I hit a major milestone on my path towards health. I’ve dropped 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) since I started on WW (formerly Weight Watchers) in October. This is not the first time I’ve dropped this much weight before. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire adult life. I’ve been as high as 266 pounds (120.7 kilograms) and low as 155 pounds (70.3 kilograms). You would think I’m a method actor with all the body transformations I’ve been through.
My challenge is how do I keep it off this time?
What’s different is I’m focused on the process instead of the goal. I still haven’t decided on a goal weight. I’m looking at what is sustainable and what makes me feel comfortable. I don’t want to starve myself or deny myself certain foods to reach an arbitrary number others have picked for me.
I’m more selective about the food I get. I would go to whatever fast food place was nearby and get something from the dollar menu or with a coupon. Never mind that they were empty calories and have the most processed ingredients. I’m willing to wait and spend a little extra to get what I want. I’m also able to find plenty of low-cost food items that are nutritious and low-fat.
I’m also finding that I can live without certain foods. I don’t have to eat the cinnamon rolls someone left out on the lunchroom table just because they’re there. Desserts also have lost their appeal. Sure a slice of cheesecake looks tasty, but do you want it sitting it in your stomach and slowing you down for the rest of the day?
A weight loss program I tried before proclaimed, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” It sounded corny at the time, but I understand it now. I move better and feel better. I have an easier time finding clothes that fit, and I look good in them. In my thin times in the 1990s and 2000s, I wore snappy suits for Toastmasters speech contests. I don’t have opportunities to wear suits now, but I look forward to the chance to do so.
(In some ways, it can be harder to shop for clothes. Since I’m no longer an off-size, I can’t find clothes in my size in the clearance rack.)
Most importantly, I’m doing this because I want to be around for a while. I’m at the age where I can’t afford to mess around with my health. A jumbo burrito isn’t worth missing out on the chance to see my granddaughter graduate high school or finish that trilogy I plan to start on. Of course, a healthy lifestyle is no guarantee. (Coronavirus, climate change, nuts with firearms—something is out to get you.) But I want to enjoy whatever time I have left. The best way to enjoy it is to stay healthy.
I know my weight management is a lifetime project. Dropping 50 pounds is just one milestone. There are many more to go.