Saturday, 4 May 2013

Fat 'n Happy

I'm fat. There, I said it. I admit it. I am gaining weight and it's all around my belly. My inner Buddha is fast becoming my outer self. My waistline is out of control, expanding without restraint. Isn't that the first step, admitting that you are out of control?

When I was diagnosed I had been on a healthy eating kick for more than 18 months. Prior to my accident in the summer of 2011, I had been gaining weight for some time and was very heavy, obese. I was not morbidly obese, the kind of food planet that you see double plating at the Golden Corral. I was just plain large, very large, double extra large. Okay I was verging on food planet, weighing in at about 255 or 260.

After dropping the motor on myself I thought that my weight was part of the problem. So I changed my diet, dropped processed foods where possible, stayed away from starches and grains, focused on greens and proteins. My weight dropped rapidly from a likely high of 260 down to a low of 215. My goal was 200 pounds and my plan was to keep pushing after that. Then came November 23, 2012.

After my diagnosis I said "To hell with the diet; eat what you want. What's the worst that could happen?" I was aware that ALS patients generally lose weight. At the ALS clinic the provide nutritional and dietary advice to ensure you keep you weight up. I was doing that on my own and I may be the only ALS patient in history to die morbidly obese!

So I am gaining weight. There are a few factors that impact this. First of all, I can no longer do active exercise. My muscles in my legs are gone and the muscles in my arms are weakening. So no matter what I do, I cannot "burn off the calories".

Secondly, the increase in my metabolic rate due to ALS is not sufficient to burn off the limited calories I take in. Even though I try, my appetite has lessened substantially over the last few months. I simply cannot eat what I used to eat. Yet due to my diet these limited calories still sing "Shall We Gather At His Waistline", dedicating themselves to morphing me into Jaba the Hut. Thirdly, it's probably related to my highly successful beer and nacho diet. Let's face it, I am eating things that, in the absence of exercise, will make me fatter and drinking things like Rum and Coke that won't help at all.

Now the moment of truth. Do I care? Well, in fact I do, a little bit. I don't like looking heavy. I don't like lifting this extra weight. Will I do anything about it. No. Why bother? ALS will look after that for me.


  1. Hmmm...You were always a thinner.

  2. In your "99% Certain" post you said that an ALS clinical diagnosis looks at the symptoms and rule out every other possibility for the cause. So does "every other possibility" means every other possibility within the neurological field, or within fields of study. If ALS patients tend to lose weight but you are gaining weight, would that not suggest there is a slight possibility that it is not ALS? Could it be possible that it is in fact related to your injury from the boat engine accident? Have you ever seen a Chiropractor for an assesment on your back injury?

    I know I am becoming annoying so this will be my last comment. Here is wishing you all the best, and hoping for recovery. Take care.

  3. I have ALS and am gaining weight as well. When I go to clinic, they don't say much but can tell it isn't something like. Always check my blood sugar...that is fine. I'm frustrated.