by Steve Liddick
Sticking to a diet requires a will of iron, but keeping that weight off is more in the titanium class.
I’ve lost hundreds of pounds. Not all at once, of course; twenty pounds here, thirty pounds there. Then I would look at myself in the mirror and say ‘what a good boy am I’. People would tell me how great I looked. Clothes I had delayed giving to the Salvation Army fit me again.
For the good job I had done I would treat myself to a banana split with double whipped cream. Now that I weighed so much less I figured I could stop torturing myself and have some of the good stuff.
The problem with that logic is that it takes a certain number of calories to sustain the weight a person is supposed to be. Any more than that goes on places incompatible with the bikini season.
I discovered that, while I am an expert at losing weight, I am an absolute failure at keeping it off. In six months I had gained back every bit of what I had lost—plus another ten pounds.
Walking across a room became a challenge. Getting in and out of my car or my easy chair took a rocking motion to get me on my feet. It was like carrying a four-year-old child around with me all day long.
The bathroom scale would moan when I stepped onto it as if to accuse me of cruelty to appliances.
Okay, I said, that’s it! Once more my weight-losing expertise kicked in. I knew that losing weight fast was a sure way for it to come back. It took me about a year to get to the weight I wanted to be. No more sugary stuff. No more of my beloved ice cream. My idea of an appetizer had been a bag of Cheetos. No between-meals snacks of any kind. Part of keeping the weight off is to train oneself to eat only at mealtimes, use smaller plates and bowls for meals, and never go back for seconds. No snacks ever. Fruit was my dessert.
I had learned the hard way that when someone tells me I look good, that is not permission to hop back on the pig wagon.
It was a daily fight not to return to my old ways. Those fat cells screamed to be filled up again. I expected it to be tough for awhile. I quit smoking nearly a half century ago and it took a couple of years before I no longer wanted a cigarette. I assumed it would be like that with food, so I prepared for the long haul.
I had heard all those jokes people made about my weight: “For my next vacation I want to take a trip around Steve,” “If you get on the elevator with Steve, you’d better be going down,” “He can’t sleep on his stomach because he’s afraid of heights.”
My metabolism may have been messed up, but there is nothing wrong with my hearing.