Alright I’ll admit it. There is more to my new found drive to lose weight than simply wanting to be healthy and feel better about myself. I keep reading over and over about a possible link between obesity and male infertility. While I don’t buy for one second my weight is the root cause for my infertility…it may well be a secondary factor in making my condition much worse than it needs to be.
The whole purpose of the testicles residing in the scrotum is to regulate their temperature for optimum production. I look at my situation below and my balls are basically incubating between too large thighs all day long. A perfect condition for roasting nuts, and not at all an ideal situation for sperm production.
There is also that small varicocele my Urologist found. All these questions on what to do next. Do I go ahead with a surgery with another uncertain outcome? Shall I walk around with ice packs shoved down the front of my pants all day long? Should I invest in Snowballs, underwear designed to keep the family jewels cool? Or do I commit myself to losing the weight?
With the bank account begging for mercy, I weighed my options. Although surgery could see an improvement, and insurance would cover part of the costs, that’s another $1000 or more out of my pocket. A debt I’d be happy to take on if there was a good chance of the surgery leading to an improved sperm count. Even if the improvement was only enough raise my chances for the next IVF round to work, surgery would be worth it. Right now with too many unknowns, this is another shot in the dark just like those HCG injections that work for some men, but not for me. So I’m holding off on the surgery.
Forcibly cooling the area with ice packs or specially designed underwear sounds promising on the surface. But this is just another one of those crazy infertile ideas like when I tried using a depilatory cream on the sack under the same reasoning. That crazy idea lead to several days of agony. Ice packs in the pants will definitely be uncomfortable and would need to be worn continuously for 3 months before finding out if this treatment is even working. I’m not walking around with my junk on ice for another long shot.
That left me with weight loss. It’s something I need to do and the hope of increasing my fertility is certainly additional motivation to keep me focused. I already had the weight set just sitting in the spare room, so there is little in additional cost required. I’ve found a work out buddy who is at the same level of strength as myself. This option just seemed to fall into place.
For me, the biggest reason I’m going with weight loss is that if in the end my fertility doesn’t increase, I’ll still feel good about accomplishing something. I can put my energy into a task where the results will be good, or could be great. Right now I need this, because few paths on the infertility journey have a lesser outcome that is still a benefit. I need a vacation from the heartbreak or euphoria result set. And if weight loss does result in some form of an increased sperm count, I’ll feel much better about going under the knife to improve my fertility further.
I’m 3 weeks into my weight loss plan. Although the flaky home scale says I either lost 2 more pounds or stayed the same this week depending on its mood, I’m down another belt notch and see a big difference all over my body that my plan is in fact working. I’m also feeling a lot better and seeing a noticeable increase in my energy level.
Finally a journey that only looks up. The only question that remains is, how high?
Back when I went to the urgent care clinic over the holidays, I received some bad news having nothing to do with why I was at the clinic. I stepped on the scale to be weighed, fully expecting to have gained back all the weight I had lost. I’d lost control of my eating habits and I just didn’t care anymore. I still ate whole grain, used lean beef, avoided potatoes, so I hadn’t completely lost control. By my willpower to say no like I could before was gone.
Sure I made goodies once in a while, but it wasn’t like I was baking a pan a brownies every other day. Maybe once a month I would make a homemade treat. The problem was portions and snacking. I was eating like an alcoholic drinks beer to forget.
Then there were the goodies other people would bring into work. Since the cube opposite me is empty, guess where they like to put all the cookies, cupcakes, brownies and donuts? All day I watch people enter the cube across from me and walk out with something delicious in their hands. With my willpower gone, knowing what was going to happen if I fell for the temptation, I’d try one. Just like an alcoholic, I couldn’t eat just one. It’s not like anyone would notice me sneaking another treat 5 minutes later; since the only person who could notice sits across the hall and just happens to be me.
While everyone else may have only had 1 or 2 treats, I would end up having 4 or 5 before I started kicking myself for eating one in the first place.
So I stood on the scale and heard the nurse announce “Weight 240”.
What? Crap! That is 5 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been. Son of a BITCH! That’s 100 pounds heavier than I was 15 years ago before starting a desk job.
I avoided making weight loss a New Years resolution. Not only would that be completely cliche, but just giving it that label seems like I’m expecting to fail. My goal for now is to get under 200. I hardly ever eat fast food. My diet is healthier than most of the people I know. (Except my father who is a health nut.) I already eat a lot of chicken breast and veggies. Other than cutting back on sweets, which I will be doing, there isn’t much more I can do besides counting calories. I like math, but trying to figure out how many points my homemade meal costs me just adds to my frustration. So to accomplish this goal I’m focusing on exercise, which I hate.
Whenever I exercise on my own, I just end up watching the clock waiting for it to be over. If I can establish a routine, I’m better at sticking with exercise…until the day comes along forcing me to break my routine. There always seems to be some need to travel out of town, or I come down sick which means I can’t exercise. Getting back on the horse for some reason is always hard after being forced off.
To help combat my laziness and make exercise more than something I dread doing. I’m teaming up with a friend to lift weights. Hopefully this buddy system will keep me committed to exercising. This way I’m talking to someone rather than just watching the clock. We can push each other to finish just one more rep. And since he has a pretty nice set up at his house, I’m not going to a gym feeling like everyone is looking at the big guy huffing it on the treadmill.
Also the wife and I are planning more morning walks with Bandit.
I’M DOING THIS.
I have to. I’m tired of being the big guy. I’m tired of having a closet full of perfectly good clothes that I can’t fit into, hoping I would lose the weight one day.
This weight is going bye-bye.
I promise to have a Bandit post soon. Time just hasn’t been on my side this week. 🙂