Time to grab the bull by the horns and lose my BOATERS BELLY!
One of the side effects of living aboard these last two years I have certainly let things go in regards to my weight and I am now carrying way more timber around the waist than I need too and much more than I have in a long time.
I have known for some time that excess weight for me is not welcomed – especially for my liver which gets way too fatty and raises something my blood called an ALT. In the past I’ve had to have scans and have been assured that I am tickety-boo as long as I keep my weight to a healthy level.
My body seems to have doomed me to failure.
I was diagnosed with psoriasis when I was just 9 years old. My weight bloomed around that time too. Before then, I used to be a scrawny little thing. I remember a school teacher coming to visit from my school when I was on my first 6 week stay in hospital for treatment – that’s the way they did it back then.
She brought with her a massive tin of chocolates and a book on karate. Not being the fighting type and being more of a lover – of chocolate, I tucked in. Also, because the people around me took pity on me as I was down in the dumps, they kept bringing chocolatey goodies to cheer me up. In response, I ballooned!
Then in my 20’s, I started to have investigations for arthritis in my feet, although at this time it was only mild and something which just came and went when I was experiencing a psoriasis flare-up. I have pretty much always been affected with psoriasis ever since I was 9, but it gets particularly bad at times, and this is what they call a flare. So much so, it can be hell to live with. It affects my self-esteem and weight as I feel like doing zero
Then for the hat-trick, my body gave me Inflammatory Bowel Disease (of an undefined type). Apparently all these are intertwined and linked within me. Something I can see as when I have a flare up of one of them, the other two need to follow suit, seemingly to raise their game!
Adding insult to injury…
I spent the other day writing as the weather was miserable out. I work full-time as a gardener but have realised with age that it is sensible to keep out of the damp and put off work for the dryer days.
As I was sat there researching the benefits of gardening for an article, the phone rang.
“Mr MacKenzie, your x-ray shows arthritis in both hips which is consistent with the doctor’s examination”. The voice chimed…
A few weeks ago I was struggling with my joints, my psoriasis and my IBD. All three seemed to be in full flare. I went to the doctor as I was getting pains in my hips and had had a couple of episodes where I was kneeling in a customers garden weeding and almost found it impossible to get up from the ground – almost locked by pain in my hips and knees to the ground. It was agony.
The doctor sent me for an x-ray and yesterday was results day. To be honest, although it seems obvious now, arthritis in my hips wasn’t standing out to me as being the issue. In the session with her, she was checking other things so it was a real surprise to get the call.
As it stands, I don’t know if it is only mild or more progressed as it was the receptionist calling, but they scheduled me in for an appointment with the doctor next month to discuss.
I need a plan!
The one thing I remember over the years is that every time I lost weight to get myself back to the scrawny lank that I once was, my psoriasis cleared up! I have just been looking around on the internet and found that there actually is some scientific basis for this.
Since being diagnosed with psoriasis when I was 9-years-old, I have only been swimming once when my skin cleared after getting to a healthy weight. That was around the time of my sons birth nearly 9 years ago.
I know that there are people with active psoriasis who go swimming – and they are WAY more brave than I am. I wish I had the confidence at the moment, but I don’t. What I do have though, is drive and motivation to do something positive.
This November 7th is my 40th birthday, and I have decided that I want to get myself a present. I want to, for the first time, take my kids 2-year-old Fleur and 8-year-old Bobby swimming! That would make my year!
To do this, the bellies days have to be numbered!
How am I going to do it?
Well, I have already started! On Saturday we had a BBQ with loads of friends next to the boat which we live on. This was my last hurrah in regards to satisfying my mammoth appetite. And when I say mammoth – I am by no means exaggerating! We don’t really do sensible portion sizes at meal times. And a normal day would see me having seconds and more than likely thirds at the dinner table. I would also scoff meal-sized snacks throughout the day too
As it stood on Sunday when I started to cut out the alcohol and started to eat much more sensibly, I weighed in at 118kg (18.5 stone) and at the height of 193cm (6’4″) that gave me a rather embarrassing BMI of 31.6. That puts me in the obese category! Ooh, the shame.
The NHS calculator has my ideal weight at 69-93kg – that’s a whole 25 kilos away – nearly 4 stone in old money.
As I say, I have made a start and cutting back on the food has been especially difficult as I am such an habitual grazer. I am into my fifth day now and it is getting better I think – I hope!
I also started walking a 5km route on Sunday with the aim to building up to running it within a week or two, but with the news from the doctors surgery, I am going to keep the daily walk, but keep the running to just an idea, until I have checked out whats going on with my hips at the doctors first.
Wish me luck and egg me on!
I would love some encouragement along the way on this so if you want to leave a comment in the section below then I will be sure to read each and every one.
I will also be sharing updates of this journey on social media via the Alt Dad Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #BoatersBellyBegone
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