Diet Tribe: Knowing Your Limits

Though I’ve not been officially diagnosed, a couple of physiological situations I’ve been coping with for a good number of years are eosinophilic esophagitis and atrial fibrilation, or EE and AF. I don’t think I’ve blogged about the latter, but certainly I can remember blogging about the joyful day last year when I finally was able to solve they mystery and put a name to the former, one that three different doctors insisted was gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) even though I told them it was more than that.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the frequency with which both of these conditions occur or don’t corresponds to how much I weigh — or I should say overweigh. The heavier I’ve been the more often they’ve happened. The lighter the less.

The AF has always been random — or “paroxysmal” if you want me to get all Marcus Welby on yerass — going in and out of rhythm occasionally and momentarily. But as I started climbing in weight up past 225 (and that’s pretty much been for parts of the last year, and certainly the months of weight gain leading up to the beginning of my present diet), I was dealing with those heart hops and skips more and more.

Same with EE. When I was much heavier, in the 260s, episodes could be triggered with a frustrating regularity. Same with the months leading up to July, too.

Tomorrow is Day No. 100 since I stopped ignoring my eating habits and restarted managing my calories. The scale read 223.0 pounds this morning, down. 0.6 from yesterday, which was up 3.6 from the “false” 220-pound reading Monday morning, the day after CicLAvia, in which I essentially rode around on a bike burning calories and not eating anything but water, Coke Zero samples and Clif bars from 9 a.m. to 3:3o p.m.

False reading? Yeah. As enjoyable as it is to see 220 on the scale, I tend to discard those lows and accept the upward rebounds as closer to reality. And that reality isn’t too shabby.  I’ve shed 13 pounds since the beginning of July, simply by endeavoring to input less than I output.

It’s not quite where I thought I’d be already (I’m looking at you 215)  but I’m progressively if slowerly heading in the right direction and it feels great. On my way to meet my friends Stephen and Hap Sunday morning before heading to Boyle Heights for CicLAvia, I easily cranked hard up the incline on Sunset Boulevard between my street and Alvarado. Even with all the bike commuting I was doing, the last time I did that without breathing hard at the top was a couple years ago, at least. I went on to do about 33 miles going back and forth between Boyle Heights and East Hollywood a couple times before heading home, and that felt extraordinary, too (aided no doubt by the cyclist’s high that CicLAvia induced).

But speaking of least, as in last but not least, here’s a bit o’ the old before ‘n after, via a shot taken by Michael Oh of me during my Bike Every Saturday In May’s Frank Lloyd Wride, and after that is one snapped by BikesideLA creator and camera master Alex Thompson, PhD (or as I like to call him, “Doc”) Sunday morning on Spring Street downtown during CicLAvia with District 4 City Council Candidate and The Reigning King Of Bike Advocacy Stephen Box (back to camera) regaling me and his equally bike-passionate wife Enci.

That spare tire I was wearing at this stage still had a couple months of growth to come yet! It got to a point where I was popping the button on those bike pants.

Where’d that spare go? It ain’t gone completely, but I’ll tell you what: it’s a joy being able to reclaim a notch on my belt and not having to pray the button’ll hold while squeezing myself into those same knickers any more.

And really lastly but not leastly: Yes! I understand the importance of getting my AF and EE properly treated. I’m not an idiot (at least not a diagnosed one). A complete physical is planned before the year’s out and we’ll go from there.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."