Thursday, June 7

Flat-Lining at the Gym


Despite a heavy-duty workout yesterday, and a rather small intake of food today, my weigh-in this afternoon showed no change.

Uh-oh. My first plateau.

I'm going to power through this. And I learned something today about weight loss and metabolism.

I'll admit I'm guilty of rolling my eyes when I hear people claim they're heavy because they "have a slow metabolism." I secretly believe they're heavy for the same reason I am: Snarfing Hostess fruit pies when nobody's looking. Eating a complete brick of cheese while waiting for the sandwich to toast. Eating all the leftover lasagna so it doesn't go to waste.

And I also secretly believe that "metabolism" is one of those made-up nonsense words like "certificated," "orientated," and "irregardless." It strikes me as sort of an imaginary metaphysical descriptor, in the same realm as aura, or charisma, or "street sense."

So as a public service to you, good reader, I did some research.

It seems that the word metabolism is kind of invented. The more descriptive term would be "basal metabolic rate." Now that, I can get my head around. It's still a number that can't be measured, but I can fathom a rate that's an amalgamation of tangible things: body size, body temperature, gender, muscle mass, heart rate, age, exercise, and inherent degree of fidgetiness. (One of my sons was much thinner growing up than the other kids. I attribute that to his tendency to run a lap around the table between each french fry. We called him the papillion -- after the nervous little dogs.)

The pertinent point is this: The more weight I lose, the slower I'll lose weight, because one significant component of basal metabolic rate is my weight. Hauling around a yard of lard uses more calories than tripping the light fantastic.

OK. So I'm plateauing. Time to up my game at the gym before some sweet young 268-pound man overtakes me.