Dreams are a funny thing. I very rarely remember many details of my dreams. I have always been a horrible sleeper, but I think for different reasons. My weight used to be a source of my trouble. You can’t carry that much extra weight around your neck and not have trouble breathing in your sleep. One report said more than 60% of overweight people have some form of sleep apnea, that jumps to almost 90% for the obese. My sleep didn’t really get better when I started to lose weight. Since Christmas I’ve been wearing a FitBit on my wrist, not only to track my exercise but to help figure out my sleep. On average over the last three weeks I’ve been getting less than 4 and a half hours a night. I’ve been working morning radio for six years now and it really does beat the hell out of you over time. It’s not that the shift is unhealthy, it just has a way of magnifying the aspects of your life that are already unhealthy. Anyone who works shift work knows the feeling of never really being on top of it all.
Anyway, restless sleepers are the least likely to remember details from their dreams. It’s maybe only once a month I actually recall a dream – but for as long as I can remember I’ve been at my heaviest in my dreams. I never really thought too much about this. It’s not that shocking that I see still see myself like that. In many ways I still live like that guy. I turn sideways to go through narrow spaces, I’m always stepping away to give people room to pass, even though there’s enough room. I still catch myself putting the seat in my car all the way back even though I don’t have to. Most of the time I’m still shocked when I see a picture of myself and realize I’m not as big in real life as I am in my head.
After someone asked me what size I was in my dreams I did a little research and it seems like it usually catches up at some point. Those who lose a limb usually go through a period where they dream of still having it, and then at some point they start to see themselves in their dream as they now are.
I really don’t want my head to catch up just yet. I’ve still got a long way to go in my journey. I’m just now really at the point where I’m like every other guy who wants to lose some weight. It’d be easy to trick myself into thinking I’m now healthy.
I didn’t start this journey with a goal weight in mind. I’ve been using my body mass index to track my progress. I started out with a BMI of 61, and today it’s 33. That’s a huge improvement but it still puts me in a dangerous category. I’m on the verge of saying goodbye to obesity and just being overweight like most people trying to lose weight. That’s what keeps me on track. How silly would it be to have come this far, but stop shy of actually getting healthy? Why settle for healthier?
Plus, I’m surrounded by people a decade younger than me at work and it’s great to see them so eager to invest in themselves and their health now. The obesity rate for Canadian men in their 20’s doubles by the time they’re in their 30’s. I’m going to end on a geeky note. Check out this chart from the 2011 Canadian Community Health Survey. The older we get the larger we get. Less than 10% of 18-19 year olds are obese. That doubles by the time they turn 30. It is so much easier to take care of your body in your 20s than it is to reclaim it in your 30s.