Posts Tagged ‘family’

I Feel Good About This

Earlier this week I took my six-year-old daughter out for ice-cream (TCBY actually – they post her drawings on the wall, so she likes the product).  She looked over the offerings, consulted with me about the colors, made her choice and we sat down.  About halfway through it occurred to me that I wasn’t the least bit tempted to get a cone (or a golden-vanilla-and-cookie-dough Shiver) for myself.  Didn’t even think about it until then.

Then last night we went out to dinner at a local diner to celebrate the end of the school year and my lovely wife and spritely daughters shared a hot-fudge brownie sundae for dessert.  Again, it didn’t even budge my hunger meter.  To be fair, I had just finished a plate of corned-beef hash and eggs, but still …

I was never a big ice-cream eater, but if it was an option … even a remote one … I was always on-board for it, and would regret if I didn’t join in the fun.  Of course, sharing dessert or just having a taste or two was never enough, if I got started I needed a sundae of my own, and a big one.

I remember when our oldest was about three months old it occurred to me one afternoon that she was part of the family, part of my life.  That she wasn’t just visiting, and this was the new (wonderful, but different) normal.  Last night I had a similar realization:  Skipping dessert isn’t just something I’m doing for a couple of weeks.  This is the new normal, and I don’t miss the old one.  At least in this respect.

You’ve Missed A Lot. Read This to Catch Up.

287. That’s where this started.

Or 290. Or back in the 260’s. Once or twice at about 250. Several times around 245 or so, lots of times in the 220’s. But this time at 287.

I’m talking about pounds. On my belly. And my butt. My chin(s), etc.

I was a skinny kid … and then I turned 10. I’ve been carrying a belly around since then. That’s made it hard to fit a lot of clothes I’d like to wear. And hard to feel good about going to the beach or the pool. Since I was about eighteen (25 short years ago) I’ve played at a variety of “diets” and “exercise programs” and done A LOT of reading about how excess weight finds its way to the human body, how it impacts life and the best ways to banish it. In my twenties I had some success eating a nearly-no-fat diet for a short time. Then I decided I missed flavor and the pounds miraculously found me again.

My 2002 New-Year’s Resolution was to make whatever lifestyle changes I neeeded to lose 60 pounds. I was 286 that New Year’s Day, and by the summer of 2003 I was consistently weighing-in at around 220. I called that good enough – and it was. My cholesterol was good, clothes I wanted to fit did and I didn’t think twice about hitting the pool.

I was also single and childless … which meant that even after fifty hours of work a week and many more hours of volunteer work I still had plenty of time left for the gym and for running. Then I met the lovely and brilliant woman who would eventually (and inexplicably) agree to marry me. I cut my workout time way back. In 2005 she gave birth to our first child. And I gained every pound of baby weight she did. And then when our second daughter was born in 2007 I did the same thing. And that, dear reader, is more or less the story of how I found myself at nearly 290 pounds at Christmas of 2010.

—-

A little before Christmas I decided to give up diet soda and fast-food. I’ve become convinced any “food” or drink that has a long list of ingredients I (as a reasonably well-educated middle-aged man) can’t pronounce can’t possibly be good for me. I’d been drinking prodigious quantities of Diet Coke for decades (haven’t been a regular soda drinker since about 1991), and while I don’t necessarily believe every email I read about how Aspartame is killing me, I can’t say – with a straight face – that it’s GOOD for me in any way. Why fast-food? Come on. None of us really believe it’s smart to eat those tasty, tasty Big Macs.

You know what though? I didn’t lose a pound. Gained a couple, as a matter of fact. I thought about going back to both, particularly Diet Coke. I LOVED Diet Coke.

But the reality that my pants with the 44-inch waist were too tight really pissed me off. And an inconvenient fact started moving closer to the front of my mind: I know a lot of men in their eighties. None of them are fat. Which told me (and reminds me) if I want to live another forty-plus years (and I do – I LIKE my kids and my wife) I have to get serious about this belly.

I started by giving up sweets for Lent. So on the morning of Ash Wednesday, March 9, 2011, I weighed-in at 287 ponds and walked away from sweets. Over the space of a couple of weeks I made a few other changes to what I eat, consistent with things I’ve read over the years that make sense and haven’t been repudiated by further study.

For several weeks, very little happened. Then I started to see changes every Friday (I weigh myself every Friday morning). And now I’m encouraged. I’m going forward.

And you get to read all about it right here.

Congratulations.

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