My old body could eat junk food on a regular basis because my work installing floor coverings ate up a big portion of the calories I took in. I could stay up past my bedtime too. My after-hours activities ate even more calories – dancing (I loved dancing), bicycling, making love and even shopping. And I could get by on 4-6 hours sleep and be fresh as a pot of coffee in the morning.
As I got older, the calories began to be more noticeable, creating areas of collecting fat modules like around my middle and on my buttocks (I liked the way Forest, Forest Gump said “butt-tocks”). I needed more sleep, but still, I didn’t always have to endure that alone. Heavier and less fit, my late forties and early fifties were some of my favorite years.
Now I’m old and my deteriorating lungs have made the way my body burns fat and calories much less efficient. Exercise is so difficult, my work now is mostly sitting behind a keyboard and monitor, there’s no love life now, I got rid of the bicycle years ago and what little shopping and walking I do now is mostly with the aide of a Segway PT. Prob’ly the most difficult habit to break is the staying up late. But if I don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep, my brain and my body don’t function like they should, even in this diseased state.
Most people don’t realize the simplest and benign things in life become strenuous chores when your lungs go bad. Some of the most physically challenging things I do now are taking a shower, drying off and getting dressed. It stinks.
No, really, it stinks – my body odors – they literally stink because I don’t clean them as much as I would like. It saps my energy and causes me to gasp for air. I can’t wear my oxygen in the shower. I suck that O2 through a hose in my nose, and it’s damn difficult to breathe through your nose in the shower. Let alone keep the dang thing out of your way when you are trying to clean yourself.
So, everything I eat contains calories, cholesterol, sugar and fat globules that cling to just about every part of my body now. Yet I continue to eat cake, cook my meals out of a can or box; or eat peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish and egg sandwiches. When I have the money to eat out, it’s usually a cheeseburger and fries or some kind breakfast with eggs, maybe bacon and oh, biscuits – I love teh fresh made biscuits and butter.
My hours are awful. I stay up until 3 or 4 AM most of the time and can’t sleep past 10 AM or so without feeling totally guilty for staying in bed so long. Well, it really ain’t long enough for my body, but it seems too long because it’s so late in the morning. I used to get up at 7 AM to get ready for work. Occasionally these days, it’s nearly 7 by the time I push myself away from the computer to go to bed.
What is the solution? I don’t know. If I did, I might be talking about what a great life I have even with late stage emphysema. I’d be braggin’ on my appeal to the ladies (and to be honest, there was a certain amount of pride in getting flirted with by gay guys – just before it grossed me out, but there was still this thought that, “I got it goin’ on”). In fact, this would be a here’s-how-ya-do-it article instead of a woe-is-me article. Hey, I told you I might do this.
My hope is that just writing it down for me to see – and you too, of course – might give me some of the motivation I need to stop this bad behavior. I kinda have a feeling I know what the root of the problem is: HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. I’ll think on it and maybe that will be my next article. But at least now I have this etched in stone… well, in the ether anyway. It’s there in front of me and now I have to think about it every time I look at my computer (or at least when I visit this site). We shall see if it helps.
Your words of encouragement would be nice. I can even take a little criticism. But I guarantee you, SPAM will not be eaten, it will be destroyed.