Friday, December 5, 2008

The Skinny on Weight

As part of my training responsibilities, I coordinate a weekly brown bag presentation to our offices. This is broadcast to any of our nine offices where people want to attend. We use a mixture of in-house and outside presenters as I can schedule them; and I teach a few each year. To promote them, I usually try to come up with a clever title. I used to say a "sexy title", but our HR head voiced a mild objection to that, so now I call it a clever, attention-grabbing, got-to-attend-just-cuz-of-the-title title. For example, the one this week was titled "Staying Out of Jail". The one we had back on October 29th was about how vehicle weight affects pavement design. The man who presented it came up with the sexy--I mean attention-grabbing--title: The Skinny On Weight.

That has almost nothing to do with what I'm going to write next. My weight is down, currently at a 4-year low. I'm down a total of 43 pounds from my peak weight. Well, after Thanksgiving I'm not, but I'll be back there next week. Weight that goes on fast also comes off fast.

You ask how I've lost this weight, and what I did to do so? It's come off over almost three years. I peaked in February 2006, the same peak I had hit in February 2004. After that second peak, I knew I needed to get serious about losing weight, but I wanted to lose it in a way that it stayed off, unlike past times of bouncing up and down. So I made a conscious effort to eat a little less. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, and without pain, the weight did start coming off beginning in March 2006. A little bit each month, not steady, and not without an occasional set back, but I'm losing.

I try to walk in the parking lot on the noon hour. The pressures of work and responsibilities don't allow me to do so as often as I'd like, but I get at least one day a week in, many times more. Weather interrupts from time to time. We also try to walk on the weekends when time allows. Walking is really my only exercise, except for occasional rebounding with a low-energy bounce. Beginning in May this year, I made a stronger commitment to noon hour walking, and kept it up through the summer. As long as the ambient temperature was not over 95 deg. F, I walked at least a mile, sometimes closer to 1.4 miles. As a result, I showed a weight loss between my May and August doctor appointments of 13 pounds, and I kept it off and lost a couple more for my November appointment.

Now comes the push to lose these few Thanksgiving pounds, not put on any over Christmas and New Years, then keep going. The loss of 43 pounds is the good news; the bad news is I still have about 60 to go to reach the top end of my ideal weight range. I plan to keep on doing what I've been doing. Eat slightly smaller portions than I would like. Always bring some of my restaurant meals home. Limit snacks. Eat less fruit (a blood sugar thing). Up-tick my exercise slightly. I'd like to develop the habit of regular rebounding, and maybe use another apparatus regularly. I'm not worried about taking it off quickly. Just as weight that goes on fast comes off fast, so does weight that comes off fast go back on fast. Loosing at a rate something less than 1/2 pound per week is fine with me.

Some people in the company are putting together an in-house program for weight loss, maybe similar to the show The Biggest Loser. I'll participate, but really won't be trying to win whatever prize they offer. It will be just for the motivation to add those one of two more good habits to the couple I've developed over the last three years.

Skinny? No, and never. But hopefully healthier.

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