2018.03.14 Losing my cornbread


I know I’m not fat, but I do know that I’ve gained several pounds since I began the two-year hormone therapy regimen.

In case you don’t remember or if you’re new to this column, no, I am not engaged in a transgender adventure. The hormone therapy (or anti-hormone therapy, actually) is a follow-up to prostate cancer surgery.

I’m nearing the end. I have one more injection in May, then it will eventually wear off and along with it, I hope the side effects go their merry way.

One side effect is weight gain and when I reached 167 pounds a while back, I decided to join my wife in the use of a free app called Lose It. 

It’s a calorie counter that allots a certain number of calories per day based on weight, height, sex and willingness to put up with all the counting.

Colleen started Jan. 1 and I found it rather annoying. She was spending so much time scanning barcodes, reading packages, searching for foods already listed on the Lose It app, logging meals cooked at home by checking out each ingredient, etc.

I knew that I would never devote time to that activity. Too many important things to do.

I’m just a small runt, but I have gained more than 15 pounds since surgery. It bothers me because it’s mostly in the gut and the rolls of fat limit some movement. 

Many people have seen me at the sideline before a football game begins. I reach into my camera bag for a large rubber band. I lift my right leg, slip the rubber band over my shoe and bring it up to my thigh. That holds the note card where I write down what transpires.

This past fall I lifted my leg for the rubber band and I couldn’t do it. The rubber band was suspended a couple inches short of the end of my shoe. The expanded abdomen prevented my leg from moving far enough upward. I sat down to do it after that odd experience.

That was no big deal, but the day I got on the scale and it read 167.2, I decided it was time to join in the counting.

Hormone therapy makes a person really hungry and it feels really good to eat. Just keep packing it in. I’ve had to buy new pants.

I decided to try Lose It to see if I could bear keeping track of everything I ate. It’s been surprisingly easy. I really don’t mind much, especially since I estimate a lot, probably in my stomach’s favor.

It’s also surprisingly interesting. I’m amazed at how quickly the numbers add up. I’m amazed at how certain foods are unexpectedly loaded with calories. I used to eat peanuts by the handful. Now I wonder if that container will ever become empty.

After a week I mentioned to Colleen that I lost 3.2 pounds. She didn’t like that and scolded me for losing too much too quickly. I wasn’t concerned. My weight always fluctuates at least a pound or two from day to day. In fact, I went down a little on five days and up on two others. I think she was just envious.

I cooked cornbread when I was home for lunch one day and two days later it was barely eaten. Blame Lose It for that.

I recall sending a text to Colleen: “It didn’t take long to say to Lose It, ‘OK, I see the impact, I understand the concept, my awareness has changed. Now let me eat my *#@%$°+ cornbread!’”

 Lose It appears to be particularly interested in my consumption of black beans, telling me frequently: “We’ve noticed a pattern: Eating black beans helps keep you on track.”

No mention of the rice. Nothing about the oranges or apples or cornbread. There must be some subtle undercurrent of bean favoritism shown by the app.

Last Friday was a glorious day. I forgot to enter breakfast and ate away at dinner, discovering the error too late. Ah, the good old days. Just eat and eat.

Lose It tells me that I am currently on track to reach my goal by May 11. I had to check to see what my goal is and was reminded that I listed 12 pounds down to 155. Since the start, my goal date briefly moved into April and once into June before settling into May.

I don’t really care if that happens—I’m not a goal-oriented person and I ignore all of Lose It’s badges that it thinks will impress me—but come September, I hope to tie my shoe from a standing position once again.