State of the self, (not actually a weight loss post)


So, you guys know I’ve been working on shedding the pounds, yes? I’ve always been a big guy (When I was a teenager I had a 44″ chest, and it wasn’t muscle or fat–it was all rib cage) so I’ve always tended toward the heavy side of the bell curve. Then I got fat for real and reached, at one point, 304 lbs. Cut for triggery talk of weight loss and gross picture of cholinergic urticaria.

Since then I’ve gotten below 270 through calorie counting and walking but progress has been stymied for several reasons. Here’s one of them:


As mentioned, that’s cholinergic urticaria. What is it? Well, I get itchy hives whenever my body heat gets elevated. Like with exercise.

Seriously, my body is now fighting my extremely mild exercise program by making me break out in itches all over my body when I go for a walk.

But it’s not just exercise! A warm room, a hot shower, a sunny day, and even the excess body heat from a stressful situation can trigger this shit. And let me tell you, that picture is actually a mild version of the outbreak. When it gets going, I look like I have chicken pox. Every try writing in a Starbucks when you’re itching like crazy and completely self-conscious?

Anyway, it started in January while I was working in my father-in-law’s house, Last week I found the diagnosis online (by googling “I am allergic to my own sweat”) and I just confirmed it with my doctor today. Can I point out how bullshit this is? Not just because this makes it harder to get my physical activity in (I can mostly control the itching with OTC certirizine, if not the red welts) but because I am already ugly. Seriously, I’m overweight, losing my hair in unfortunate ways, and now I have to walk around like an invalid or I start looking like a leper.

There’s no cure. I manage the symptoms and eventually it will go away, where eventually means anything from a few months to three decades. Stupid body. The only upside is that I’ve also heard the best way to manage it is by depleting the body’s histamine levels with twenty minutes of sweaty exercise a day. I’ll try that, too.

In short, it’s yet another way I get to be ugly, yet another hurdle in my weight loss plans, and yet another distraction when I try to write. But I’ll get past it.