On Weighty Matters

(Note: The picture above is not my actual weight. It’s just a random photo I found online)

I wasn’t planning on blogging about this, but my friends encouraged me to do so (actually they said I should vlog about it, but I really don’t feel up for that). It’s not that I’m ashamed of the subject. I really don’t care (except for the health implications). But frankly, even I am amazed at what’s happened since I moved here to Japan. As of the last time I checked, I have lost 30lbs since coming here to Japan. And that was 4 weeks ago. Before I walked 80 km with Squirtle in about 10 days.

So what’s up? Well as many who know me know, I’ve been a big guy for as long as I remember. Again, it’s not something I really cared about. Which is probably why it got worse over the past 5 years. I won’t get into exact numbers. But the big “eye opener” for me was a visit I had with my family doctor in Fort Mac around this time last year.

As many of you know, we were evacuated from Fort Mac due to a wildfire in 2016. And one of the results from that was a flare up of my respiratory problems from when I was a kid (I had asthma, though it really hadn’t been a problem since I moved to Canada). After we were evacuated to Edmonton, I saw a doctor down there, and he prescribed me some inhalers. Obviously, those inhalers won’t last long. So in Fort Mac, I went to my family doctor to get a refill.

It turns out, he was preparing to move away from Fort Mac, and he was preparing to turn over his practice to a new Doctor. But as a result of this, he wanted to do a more thorough check up than I was asking for. So he did… blood work and all. Surprisingly, my cholesterol was not crazy. Neither was I even close to diabetic (though I did have to monitor my blood sugar for a while). That meant my diet wasn’t a big problem. Anyway – though I probably ate a little too much potato chips and chocolate, I balanced that out with not indulging in other things most other people do. For example, I hardly drank anything other than water and milk (that is, milk in my coffee).

So the real problem was a lack of exercise. And to motivate me, my doctor told me that while my heart, etc, was healthy(ish), my BMI (Body Mass Index) was such that I could actually qualify in Alberta for Vertical banded gastroplasty surgery (ie. Stomach stapling). Obviously he wasn’t suggesting I go for it. Rather I should give exercising a try first.

And I sortoff gave it a try in Fort Mac. I did join the gym. Unfortunately, no real progress happened there (especially as I worked 14-hour days in my last 6 weeks there, running the summer programs). I didn’t lose any weight at all between the time I had that appointment with my doctor and me leaving Fort Mac, and eventually moving to Japan. Incidentally, I knew exactly how much I weighed because I had to weigh my luggage here the hard way – that is, I weighed myself, picked up my luggage and weighed myself again, then subtracted the numbers to get how much my luggage weighed on its own.

Fortunately, where I live here in Osakasayama, I needed to walk… a lot. The distances I had to go were just far enough that the walk was a distance. But not enough to require driving or anything like that. Anyway, I didn’t have time to get my International Driver’s Permit… neither was I going to buy a car here… so walk I did. It’s about 1.5km round trip to the grocery store (I did this walk almost every other day). Even more promising, there was a nearby park that was a nice place to walk – Sayama Pond Park. And that’s where Pokemon Go comes in.

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 6.04.07 PM

One loop around the pond is almost exactly 3km – 2,850m to be exact. Add to that the walk to the pond from my house, and it’s almost exactly 4km (4,085m to be exact). So it’s a pretty decent walk. Playing Pokemon Go while walking around it is even better. Not only that, but it kind of tracks your progress too. Since moving here to Japan, I have walked approximately 210km. And since the weather has gotten really nice here in Japan about 2 weeks ago, I’ve gone to the park every day and done 1 or 2 loops around the pond (usually 2 loops on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Fridays… 1 loop every other day). Which is why I have walked 80km since I made Squirtle my buddy just over a week ago.

So, chances are, I’ve lost even more weight now since I last checked during the first week of March. But since I don’t actually own a bathroom scale (I checked at an Onsen Spa that I visited), I will have to wait until the next time I have access to another scale before I check again.

My goal? Be able to buy clothes here in Japan. haha. But that’s a story for another time… I’ll update again. But as I said, since I don’t know when the next time I will have access to a bathroom scale, I really don’t know when I will have a chance to weigh myself next. For now, I am walking between 4km and 7km a day – aiming for about 35km a week/140km a month.

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