Monday, March 8, 2010

The Battle of my Bulge

Today was a day of celebration! I reached the goal weight I had set for myself several months ago when I finally (re)started my diet in earnest. So I have (once again) decreased my intake and increased my exercise long enough to shed (again) the 25 pounds I wanted to lose.

It worked! I feel better. The acid reflux that was killing me last summer is completely gone. This weekend everyone thought I had new suits - because I wore suits I couldn't fit into for the past year and a half. Besides that, I have read a couple of good books while I was traveling to better fitness on my treadmill.

But it is a repeat journey for me. I've been fighting this war for the past twenty years. I've learned that there will always be a new battle to face. Well, I'm back on top now - maybe I can keep the enemy on the run this time!

In retrospect, I think moving makes me gain weight. When we moved to New York in the eighties I started gaining weight. When I finally got tired of it, I worked it off by climbing and descending the Empire State Building stairs every morning at 4:30 a.m. (Of course, I did it 22 steps at a time in the unheated back stairs of our apartment. It had a great rhythm - step, step, step, step... and I didn't fall down the stairs and kill myself!)

Then we moved to South Eastern Ohio and I didn't have the stairs. My whole life routine changed. I grew out of my nice Anderson-Little Suits AND GAVE THEM AWAY! WAAAAH! :( But finally, I bought a treadmill and started working my way back. I thought I had it finally beaten once and for all. I bought new suits. I had them sized nice and tight to my new trim waistline. I figured they would serve as early warning devices and keep me on track. It didn't work out quite like that.

Two years ago we moved again. Again, my schedule changed. My routine changed. I was not exercising. I was eating out more than I believed I ever would. And I started growing out of my suits again. (This time, however, I didn't give them away!) I had a few that I could still fit into - barely - and I finally worked out a schedule that allowed me to get back on the treadmill.

So, it is not exciting. So, it makes me sweat. So, it takes enormous effort to stick with it week after week. So what? It is worth it! I'm feeling more fit, my brains are in better shape, my suits fit again (well - some of them) and I'm more disciplined than before.

Twenty years of fighting the battle of the bulge have taught me many important lessons.
  1. Pay attention to diet and exercise, but don't drive everyone crazy about it.
  2. Do what you can do, and don't be obsessed with what you can't do.
  3. Don't be crazy about the diet either - give yourself a break on weekends. Eat a steak dinner here and there and ENJOY it! This is a marathon - not a sprint to anorexia.
  4. When you face an interruption in diet or exercise, minimize it and get back on schedule when you can. (It is a life-long battle and you need to keep things in perspective.)
  5. Do what you do for your own benefit. You can't be successful at this for other people's benefit. You either do it for yourself, or you won't do it at all.
  6. Exercise while you can - the day will come when you can't. I want to keep this meat machine of mine running reasonably well as long as possible.
  7. If possible - exercise your brains while you are exercising your body. Exercise time is a good time to pray, to memorize scripture and (in some cases) to read serious books.
  8. Hold onto the handrail in the staircase so you can catch yourself if you miss a step. (Or make sure you use the safety clip for the treadmill so it will turn off if you fall.)
I do not plan to go to ectomorphic extremes :) But I'm glad I'm back on the treadmill. I hope you are making good progress on your own goals. Keep things in perspective. Live for Jesus.

No comments: