It feels surreal to say that I’ve lost 50 pounds. But, what’s even more amazing is that, after having lost over 20% of my body weight, I’m still obese and I’m still over 40 pounds away from being in the normal weight range. When I mention that fact to family and friends, the immediate response is “Don’t focus on that. Just look at how far you’ve come.” “Don’t worry about the numbers,” they say. But, I’m a data geek, and I actually enjoy looking at the numbers, no matter how daunting they might be.
I appreciate what they’re saying and I would probably say the same thing if I thought someone were diminishing such an accomplishment. But, dismissing my progress is not at all what I’m doing. What I’m doing is keeping a proper perspective – something I didn’t do before I started daily intermittent fasting.
When I weighed 237 pounds, I was severely obese. No one, not even my doctor, referred to me as such, and I certainly didn’t refer to myself that way, but that’s exactly what I was – severely obese – or, in other words, very fat. I’m not just using the phrase “severely obese” arbitrarily. I had a body mass index (BMI) of 39.4; anything above 35 is considered “severely obese” and a BMI over 40 is labeled as “morbidly obese.” Severely obese, borderline morbidly obese – that was me.
So, there I was, walking around severely obese (aka, very fat) eating three meals a day plus several snacks, delighting in anything and everything I wanted with little concern for the calories, and no one said a word. Like many people, I grazed all day long as if there were no consequences, while the pounds kept piling on year after year.
Of course, I’m not suggesting people should have said anything about my weight. After-all, they’re not in charge of my body and have no right to say something like, “Mimi, don’t you think you could stand to lose some weight?” That would be hurtful, insensitive and rude. But it goes beyond that.
My guess is that not only did people not voice an opinion; they probably thought nothing of the fact that I was very fat. Let’s face it, it’s the norm to carry a significant amount of belly fat. It’s not anything unusual to see someone who is 30, 40 or even 50 or more pounds overweight eating lots of food throughout the day and savoring every minute of it.
Ironically, we fat people who are practicing intermittent fasting get a lot more attention when we don’t eat. Isn’t that something? I was walking around borderline morbidly obese, prone to type II diabetes, heart disease and a host of other ills and there was not a word said. But today, when I tell people I skip breakfast and lunch and don’t consume any calories before 5PM, they might question, “Isn’t that unhealthy?”
I’ve often said that I believe intermittent fasting will follow the same path as the low-carb lifestyle in that, what was once seen as extreme or even dangerous, will prove to be just the opposite. It may take several years, but I believe that in a relatively short period of time obesity will be seen as an unnecessary condition of those who have not yet experienced the power of “scheduled eating.”