When it gets tough

My friend the digital scale

I've struggled to keep my weight where I want it recently. That's right, I'm writing posts on this blog telling others what to do or giving them ideas of what's new in the world of dieting, lifestyle, exercise and the science behind those fields, yet I'll freely admit some days it's been difficult for me also.

We've just finished the extended holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Years and, for some, a few days beyond. That should make the next ten months or so easier.

I weigh 150.4 pounds this morning, less than a pound over my goal of 149-150 and well under my upper limit of 153.

I started this diet in May of 2009 weighing 177 and 153 or under is about what I weighed in eighth grade and under my college wrestling weight of 155. So why aren't I complacent about my diet progress?

I guess the answer is that maintaining a goal weight, for me at least, is never easy, always a challenge. I've got my red 1/3 cup measuring container as a STOP sign on a glass cylinder of microwave popcorn and a 4 by 6 card on the refrigerator door with an acronym for those situations when I'm prone to overeat. I've got a 3 by 5 card that says in bold letters, "DON"T SNACK" leaning against the popcorn container. I even have a card in my automobile that says, "Don't eat/overeat at events."

I have identified my most likely situations for overeating, dinners at friends' homes and staying up later than 11:30 PM to read.

More than anything that simple step has helped. So my advice to myself and to you is twofold: work on those times when you are most prone to slip and be able to climb back on your diet wagon when you fall off. Many years ago I weighed 218 pounds; I firmly intend to never see that territory again.

The most I weighed in 2010 was 157.6 pounds. That was just after returning from a six-day trip to see old friends, all of whom wanted to feed us well, and to help celebrate a milestone (90th) birthday. I got up the morning after we flew back from Texas, weighed myself and went right back on the strict version of my diet plan. I went to the gym the next six days in a row and was down under 153 in two days.

But it took willpower and being able to say to myself, "Well it happened again, but you're not going to continue the upward slide (sic)."

My basic plan when I'm over that self-imposed upper limit (three pounds over my goal) is to go back to basics. Eat more veggies and fruit, less red meat; cut off a portion of each item on your plate and discard it; don't eat anything between meals; don't eat anything after eight PM; exercise every day (in a multitude of ways); let my wife know what's going on; weigh daily.

Maybe someday I'll get to the point where all this is on autopilot, but I doubt it. Maintaining a healthy weight requires thinking and willpower + a little help from your friends/spouse/family.

As they said in that movie many of us remember, "May the Force be with you."

Leave a Reply