Amid all the ups and downs of life, it’s important to find small moments of victory now and then. I found one of those moments one morning this week.
As those who know me are aware, my entire adult life has been one big battle with the bathroom scales. Okay, any scales. Scales have not been my friends. When I go in to see my doctor, I always try to walk past the scales on my way to the exam room, but the nurse never lets me. I think she must take some perverse pleasure in my lack of ability to get my weight under control.
Some of you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure there are those of you among my readers and friends who, whether for the sake of appearance or health or whatever, would like to get rid of some poundage but just can’t seem to do it.
In college, my weight problem only arose during the summer. While home from school I would receive enough help from Anheuser Busch—and home cooking—to increase my normal weight of 190-195 pounds up to 215 pounds or so. Then I’d go back to school and soon drop back to normal.
In my 20’s and 30’s that ‘normal’ crept up to 220 or so. In my 40’s I discovered that I could easily attain 260, and in my 50’s I came to realize that getting below that was extremely difficult. When I was diagnosed with type II diabetes around age 60, my doctor told me I needed to lose 40 pounds. Of course, he’s an ex-marathoner with about a 30-inch waistline. People like that can’t really relate to people like me.
For the next six or eight years I would lose a few pounds and then put them back on, but I could never really enjoy any victory. Every time I’d lose a little, I’d bounce right back up to 260. I couldn’t seem to do anything to alter that pattern.
Finally three or four years ago I decided to be serious about getting my weight under control. I’ve never been one who could count calories, and I already avoided most carbohydrates because of my diabetes, so there was only one thing to do. I had to alter the amount of food I ingested and/or the time of day I ingested it.
I started eating large breakfasts, medium-sized lunches, and small suppers. As long as we weren’t visiting other people or having others over to our house, that was doable. Small suppers just don’t fit when you’re entertaining dinner guests or eating at someone else’s house, and these became stumbling blocks, but overall this new eating regime worked for me.
It took awhile, but I dropped into the 250’s and then into the 240’s and finally into the 230’s. If you’re one of these slender people who can’t identify, just imagine carrying a 30 pound bag of sand around with you all the time. That’s what I had lost.
But my goal was to get to 220, and that eluded me. I’d get a few pounds below 230 and then balloon back up. Frustration.
About a month ago I concluded that my big breakfast and medium-sized lunch wasn’t going to get me there. I started cutting my breakfasts from three eggs to two and then one, or eliminating my toast, or having one pancake instead of two, depending on whether I was eating at home or, if not, which restaurant.
For several years now, my lunches have generally consisted of two El Monterrey bean and cheese burritos with grated cheese and shredded lettuce on them, with a sugar-free fudge bar for dessert. I decided to eliminate one of the burritos.
After several weeks of this, I stepped on the scales on morning this week and the figure 224 appeared in the display window. I know, that’s still not 220, and I probably should have waited for 220 before I wrote this, but I was so excited by the 224 I couldn’t help myself.
The future may see me yoyo back up toward 230, but I feel like I’m really on the right track this time. I’m determined to get below 220 and keep it there. Sadly, at age 72, I’m not going to look the same at 220 I would have at age 50, but it’s still got to be a good step for my health.
What battles have you fought with your weight? What have you been able to do to achieve victory over your bathroom scales.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.