Where did those 10 pounds come from?

My middle age bulge is growing. There, I've said it. And while we have one of those $9.99 scales picked up in the dollar aisle, I have to stand up and take notice when it jumps by ten pounds after just a couple of weeks. Yikes! That explains why my 36" waist dress pants have gone from being "just right" to "right snug".

I am 42 years old and my middle age bulge is growing. Perhaps if I keep saying it, thinking it, typing it, it will go away.

There is no doubt that I could take refuge behind the "we've just finished Christmas" card, or maybe the "I'll change my ways in the New Year" card, but I know myself too well to know that hiding isn't going to do any good. So, instead of basking in the state of denial, I'm starting a blog.

My inspiration is Julie Powell, the blogger made famous by the Julie & Julia film starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. She made a commitment and kept it real every day by putting thoughts, experiences, joy, pain, loss and gain into the virtual and very public ether of the blogosphere.

This notion of trying to begin the battle of the bulge has been scratching just below the surface, trying to get out and take form, for weeks. I've talked to colleagues who have been successful in their fitness efforts. I've attempted to change my eating habits over the past few months (unsuccessfully). I've noticed as putting on my socks in the morning has become increasingly difficult.

A few months ago I had to go for a doctor's appointment to get a referral for some lingering hearing problems -- I'm pretty much deaf on my left side -- and as I sat there in that small office staring at the medical charts, anotomical drawings and medical fee notices my eyes landed on an obesity index. I couldn't resist.

"OK, I'm about 5' 10" tall," I mumbled to myself. "And about 200 pounds. Let's where that puts me."

My eyes almost dropped out of my head as the intersection of the two lines landed on the border between overweight and obese. That was about two months ago. This morning's scale reading was just on the south side of 210 pounds.

My middle age bulge is growing and I am intent on doing something about it. But what?

Two things I know for sure: I need to eat less and I need to eat better. Honestly, if I just did those two small things, I suspect the weight would go down. But I also know that's not enough. My stamina is nowhere close to what it once was, nor is my strength. I've become mostly sedentary, let's face it.

OK, let's make a list of what I will do. This blog will play the role of taskmaster, confessional, fitness barometer. And rather than making this negative -- what I won't eat or do -- I'll turn it on its head and make it positive -- what I WILL do.

I will...
  1. Eat a healthy breakfast. Simple. Simple, yet something I haven't been doing. Instead, waking up in the middle of the night and chowing down, or skipping breakfast entirely.
  2. Drink my coffee black, which will reduce my sugar and fat (cream) intake and reduce the amount of coffee I drink (black coffee is not terribly appealing to me).
  3. Eat a sensible lunch. Out with the blackened chicken melt and yam fries and in with the soup and sandwich special or salad. Better yet, I should bring a lunch, allowing me to eat better and save money.
  4. Eat a hearty dinner, but limit myself to single servings. No seconds for me!
  5. Eat only fruits or vegetables before bed. No more chips, nachos and cheese or personal pan pizzas.
  6. Start to exercise. What this means is yet to be determined and the subject of Middle Age Bulge blogs of the future.

That's a manageable list, yes? Oh God, I hope so.

December 27, 2009 - 210 pounds

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