By Jim Muckle
A couple of years ago I realized that my weight kept gradually going up.
I didn’t really know what to do about it. All I knew was I didn’t want it to keep going up.
It alarmed me.
I thought about what I would like to weigh. What was my ideal weight? I wasn’t sure, and I’m still not, but I remembered thinking that I wanted to weigh what it said on my driver’s license. Though it wasn’t my true weight, it was what I wished I weighed!
Like you, I had heard of different diets, what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat, the ultimate exercise programs, etc.
It was very confusing.
But then I had a thought.
I thought, what is one thing I can do today, just today, to lose one pound of weight.
I mean, anybody could lose one pound of weight, right?
And the answer came to me immediately.
Give up sugar. Give up the chocolate chip cookies, anything with sugar in it.
I emptied the cookie jar into the trash.
Okay, that was good, so what was one more thing I could do to lose just one pound of weight.
Exercise. I’ll burn off some energy.
So I went for a walk.
And that was the way it went for the next 6-8 weeks.
Each day I thought of just one more thing I could do to lose weight.
It was gradual.
But each day it would be a new thing.
For example, I started increasing my exercise. Instead of just mowing the lawns, and working on apartments, I would also go for a bike ride and exercise at the local park on their free outdoor equipment, and after that I would think, okay, what’s one more thing I can do to lose just one more pound of weight? So I would ride down to the high school and run and walk around the track four times.
At home I would ask myself the same question. For a few days I got onto the meat only diet, but I didn’t like it because it felt unnatural. But I did start reducing the size of each meal. I’d make my hamburger smaller, or make half a burger. I’d order the child’s size Whopper when I was at the mall with my youngest daughter.
It was gradual, but ongoing. The exercise kept intensifying. I kept adding one more thing. Riding the bike, doing the exercises at the park, going to the high school, then stopping at the middle school track to do just two more laps, and ten more push-ups and twenty more sit-ups. I did more and more, and I ate less and less.
And gradually, not everyday, the weight began to disappear, pound by pound. Some days I would get discouraged because I hadn’t lost what I expected to, because by now I was exercising three times a day, and reducing the sizes of my portions more and more.
But then a couple days later I’d be pleased to see that I was down two pounds.
The fact that it was working kept me going, and I had a target weight I wanted to achieve.
Gradually my pants started not fitting.
Tenants began making comments like, “Are you losing weight? You look so thin.”
It wasn’t easy because I love chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, so I decided somewhere along the way that I wouldn’t give anything up completely, but I wouldn’t have so much of it, and I wouldn’t bring it into the house. If I were going to have a cookie I’d have to go out to the bakery and get it.
I stopped eating fast foods all together unless there was absolutely no other option, and then, like I mentioned before I would have a small portion.
It wasn’t easy, but the one idea at a time method paid off because I kept looking for ways to cut back on food, and exercise more.
I achieved the weight on my license. I was thirty pounds lighter, and it took between six to eight weeks.
Okay, I had arrived.
I wanted more. I wanted to lose another ten pounds.
But it didn’t work. I didn’t have the motivation, the real motivation. I tried, but it wasn’t there.
Not only that but I started gaining weight back!
I rewarded myself for achieving my goal by eating and taking it easy.
Unfortunately I learned it doesn’t work that way. You have to keep eating the smaller portions and exercising to maintain your ideal weight.
So now I try to regulate myself by watching the scale and keeping up the exercise. If I start to get over my ideal license weight by a couple of pounds it’s because I haven’t mowed a lawn, or trimmed a hedge, or gone to the park and done my routine of exercises.
It’s easy to do.
Also I find that doing work I enjoy keeps me involved and active.
I’m less likely to get bored and keep looking in the refrigerator. Some days I’ll be working on an apartment, painting, repairing, etc., and forget all about eating. I’m enjoying what I’m doing, enjoying the sense of accomplishment, so I just forget about food.
Other times when I’m starting to put on a few pounds I’ll actively look for some hard work like mowing, or trimming oleander and taking the branches to the dumpster to keep me moving, and if that’s not enough I jump on the bicycle and head for the park or market.
I try to build exercise into my routines and eat less. I believe that’s the key to it all.
From Cutting Back @ Booklets From Jim Muckle @ hometown.aol.com/jimmuckle/myhomepage/business.html
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