Blues of the Bulge

I thought I had been making a strong effort at changing my eating ways the last couple of weeks, since Heather and I began our nightly walks.  I thought that my elimination of sweets, scotch and the odd sampling of deep-fried food would be enough to create steady progress to a healthier weight.  I thought it was going well, until I hit the wake left by Ukrainian night at regional council.  It had been a day and a half after ingesting luxuriant perogies, scrumptious sausages and carb-filled cabbage rolls when I stepped on to the scale to the largest number I had seen in several years.

At my age, I find that I don't have to step on the scale at all to know what's going on in terms of the weight department.  I have three indicators that tell me clearly and concisely the state of my corpulence.

My most trusted indicator is how I feel; simple at that.  If I feel heavy, chances are that I am.  I was feeling particularly sluggish yesterday morning, and seeing the numbers 1-9-4 in succession on the weight scale proved that out.

The second indicator is how my dress shirts fit around the neck.  I was able to go down to a 17-inch neck size when I fell below 180-pounds during my Ideal Protein adventures of 2011.  Those 17-inchers begin to cinch my neck when I've put on too many pounds and compel, implore, inspire me to do something about it.

My final indicator is how my pants feel that I purchased during low tide back in 2011.  If they are feeling uncomfortably tight, then it's time for action.

Trust me when I say that yesterday was clearly a time for action, as I found myself searching my study from my Ideal Protein program material, wanting to dive back into Phase 1 as soon as I could drive to the store to purchase my supplies.  I pulled out a number of boxes looking for the diet formula that helped me lose over 30-pounds in two months that fall.  I didn't find them, which I took to be a sign from above to try to make the adjustment manually, without the aid of engineered products and supplements.

So, for one full day I was diligent about what and how much I ate.  For breakfast, it was two scrambled eggs - nothing but protein. For lunch, it was a bok choy salad (thank you Heather!) with one strip of bacon (more protein and a little fat).  For dinner, we had a lean steak with salad.  For an evening snack I had one of those $3 protein bars, only 180 calories (but who's counting?).  Sadly, I bent to my desires and had a couple of small slices of toast to cap off the night. In between, I drank glass after glass of water, completely losing track of how many by the end of the evening.  I also stayed away from the car and walked to go to my meetings and run my errands.

While I didn't look any different, I felt so much better by the evening.  By the time I got up this morning and stepped on the scale, I was thrilled to see 1-9-0 looking back at me.  It was almost a four pound loss in 24 hours.  Now don't get excited or worried.  The true loss is more likely only a couple of pounds, as I had enjoyed a large cup of coffee before stepping on the scale yesterday morning.  Still, I'm feeling like the effort was worth it and will keep it going for another day.  I'd love to be south of 190 by tomorrow when Heather comes home from her time away in the big city.  Then, I'd like to stay in that zone and chart a course to 185, and possibly beyond to 180.

I'm learning (the hard way) that diet isn't enough, that I need to get my body moving.  I do work that largely involves sitting at a desk and computer or in meetings.  I need to integrate exercise into the bookends of my day on a consistent basis if I am going to win the battle of the bulge.

I look at guys in their 60's and 70's who are comfortably trim, active and vital, and say to myself that I want to be like them.  I want to be firm and fit when I'm in the final chapter of my working life and heading into retirement.  Much like the long-term visioning we do and the decisions we make as an elected body, everything I do now is going to have a substantive impact years from now.

Like I said to the gang at Diversified Transportation during a keynote address at their President's Dinner the other night:  "it's the little things done consistently that make the biggest difference."  It was renowned leadership guru Robin Sharma who is attributed to these words, and I can't thank him enough.  It is a fantastic mantra that can fit so many aspects of our lives, including our determination to be leaner, fitter, faster.

It's the little things, done consistently, that make the biggest difference.

I think I need to write that down on a couple of stickies and put them on my bottles of scotch, syrup and toaster along with a picture of the Future Me that I desire to be.

How does this look?


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