Skip to content

Summertime and the eating is… difficult

Thom embarks on an effort to lose weight
For your consideration - Thom Barker

Obesity is epidemic in Canada.

The main method of determining obesity is dividing a person’s weight by their height for an index that usually falls in the range of 15 to about 40, with under 18 being underweight, 18 - 24 normal, 24 - 30 overweight and over 30 obese.

Roughly one in four (26.6 per cent) of Canadian adults are obese. Interestingly it’s worse in rural areas (31.4 per cent compared to 25. 6 per cent). Two-thirds of us are either obese or overweight.

I didn’t even need to measure to know that I had drifted into obesity territory.

The ever-decreasing notches on my belt told me, as did the inflammation in my joints, increasing difficulty of climbing stairs and discomfort of my clothing.

In fact, within the last two weeks, I had to admit defeat and go buy fat clothes.

Nevertheless, it took a picture of me in a bathing suit (innocently taken by someone who shall remain nameless) and a visit to the bathroom scale to finally kick me in my lard-ass and get me on the path to weight-loss.

I love eating. Moreover, I love eating whatever I want, so there can be no fad diets for me. I’d rather put a bullet in my brain than give up carbs and fat.

So, whenever I’ve gotten to this point in my life, (this is the third time, you’d think I would learn), it’s eat less, exercise more.

The exercise more part is pretty easy. It’s summer, so golf season is in full swing and there’s plenty of yardwork to do.

Eating less on the other hand is really hard.

It’s no wonder we have an overweight and obesity problem because everything is set up for over-consumption.

For a person my size, weight maintenance is around 2,800 calories a day. If I want to quickly lose weight (which I do) I have to knock off about 1,000 of that, so 1,800.

A regular kitchen bowl holds two servings of cereal. An average cereal contains around 200 calories per serving, with milk, around 300. Double that, which is what the bowl will hold and that’s a third of my day.

In our super-size-it world, everything is big. If you look back at what an adult McDonalds meal was in the 1960s, it was a regular cheeseburger, small fries and six-ounce coke. Now that’s a kids’ Happy Meal and it’s 640 calories. Nevermind a Big Mac Meal (1080).

A 12-ounce cup (150 calories) is now considered the regular size.

And then there’s the snacking. A 300-calorie ham sandwich is two slices of thinly cut ham, one slice (15 grams of cheese) and two pieces of relatively low-cal rye bread. But normally when I’m making a sandwich, I think nothing of snacking on an extra slice of ham and/or a leftover chunk of cheese.

Boom, my lunch just went from one-sixth to one-fifth of my daily allotment without even thinking about it.

Don’t even get me starting on beer. A couple of those and I’d have to skip a meal, which I can’t afford to do right now because every morsel of food is like edible gold.

Fortunately, I managed to avoid the traps in week 1 and I’m down eight pounds. On to week 2. One day at a time.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
Read more