Feel … The … Burn …

I wanted to believe I was going to become quite the buff guy when I bought this thing.  Mindlessly ripped, sinewy muscles bursting out of every shirt I owned… Really …

I gotta stop.  I can’t even fake that. No, I never had such delusions of grandeur. But, let’s start at the beginning.

I’ve never felt that I’ve been at a ‘healthy’ weight. Not because I’m self-conscious, or dwell at length about my appearance, or because I have an unhealthy view of myself. No, it’s all because the medical field has determined that a person my height and weight is ‘obsessed.’

I’m sorry, I meant ‘obese.’  Wow, that really changes that sentence!

I’m fat.


I can’t say that I’ve had cause for concern regarding this, but I don’t want you to think I’ve not made attempts to remedy the matter.  The issue, though, is every time I’ve neared my ideal weight, it has coincided with a significant health event.  Like being my ideal weight actually triggered health problems.  I don’t believe that, but the coincidences are enough to question making an effort to lose a lot of weight.

Before I start, I want to remind everyone that I’m not a medical professional.  There’s only one type of pipes I work on.  Secondly, I also don’t want you to think this is a recommended medical treatment approach of any kind.  If anything, you should panic and go buy kale and stop cooking with Crisco.  If that’s still a thing.  Let me look that up…, Yup it is.  I miss my shortening.

The first time I was near my ideal weight was prior to the turn of this century.  It was shortly after I had set my book aside and needed a break.  So I took a vacation.  The first one that didn’t include ‘family’ as part of the designation. A friend and I decided to trek out to Colorado.  We went on a grand (touristy) tour of the state.  Well, not really.  It was more like we visited a few people we knew, stopped in Estes Park (off-season) and wandered around, toured the Budweiser brewery (to see the Clydesdales. What else is there?), and visited an outlet mall to look at (still!) overpriced stuff.

It was fun.

About three months later I was in the hospital and was diagnosed a Type-I Diabetic. Because clearly, these two events are inter-related.  The moral of this story is to never have fun, or you’ll be diagnosed with a life-altering health condition.

In case you’re wondering: no, I had no family history of this, til just before. Literally months. Not sure even 6 months.

Of course, while I walked into the hospital only 10 pounds under my ideal weight, I was so emaciated at that point I needed fluids pumped into me for three days before I could make use of the bathroom. And I got another week-long ‘vacation’ (also without the ‘family’), all-expense paid, meals included, in a highly rated facility purpose-built to make you look forward to going to work and never wanting to not stop working for any reason, real or imagined.

After that hospital stay, I decided I would try to start working out.  Go to the gym…, wait, why go to the gym, when I could have the gym at home!



Well, I couldn’t afford the XTL, But I couldn’t find a picture of the one I had. And, I still changed the configuration, added and subtracted stuff… Yeah, I bought a Bowflex.

I blame the infomercial I saw one of the last times I watched infomercial TV (the 20th century). By this time, I didn’t own one, so I was actually doing my research on AltaVista.com. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.  Everyone was using it then. It was awesome.  Good times, good times.

I started using it.  And I decided to make it a wholesale, lifestyle change.  No more desk jobs! I’m moving on to a physically demanding job! I’m going to be…

An Electrician! (A Plumber.)

I already have some practical training with my Novell™ Certifications (Those are still a thing, right?), building cabling and assembling network systems (plumbing).

And, construction (plumbing work) is on a tear right now!  I mean, it’s a new century! Everyone is building stuff, like buildings and airplanes (with plumbing)!  What could possibly go wrong with making a career change like this, right now?

So, well after that event, I applied to the electrical (plumbing) apprenticeship, because there is NO WAY I’M PAYING FOR ANY OF THIS! (I’m broke). I decided, just to cover all the bases, I would apply to both electrical and plumbing apprenticeships (plumb–wait, what?).

If you’ve read my profile, you would see that I was accepted to the plumbing apprenticeship. Once I started, I was well on my way to getting the physical activity I needed.

Construction is hard work, and demanding (Doing the work can be, too). And while I can’t say I ate like an athlete, I was in better shape than I was when I sat behind a desk.

Till I saw a doctor.

The problem people would likely have with seeing doctors is that most see them after some dramatic change in health.  They ‘gained/lost too much,’ or ‘What’s that bump? No, not that bump, the bump on that bump?’

I didn’t have this problem (at that time).  I regularly saw one (Diabetic–insulin-dependent). So, it was more like getting a quarterly review from your boss, than wondering if you’re about to die an ignominious death.

When I had these weird health symptoms pop up, I thought Hmm, that’s weird. So I told my doctor.

I would point out that at this time, I probably appeared to be in my best health.  I was active, only a few pounds over my ideal weight (and this is likely due to lifting weights …er, using a Bowflex), so finding out I have a thyroid issue wasn’t exactly stellar news. Now, after a 33 percent increase in mass, I’ve decided ‘being healthy’ is killing me.  If you are looking for me to offer any insights on avoiding health conditions that are often hereditary or difficult to diagnose, sorry, I’m not your man.

If you would like some iffy food advice or even some questionable recommendations, I suggest Crisco.  The blue can.  That stuff is awesome.

Next week, we’ll start a series on the subject of my novel.  It’s not Richard.  Not his friends or his wife.  Look at that title on the book, and you’ll understand.

Thanks for reading!  Please like and share! You can follow on FacebookTumblr, and please feel free to read excerpts from The Silent Invader @RB_Thurman (and follow!), in addition to the chapters I add here. If you prefer, you can also read my posts on Goodreads (I do a few book giveaways there, so you may want to check it out for that).  Your comments are welcome below.  Also, sign up on my contact page, and receive notifications for when the next blog arrives.