Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Gut Feeling

Earlier this year we decided as a family to help each other focus on healthy eating choices in order to reduce our body mass index (BMI) which was a little too high for all of us. We decided to weigh ourselves twice a week and my son developed a graph to chart our progress. Gina and I had weight-reduction goals, but we wanted the kids to just maintain at a stable level so that their body proportions would naturally become more slender as their height increases.

After four months our family had lost a cumulative total of 37 pounds. This was a result of simply developing and sticking with some healthier eating habits that didn’t require much sacrifice, increasing our exercise a little, and supporting each others' efforts. Some steps weren't difficult to make. We’ve always eaten low-fat foods, for example. We almost always choose the “baked” or “low-fat” options when we have the choice, so there wasn’t much of a change to make in 90% of what we were eating. But that other 10% can sure make up for the rest! For the most part our success came down to portion control, eating slower, drinking more water at meals and learning to ask our bodies if we really wanted that second helping.

After about half a year we stopped weighing ourselves on a regular basis. Now it's several months later and I find that my weight is slowly starting to creep up again. Some of my favorite pants are feeling a little too snug for my comfort, and I am noticing my expanding stomach. I'm uncomfortable hauling a ball of fat around on my gut. I see lots of guys with "Dunlop’s Disease" (that’s an old Southern expression for when your stomach has “done lopped” over your belt, in case you don’t know). How can they stand the way it feels? It's starting to drive me nuts.

There is a New Yorker cartoon titled "Your Lost Weight" that shows lumps of fat standing around. One lump is looking at his watch and says to the other, “Ready to head back?” I fully understand that without consistent effort any weight change I make is going to fluctuate back and forth, especially as I continue to age.

So I’m going to affirm it here: I prefer being thin to being chunky and I plan to drop about about 6 or 8 pounds between now and the end of the year. Wish me luck.

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