December 30th, 2013

In my home-town newspaper this morning, the daily reader poll asks How long do you keep new year’s resolutions? and gives four possible responses: one day, a few days, at least a week and I don’t do them. I chose the final option. Any resolution looking more than 24 hours into the future is meaningless and even the one-day-at-a-time approach, once you look past the hype, has an, at best, sketchy reputation.

I’ve beaten, or perhaps more correctly, continue to beat, one addiction, tobacco (I haven’t smoked since 5 December 1981) but I’m losing my current battle against a more difficult addiction: food. Quitting smoking was a piece of cake, in no little part because I can not-smoke, compared to my fight to maintain a healthy weight because I must eat. Before Thanksgiving in 2011 I recorded my weight at 261.9 pounds (I’d actually weighed around 265 pounds in the weeks prior to beginning to record my data) and began a rigorous program of weight loss that focused on my daily actions. I weighed myself each morning, measured and recorded my blood pressure (very high blood pressure requiring several hours in an emergency room at the VA hospital here in Cleveland was the genesis of my endeavor) and minutely calculated and recorded my every morsel of food and every sip of liquid. The strategy worked.

On 5 February 2012 my weight was 222.3 pounds and my doctor instructed me to cut my daily dose of Lisinopril in half. Less than a month later, I weighed 212.1 pounds and I stopped my medication (again on Doctor’s orders) altogether. My blood pressure that day was 101/64. With the coming of spring I was able to get on my bike again and pushed my weight even lower.

On 15 June 2012 I weight 186.7 pounds and my blood pressure was 110/70. I had reached my goal.

I maintained my weight through the summer and by Christmas I felt secure enough to ask for 34-inch jeans, a size I hadn’t worn since high school. Then the climb began.

This morning my weight is 220.0 pounds and my blood pressure is 126/87 with a heart rate of 67. A week ago I received a three-month membership at the local YMCA as a wonderful Solstice present (as an atheist I participate in the seasonal celebrations of family and friends, but I don’t observe them in my personal life) from my darling. I’ve used that membership three days in a row and when I finish this post I’ll get my gear together and head out to the Y again.

Just for today I will do five miles on the stationary recumbent bike. Just for today I will not eat foods, nor drink liquids, that I know hinder my progress.

Tomorrow will take care of tomorrow.


  1. Jeff Hess says:

    Results from this morning:

    5 miles, 202 calories, 19.21 minutes, average RPM of 75 and average heart rate of 122.

    Brunch (at 1049): black coffee (2 cups/0 cal.), eggs (220 g/308 cal.), lentils (100 g/52 cal.), green onion (30 g/5 cal.), salsa (44 g/15 cal.) and olive oil (2 tsp./80 cal.). Total = 460 calories.

    Lunch (at 1420): berry nut salad (1 salad/351 cal.), blue cheese dressing (1 packet/170 cal.) and black coffee (2 cups/0 cal.).

    Dinner (at 1830): 90-percent lean hamburger patty (75 g/150 cal.), vegetarian baked beans (260 g/280 cal.) and orange sections (194 g/95 cal.)

    Net calories (-202+460+521+525) = 1,304 calories.

    Moving forward

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