great for weight loss (cutting cycles) and increasing bone density and bone tissue. Indeed, when used, Andarine S4 increases body fat oxidation but decreases lipoprotein lipase. Thus, Andarine can help us achieve that hard look we want our muscles to have since it decreases body fat. But we won’t feel bloated or horrible about ourselves since the SARM doesn’t increase water retention! Its effect on the bones also means that individuals struggling with osteoporosis can also benefit hugely here. In the first place, it might be helpful to understand what we are talking, when we talk about euphoria at all. This is a very specific type of joy and excitement. It is not simply an energy boost, although kratom is often used for providing such. This is one area where green borneo kratom is very popular. The strain has an excellent reputation for dealing with different kinds of pain, ranging from bones, muscles to joint aches. It is also used to treat the day to day pain issues such as headaches and migraines while other people use it for vertigo. After all, it is indeed a member of the coffee family. At the same time, it can produce a positive overall feeling far beyond what you might get from a normal cup of joe.The biological potential of kratom to induce genuine euphoria is indeed real. At this point, you are now in the best position possible to learn more about the most euphoric kratom. You can try these out for finding the best kratom to buy.

As it happens, I have an in-house expert consultant, well-experienced in self-discipline and nutrition. Kathy helped me to resurrect my profile on Fit Day and lent me her considerable expertise in low-calorie and low-fat food selection and measurement. I spent the first day eating ‘normally’, but recording each calorie, to see if’s estimate of my caloric consumption was accurate. It was a bit chilling to realize that I routinely consume between 3500 and 4000 calories a day, when eating without restraint or accountability.

Skinny Kathy
Kathy has kept her 60+ pound weight loss off for almost four years, now.

On Thursday I set my goal: I’m seeking to lose a pound a week, and to get down to my late-college weight of 210 pounds, from my current weight of 238 pounds. To accomplish this by late May, I’ll need to ensure that my caloric consumption is at least 500 calories less, each day, than what I burn. So far, so good; the nice folks at Fit Day can help with all that.

Average caloric consumption
My average consumption vs. what they think I burn

The main problem is this: how will I keep recording and limiting my caloric consumption each day, over the long haul? This is certainly not the first time I have dieted, and yet for more than 16 years I’ve made no significant change to my weight, except for a briefly successful flirtation with Kathy’s Maniacal Eating Plan (the KMEP), or the time I dropped 20 pounds on the Bronchitis Diet.

I really don’t want to add another chapter to my self-deprecating autobiography, The Many Failures of Tim the Quitter, 1965 – 20??; already my publisher is hinting that a work of this size should best be broken up into a trilogy. What will make this effort different? Where can I, as a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ, get the kind of power I would need to resist temptation of the flesh and to succeed at a pursuit involving one of the fruit (fruits?) of the Spirit, self-control?

Think, think, think (I do my Winnie-the-Pooh impression). A light bulb goes on: the Holy Spirit indwells me for just this kind of purpose!

Um … wait just a minute. The Holy Spirit has been indwelling me for all these years, and yet I have repeatedly failed. There must be something else, some way to activate the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, some way to ensure that I attempt things not in my own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Think, think, think.

Another light bulb goes on: Prayer!

And so we come to the reason for this blog, apart from sickening self-revelation: I need some of you to pray for me on a regular, ongoing, long-term basis. Please pray that I will be faithful and disciplined in decreasing my caloric intake and increasing my activity. Pray that I will not grow weary of exercising self-control, and that I can establish some habits in this area that will translate to a long-term maintenance of a lower weight. Pray that I will not become discouraged, and find some reason to quit.

I have a group of people for whom I pray every* day, using 4×6 cards to remind me of specific concerns. If you will commit to praying for me at least 4 times a week, I’ll add you to my deck o’ prayer cards, and I’ll pray for you at least six times a week. And if you’re already on one of my cards, then perhaps you owe me. :)

As Kathy and I do with our budgeting, I’ll be reporting on my progress from time to time on this blog. You can also track my caloric intake and weight loss (assuming there is some) on my public FitDay profile.

My weight loss so far
I was able to lose 4 pounds right away, by the happy expedient of weighing with my clothes off and before breakfast.

Comments are welcome, but prayer, interceding on my behalf, is very welcome. I already know much more about weight loss and healthy living than I am putting to use; that said, please feel free to share your wisdom on this topic.


*every = at least six days a week

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14 thoughts on “The Death of Pudgy Delusion”

  1. Tim – good for you. I know first hand how hard this can be. I’m in the midst of my own weight loss struggle. Today I just started on a new regimen so we’ll see how it goes. It definitely is a struggle. I’ll begin praying for you.

  2. I admire you for many reasons… your commitment to your family, tomato staking, your love for your beautiful wife, your commitment to your new budget life and debt repayment plan, your sense of humor, your mad computer skillz. And now another reason to admire you! Although I would admire you EVEN MORE if you’d posted your REAL belly. But whatever.

    Honored to pray for you. Sign me up. Your name is already posted on my computer to help me remember each day. You can do it!

  3. Tim – I recently felt God was asking me to give up my every evening TV watching. Not only was it taking away from time to do other things, but some of the shows I was watching were not glorifying to God. I was very nervous about this, as over the last 8 years since Aidan was born TV has become my escape. But since I was sure God was behind this, I trudged forward and promptly deleted all my inappropriate shows from my Tivo. One week later, I don’t miss it at all. And I feel elated from the freedom. God will give you what you need to do this if it is from Him. I’ll be praying for you.

  4. Tim – I will commit to pray for you. Thanks for being honest (and funny!) all at the same time. Having humor with this will be a huge help!!!

    You will find success because God, in you, has caused this awakening. He’s there to help, encourage, and strengthen you for this task. You’ve got an AWESOME team at the Edgren house who’ll be cheering you on too! :) I’ll be praying, buddy!!!

    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! 2 Cr. 3:17

  5. Tim: This has challenged me also. Mom says she needs to lose, but her amount is miniscule compared to mine. Recently at a visit with an orthopod, I mentioned that perhaps some of my problems with my knee were because of obesity. He immediately corrected me and said I was not obese, but we both agreed that at my age, it might be good to lose about 20-25 lbs. Back when I was on the polyp-prevention trial at Walter Reed in the early 90′s I actually dropped to 160 lbs and family & friends wondered if I was dying, since I was so thin. So, I know it can be done. When you put it in spiritual terms it is very convicting. So, I’m taking a hard look at working on it. We’ll be praying for you in this regard. Love, Dad

  6. I hope this doesn’t sound like a depressing way to look at it….but…..picture your family without you being there for them. Being overweight is a health issue that sometimes can be taken too lightly but if you look at it as something that can be (and is a lot of the time) a death threat then maybe it will give added incentive. Your family needs you greatly!!!!!! My husband is struggling with high cholesterol and is so good about doing everthing right to get it down. All because he knows he needs to be there for us. ( I hope that doesn’t come across as prideful or boasting) You can do it Tim!!!!

  7. Hi, Tim. I want to be on one of your index cards! Maybe I am already- as a relative?? If so, I owe you.

    Since this is a struggle of mine, I’m very familiar with it!! I commit to pray for you- to tap into the HS’s power, to keep on keeping on and to lose wt.

    I love you and yours! Aunt Kate

  8. I feel for you Tim!!! I will be praying for you as you journey down this road of healthy living. I KNOW you can do it. You are tied into the Lord who will give you strength! The good new is you have been highly blessed with a personal chef and nutritionist. She loves you, prays for you and wants the best for you!

  9. Thank you all, for your encouragement and kind words. It is a huge encouragement to me that so many are willing to pray for me — those of you who specifically agreed to pray will be added to my deck o’ cards tonight!

    When the novelty of this wears off (any minute, now) and when (perish the thought) a week comes in which I don’t see positive results on the scale, I’ll need strength and discipline to keep on. I see no reason to do this in my own strength — I’d rather do this in God’s strength and give Him the glory!

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