My brother told us last night he has lost 40 pounds over the past three years. Through exercise and a controlled diet, he has reclaimed his waistline and re-established a friendly relationship with his bathroom scale.
While I never have found myself with the need to lose 40 excess pounds, I have come close over the years. Even now, my weight hovering somewhere just above 190, I know I will need to get serious if I want to drop down to the low 180s before we take our spring cruise.
The trouble is, I enjoy eating.
Not only do I enjoy eating, I enjoy eating many of the things experts say will keep a ring of fat hovering above my belt, thereby increasing my chances of developing colon cancer, liver cancer, and heart disease. By the time I'm done writing this post, additional studies will probably link belly fat to ricketts, ringworm, and chronic halitosis. The only part of belly fat that's ever bothered me is the dreaded "I gotta punch a new hole in my belt" syndrome, particularly if the belt isn't very old.
Not liking chocolate would be a great place to start. I've professed my love of chocolate on several occasions, as some of you might recall. I can't help thinking people would enjoy communion more at our church if the host were coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate, and if Jesus had blessed a carton of chocolate milk instead of a pitcher of red wine. Now THAT would be a celebration!
Bread is my other Achille's heel, although I typically reserve the heels of most loaves of bread for the birds. Carbs, in general, are delicious things in almost any shape and flavor. Breads, cakes, crackers, cookies, potatoes, rice, pasta -- the addictive sugars and starches in each delectable item pack on the pounds, cause a new round of pimples to pop up all over my face, and leave me craving more.
Perhaps increasing the amount of daily exercise I get would be a good idea. Those 20-pound weights collecting dust under our bed are patiently waiting for me. The treadmill and I are no strangers, but it lately has been letting me slide with a slow stroll instead of fast run. And I'm fairly certain the floor is always there waiting for me if I want to squeeze in a few push-ups or sit-ups. Last I checked, gravity didn't charge a membership fee.
So, it's time to get serious. Only 10 pounds separate me from improved self-esteem, serving as a healthy role model for my children, and several pairs of jeans in the back of my closet.
At the very least, I need to make sure I don't frighten any children when I take off my shirt on the cruise. They'll already be blinded by my whiteness. There's no point adding insult to injury.
2011 Mark Feggeler