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Now hear this, fat guy

November 9, 2009 - Paul Giannamore

My family doctor is usually a jolly guy. We usually end up talking about Central athletics, the political state of the community and what it's like to be an Italian-American.

Last time I went to see him, however, he was absolutely in shock. My "elevated liver functions" were off the charts bad. He was tossing around terms like "cirrhosis" and "hepatitis" and "failure" and diabetes.

No, I'm no drinker. You may note here, thought, that I'm a big ol' fat guy, carring around about one extra high-school graduate-sized me compared with what I weighed 30 years ago. And it's not just from the loss of hair. More like a love of pizza and cheeseburgers.

I had heard this speech a couple of times before, but this time it was different. The doctor was more somber. The numbers were worse. And I've got a kid in college.

I went into crash mode. Tobacco? Gone. Prozac? Bad for the liver, gone (though I never ever would recommend that to anyone. Cold turkey can affect people in different ways). I got motivated. Diet improved 100 percent in the oats, grains and vegetables direction. I've eaten beef three times during the past month. Blood glucose is in the acceptable range. No cookies, cakes or ice cream. No pizza. No fast-food.

And I've joined Anytime Fitness. Yes, full disclosure. I just wrote about them in Sunday's newspaper. But they've got new cardio equipment that interfaces with my fancy schmancy iPod Touch, given to me by the Home Office in Wichita. The iPod Touch also is a neato high-tech device for keeping track of glucose readings, with charts and graphics and high-tech displays. Coooool, maaaan.

My mom was diabetic for the last 40 years of her life. It was drudgery. Notebooks and notes and glucose logs kept by hand. With all the high-tech toys we have nowadays, it's actually a bit of a weird competitive thing. Me vs. the machine.

The plan? Lose about 100 lbs by this time next year, while having fun and exercising.

So far, I've lost 8 lbs in three weeks. And I haven't even started exercising yet.

It's not a diet. It's called "staying alive " (ah-ah-ah-ah, Staying Alive!!!!!). And I'm not giving up pizza and burgers and sausage. I'm tuning into keeping my health up. That's the attitude that's different this time.

Hang out and I'll tell you what it's like to be the slowest loser. I'm not in it for amounts or speed. Just life will be fine.


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