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.
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
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.
Congratulations. You know, even a small victory is nevertheless a victory and sharing it with people means: enjoying the fun twice!! It’s great!!
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Thanks, Aurora Jean. All encouragement appreciated.
Congratulations, Bro! 224 is an awesome accomplishment! As you know, weight battles have besieged us both, as well as a bunch of others in our family. I bet I have lost and gained more weight than an elephant over the years. Making lifestyle changes permanent has been a huge struggle for me. I am glad that I finally got the motivation to return to Weght Watchers and follow the program once again. I am down 13 pounds in the last six weeks. Getting back on my stationery bike is helping too.
Thanks, Sis, and good for you. Stick with it.
Congrats on cultivating lifestyle shifts that have you feeling and eating healthier, David!
One of my favorite tips for weight control (donning my nutritionist cap ;)) is emphasizing more healthy, light foods — finding ways to eat more fruits and veggies, for example, and swapping out white grains for whole — rather than focus on what to avoid. Fiber-rich foods increase appetite control, so portion control becomes easier. And the “don’t eat that/too much” mindset can increase hunger and feelings of deprivation.
Also, most folks have a roughly 10-pound weight range (the “set point weight”) that the body gravitates to when its taken care of and fed appropriately. And if you increase muscle through exercise, your weight could go up while you trim down. You probably know this stuff — just mentioning it in case you see a number that’s slightly higher at some point. 🙂
Wishing you much health and happiness!
Thanks, August. My wife told me I should have mentioned I also eat more fruits. Can’t eat green veggies much because of Vitamin K, and there’s not much I can do in the way of exercise other than walking. Don’t know if it’s my meds or my heart, but I get dizzy easily with most exercise.
Congratulations David, for all who battle weight, the challenge is really between the ears. I am going to share my newest book, Flight To Success, Be the Captain of Your Life. Pay attention to the habit chapter. There are skills that will get you to the 200-pounder you were destined to be.
At once five-twelve (now settling) my fear was the parathyroid tumor throwing off my metabolism, followed by the hip replacement and not being able to run, as that was the only way to keep the weight off, and crew meals on airplanes! But my fear was replaced with action and building habits. Anyone can work with their body to make it the best it can be… which is essential for your bones and organs as you age.
Check this out and let me know what you think. http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/p/flight-to-success.html
Thanks for your encouragement, Karlene. If you ever return to Nook, let me know, and I’ll buy your book(s).
You can buy them in paper! The first year on electronic, I think the sales were 7 on nook to 500+ on Amazon. So, it just made sense to go with the exclusive. But, this is the reason why I have them in paper too! And, Flight To Success, is something that you might want the paper to write notes. 🙂
And, for me, I only read paper. I spend too much time on the computer, and fighting the day when we don’t have real books any longer. I’m saving mine for my grandchildren. Thus, I’m glad yours are in paper!
I’ve never struggled with my weight — util recently. I hurt my knee and I haven’t been as active as I usually am. It’s been incredibly frustrating because I don’t eat a lot or consume large portions of anything. What I’m missing is my regular, daily exercise. Hopefully, eventually, my knee will heal and I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things. All of these things take time. Thinking of you today for posting this great piece. i need to remind myself of how far I’ve come in 2 years. After all, there was a period where I couldn’t even leave my house because I was too ill.
Yes, sweetie, you truly have come a long way. Stormy emotional water can derail weight control, too. Just hang in. It’ll get better.
In my opinion, I’m not fat, but am overweight. My problems, I believe, stem from eating too much of the wrong kinds of food, eating too heavily in the evening, and eating too fast and too much before giving myself time to realize that I am satisfied. Being your wife, I am exceedingly proud of you for recently making lifetime changes in your eating habits to improve both your health and appearance. Maybe I’ll become wiser and copycat you.
You’re exactly right about the source of your weight, Sharon. Now you just have to come to the point where you’re willing to do what you know needs to be done.
Congratulations, David! I totally understand how excited you were! I’m glad you’re seeing success in getting control over your health – and weight. You are not alone in that quest. Between injuries from a car accident in 2008, and a thyroid that’s out of whack, I have a few to lose myself.
I keep waiting for something I’m taking to ‘wake me up’ (give me a little energy) from the hypothyroidism daze I usually live in. When that day comes, I’ll spend more time on my treadmill. I’ll feel more like preparing healthier meals. I’ll do this, or that, or something else. And I even have the perfect excuse. My doctor told me to not even bother dieting until we get my thyroid under control because it’s a waste of time.
Yeah. I think I’m just going to ignore him and try anyway. Maybe he’s wrong and I can join you in celebrating better health one of these days. 🙂
Sorry to hear about your complications, Kristy. Things like that always make it harder. I have to eat at least three meals a day to go with meds I take for diabetes and cardio-vascular problems. I’m also very limited in the exercise I can do because of my heart. I get dizzy if I even bend over very far.
Here’s wishing you success, and thanks for your good wishes.