And so another new year is upon us. To those of us in the 50+ club, all years that start with a 2 are inherently foreign. When I hear that we are now beginning 2015, it sounds to me like someone saying it’s the 45th of September. It just sounds wrong.
My 91-year-old stepfather has a similar reaction. When I tell him we’re starting 2015 he jokingly puts his hand up and says, “Check, please.”
I’m not quite ready to check out yet, but 15 years into the 21st century, I do sometimes feel like it’s getting close to closing time. Longtime readers of this blog may remember that in July 2013 I wrote that I was resigned to the Hitchcock look of a massive gut for the rest of my life. So when my cardiologist told me to lose weight or have bariatric surgery like Chris Christie, I was initially skeptical that any sustained weight loss was possible for me.
But in order to comply with my doctor’s orders, I started with Weight Watchers in late June 2014. At my first weigh-in I tipped the scales at a hefty 224 pounds. Just about every week thereafter I have lost some weight. Sometimes it was just two-tenths of a pound. But by the end of December I was down to 184, a loss of 40 pounds. I have lost four inches around my waist. But I’m still about 10 pounds from what I initially set as my goal weight, and 25 pounds from the weight that the experts say is appropriate for my height and age. So it’s a process. I saw my cardiologist in December and he was extremely pleased at my reduced size and healthy blood pressure. I have had similar compliments from friends and family.
Weight loss is not a mystery. It involves simply eating less and exercising more. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. I have lost weight by cutting down on sweets and hitting the treadmill on a daily basis. Notice that I didn’t say that I have eliminated sweets. Weight Watchers is not into complete deprivation of anything. In fact, we are encouraged to have weekly treats. The trick is to be conscious of everything we’re putting into our mouth. More candy and cake means more treadmill and weightlifting. So far it’s been reasonably easy to live with.
The new year is the time for resolutions and I am sure that we will be seeing new people at the Weight Watchers meetings in January. Weight loss is a noble goal because you do it not only for yourself, but for your loved ones. But like all things that are worthwhile, it takes some effort. Sustaining that effort over time is the challenge of weight loss. I fully expect that I will gain some weight back some day. But I also know that I can lose it again. I know that because I’ve done it.
My doctor has been preaching weight loss to me for over a decade and until six months ago I was not sufficiently motivated to do anything about it. What changed in 2014? The truth is that it wasn’t just the doctor and his threat of bariatric surgery. In 2014 I became a grandfather, and I realized that if I didn’t start listening to medical advice I was not going to live long enough to see Bryce grow up. And I needed to be in shape to keep up with him. Funny how a baby can change your life in completely unexpected ways.
So I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions other than to try to finally reach my goal weight and stay there (or at least in the neighborhood). Next year at this time I’ll report back. Until then, have a healthy and happy 2015!