I think it was in February of 2001 that - granted it was winter and I was well-bundled - I stepped onto a scale at a local pharmacy and received for a my pains a slip of paper telling I weighed closer to 200 pounds than to 190 and that that was a dangerous weight for a person of my height. The
paper recommended I see a doctor.
I shook my head and pocketed the slip. I wasn't quite the svelte 145 pound man I had been in 1993 on my return from Ottawa I knew, but still - was it possible I had gained over 50 pounds in 8 years without even noticing?
Reaching home, I asked my then-girlfriend Darcy, "How much do you think I weigh?" I don't recall whether she guessed at a particular number, but when I suggested 195+ she said it seemed possible. "You do carry it well," she said, and, I think, meant it.
But I refused to believe it. Sure, I had put on some weight. Not all of my clothes fit as once they had - indeed, some didn't fit at all. But *50* pounds?!? No, it just wasn't possible ...
However, confirmation came a couple of weeks later, when I happened upon my father's digital scale while visiting him in Ottawa: naked, it proclaimed me a dangerously overweight 196.
"Well," said I to myself, "holy shit."
On my return to Toronto, I hied myself off to Walmart and came home with a scale of my own. Within a couple of pounds it provided a third confirmation of what I was coming to believe was true. I had gone from almost thin to pretty fat in a matter of 5 or 6 years.
It was time, I told myself, to do something about it.
I'm not your typical computer guy, grown obese from a combination of a sendentary life-style kept fed with pizza slices and big macs. I have always eaten a well-balanced diet (I cook, and that makes a lot of the difference) and at the time (and now) I was cycling year-round and had taken up both tennis and hockey again, all that despite my pack-a-day cigarette addiction.
I knew I didn't have the inclination (or self-discipline) to succesfully start joggin for an hour a day, however, so my only hope, as I saw it, was to acknowledge that my energy output wasn't going to increase much, so I would have to decrease my intake.
For starters, I cut my meal-sizes by about 1/3. For instance, my 6-pierogy, baked beans and sauerkraut breakfast with 2-3 small glasses of milk, became 4, with fewer beans and only 1 glass of milk.
Well. I won't bore you with the details. Since then, I have slowly but (relatively - there have been ups, downs and at least one plateau, which latter required me to cut my food-intake down even further) surely dropped down almost to my goal of 145 pounds. Last time I weighed myself, I was around 155 - not too much more to go indeed!
Of course, now I've quit smoking.
Not only that, but one of my strategic tools in my struggle to make it through these first and worst few days is that noted apetite stimulant, the mighty weed.
Last night, saw my stomach taking in quantities I don't think it has managed in at least a year. First, I finished off the chinese food I'd taken home the night before; *then* the munchies kicked in.
Slice of rye toast with cream cheese. Hmm. If one was good, two would have to be better! And how about an english muffin slathered in butter? Yes? How about 2? But why not put black-berry jam on that one? Yes, that *was* good - wanna go for another? Oh yes indeedy!
And so it went. Bloated, I staggered off to bed and my brief, if fevered erotic fantasies, before falling asleep.
I won't weigh myself today. Kicking the tobacco is too important. But it's clear I'm involved in a war with more than one front now, and must be more vigilant than ever.