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Introduction to Obesity Undone; The COVID 19 Edition

Back in February of 2020, I decided it was time to get back in shape. I hopped up on my scale and the reading was higher than it had ever been. That reading was 375 pounds. In this book, you will see references to Joe.340, because at the time that was my heaviest weight.

This war with the bastard known as obesity has been made up of many battles throughout my lifetime. I have had some victories; the bastard has had others. I honestly thought, the last victory I had won was going to be permanent, just as I had thought the last victory the bastard had won was going to be permanent.

The last few years, prior to COVID-19, have been some of the most stressful of my life. I took an employment position in which I was promised many things and none of those promises were delivered upon. Not only were there many broken arrangements, but I was also emotionally, psychologically, verbally, and in many other ways, abused — what is sad is that I remain in that situation and the abuse has only gotten worse. Unfortunately, in the past, I had allowed this systematic abuse to overwhelm me. It had caused my health to deteriorate to previously unrealized lows. I had even contemplated, on more than one occasion, taking my own life. My loyalty, my work ethic, and my drive did not allow me to see that I was in essence in an abusive relationship. I had not realized consciously the severity, or the reality, of the abuse to which I had been subjected. It was only with the help of a trained and licensed therapist was I able to realize what has happened. And for her, I am grateful.

This abusive relationship allowed me to fall victim to my carbohydrate addiction, which can be described as a slow suicide, but there were times, as I stated in the last paragraph, when I considered hastening that demise. Thankfully, my better angels won out.

Back to February of 2020, I re-read my previous weight loss books, re-entered the gym, and started eating a lower carbohydrate diet. I was doing OK and then COVID-19 hit. I stopped going to the gym. However, thanks to an accountability buddy, I stayed on my eating plan. It was also then, that I appreciated an important truth — I was not ready to die.

You would think that would be enough to strengthen my resolve, and it pretty much was. However, in April, an event happened that made me finally come to terms with just how abusive the relationship with my employer was. Contrary to any medical, health provider, or even just plain old common-sense reasoning — my employer had positive COVID-19 cases, yes that is plural, in two of the practice’s other offices. You would say, well that’s not uncommon, and you would be right. However, my employer not only did not inform us of this, but he had also sent patients who potentially may have been exposed to our office, potentially exposing us, our existing patients, and our families. It was then, that it became apparent, that this individual cared not for years of dedicated hard work and loyalty, which was destroying my overall physical and emotional health, nor did he give a damn about any of us staff, nor any of the patients, nor any of our families – because through deceptive ignorance or incompetence or intent, he was knowingly, willing to, again potentially, kill us all and not give it a second thought!

At that point, my resolve became stronger than it had ever been because I also realized that at 375 pounds, if I had contracted COVID-19 and had been placed on a ventilator, there was a pretty damn good chance I wasn’t coming off of it.

The following book contains additional information. This additional information will be presented prior to the chapters on eating, exercise, and energy. The first two editions were written for a “gym centered” workout routine, consisting of high intensity weight training in addition to endurance work. Well, COVID-19 changed the world, and I as a healthcare provider, find it irresponsible to set foot in the petri dish environment that is a commercial gym. I had to adapt, and I did. Not only the workouts, but the amounts of food I would normally consume to fuel those workouts and provide the necessary building blocks to repair and promote muscle growth. Prior to the chapters on exercise, I will provide a new basement centered workout, on eating, a new eating plan, and on mental energy, an additional motivational factor.

I believe you will find the new information useful if you have no desire to enter a gym and have been coping with the changes caused by the current global pandemic. I am not going to pepper this book with pictures. The existing ones suffice. But I will place two pictures below of me at 375 and one at 196. I am planning to drop my weight down to 175 pounds because I no longer need to carry around 200 plus pounds of muscle, and I have entered an Olympic distance triathlon scheduled for June, COVID permitting, and I want to be as lean as possible to swim, cycle and run all those miles.


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