A box of 28 books weighs 25.5 pounds

Three boxes of books

Yesterday, I accomplished another milestone in my progress towards weight reduction and greater health. My weight hit the 190-pound (86.2-kilogram) mark. I’ve dropped 72 pounds (32.7 kilograms) so far, and I only have 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) to go to reach my goal. With all these numbers, it’s hard to realize how much weight I’ve dropped and the impact it made on me. Or it was until I got my shipment of copies for my novel, The Remainders. (You can see the unboxing on TikTok.)

Part of the shipment came in a large box containing 28 copies. The box weighed 25.5 pounds (11.6 kilograms). It was a box that required bending knees and careful back positioning. That was just one box. The amount of weight I’ve dropped since October 2019 comes out to almost three of those boxes (2.82, to be exact). That comes out to 79 books.

Think about the last time you had to carry that many books. Maybe you were putting them in a new bookcase. Maybe you had to stock some on a store shelf. Or maybe, like some people I know, it’s a typical shopping trip to a bookstore. How does it feel to carry 79 books? How many trips would it take you to carry them?

That was the weight I was carrying around with me for years.

Until I looked at that weight in those terms, I didn’t realize the strain it was putting on my body. When we work on our weight, we typically judge it by a number on a scale or pants size. We don’t recognize the burden it puts on our joints, back, heart, and the rest of our body. I’ve been able to drop and reduce medication. I can donate blood without worrying if my blood pressure will be too high. Many of the aches and pains I had have vanished. I have more energy to walk and do things around the house. I can sleep better.

More importantly, I have more confidence that I’ll be around.

We’re getting a solar system for our house. It has a 25-year maintenance agreement. I just turned 60. This means I will be 85 when the service agreement ends. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure I’d make it out of my 50s. My dad didn’t. My mom became disabled from a stroke for her 50s and died at 63. But by taking better care of myself, I feel more confident that I can see this program through to the end. My grandmothers were in their 80s when they passed, so it isn’t unreasonable. Of course, lots of bad things can happen, and my expiration date will inevitably come. But one thing getting healthy has given me is hope. I can plan for the future because I have the possibility there will be one.

We take health for granted until we risk losing it. By then, it may be too late. Do whatever you can to take care of your physical and mental health. Eat right, exercise, get regular checkups, seek medical care and therapy when needed. And yes, wear a mask, wash and sanitize your hands, social distance, and get vaccinated if you are able. When you’ve dropped the weight of three boxes of books, you discover you are more energized and hopeful about life. And with that renewed energy and hope, I can write and sell more books.

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