Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bon Appétit

In the Spring of 2016 I decided to drop a few pounds. I used to be 6-2, 225 with those pounds mostly in the right places. I’d pretty much been at that size since I was 18 years old. But over the years, I had gotten shorter and those pounds shifted. One day I looked in the mirror and saw an old man who was 6-1 and 233 with too many of those pounds around the middle and in the dreaded man-boobs. I was still pretty healthy by old man standards. Blood pressure was ok and I worked out regularly. Except for my cholesterol being a bit high, my doctor said “You’re in great shape for your age. Just keep doing what you’re doing but try to drop 10 pounds.”

So I decided to drop 10 pounds. And it wasn’t that difficult. Eat less and up the cardio a bit. Boom, 10 pounds gone. Well, maybe we should drop a few more and see what happens. So we continued to just eat a little bit less and workout a little bit more. Nothing crazy, just less in and more out. A year later I’m down over 25 pounds. Cholesterol is great. Blood pressure is better than OK. Energy level is up. I sleep better and have fewer aches and pains.

And I get questions. Am I ok? Is there something wrong? Nope, just decided to drop a few pounds. Oh...well, that’s good, I guess.

How did you do it? Atkins? Paleo? Weight-watchers? Nope, just ate a little less and increased my workouts from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Oh...well, that’s good, I guess.

There is a huge industry built around losing weight. There are the diet programs where they claim you lose weight and are never hungry. There are the special workouts where you don’t sweat and just have fun. There are exercise machines that burn more calories faster and allow you to tour the Alps in HD as you go along. There are those annoying Fit-Bit things that tell you how many steps you’ve taken and poke you to get up and move ever so often.

There should be a way to turn “my weight-loss program” into a money making proposition. But most people really don’t want to just eat less and exercise more. We human beings are weak-willed and in a culture of consumption, we see-it, want-it, have-it and, if it’s food, we eat it. And we eat too much. We lose weight and gain it back. We make promises then we break them. It’s true with food, exercise, money, relationships…you name it and we can screw it up.

So one of these days beer and pizza will call out to me and the dam of self-discipline will break. I will say what the hell. Life is too short and who wants to live a little bit longer and not enjoy it. Besides, I can stand to gain a couple of pounds. “My weight-loss program” is just as vulnerable as all of the others to one thing…our choices. But I am committed. I’ve bought new clothes and really enjoy being thinner. Life is good. However, I am keeping my old clothes just in case. For I am, indeed, a backslider by nature. Aren’t we all?

“The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you are off it.”- Jackie Gleason

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