Weight goal achieved – Empty Nest by Curt Swarm


I finally did it!  I hit the 180 lb goal I’ve been chasing for a year now.  I should clarify that the scales said 180.8 lbs this morning but, hey, it’s less than 181.  I’ll claim it!

    All told, I’ve lost 50 lbs over a year-and-a-half.  180 lbs has been my target weight the whole time.  But after reaching 190 lbs, that last 10 lbs has been tough, like the last porcupine quill to come out of a hound dog’s nose.  I’d flirt around with 188 lbs, even 185, but that 180 was elusive. 

            Then during the Christmas-New Years debacle, with all the chocolate and cookies lying around, my weight jumped up to 200!  That did it.  I told Ginnie to throw out all the chocolate and cookies, and not even think about Boston Cream Pie or pineapple-upside down cake.  This is a problem since I gave her a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas.  She let out one of her Missouri sighs, but the carbohydrates have disappeared from the kitchen.  (This is really a tough time to diet, too, with the Super Bowl coming up.)

            Over a two week period I lopped off the last 10 lbs by doing two things: eating less and exercising more.  For eating, I limited myself to 2 ½ meals a day instead of three.  The half-a-meal occurs during the day.  Instead of eating a regular lunch, I’ll eat fruit, like a banana, apple, grapes, maybe an orange, or grapefruit.  At morning and evening meals I’ve been practicing “moderation,” which is a huge change from the big-appetite me. 

            For exercising I jumped my treadmill running up to 99:59 minutes per day.  (No half-measures here.)  Why 99:59 minutes?  My treadmill shuts off at 100 minutes.  I took this as a sign that 99:59 minutes is plenty enough for a 72-year old body.  I won’t tell you how many miles that equates to because I’m a really slow jogger.  Oh, okay, I will.  A lot of people my age don’t do anything.  In 99:59 minutes I can pound out 6.758 miles.  That’s a mid 14 minute-a-mile pace.  Pathetic, I know.  But once again, I’m moving and thankful for it. 

            No, I don’t get bored on the treadmill.  I tune in Classic Rock on the TV and juke-and-jive to Grand Funk Railroad, Creedence Clearwater Revival and AC/DC.  A little game I play while running is trying to guess the name of the singer or group and the name of the song.  I figure this is exercising the mind as well as the body.

            Ginnie and I are fortunate in that we have a dedicated exercise room so we don’t have to go out to exercise in the winter.  We have two treadmills—a his and hers.  We can both exercise at the same time, plus we have an elliptical machine for cross training.  When Ginnie and I are exercising together, she insists that news be on the TV instead of rock-and-roll.  (You see, she works out better when she’s steamed up.  There’s a lot of cussing, too.)     

            I have “180 lb” signs all over the house (ask Ginnie) to remind me of my goal.  People have asked, “What does that ‘180 lb’ sign on the lid of the toilet stool mean?  Is that the weight limit the toilet seat will handle?”  I have to explain that it’s my weight goal, and I like to keep my goal in front of (or behind) me.  I even have that sign on the treadmill—the most important place.  The kitchen table is another hot spot, trust me.

            Not everyone can jog on a treadmill, or jog at all.  I understand.  I had a lot of problems with my ankles, hips and sometimes a knee when I started.  But I’ve worked through it.  And I also have an arthritic hip and a couple of bulging disks in my lower back.  However, my doctor has told me point blank that the best thing I can do for my hip and back is to exercise.  I do feel pretty good, the best in years actually.

            No one was going to shed this last 10 pounds for me.  I had to do it myself.  I always have been a loner, and I reached the 180 lb goal on the same day as January’s full moon—the 28th.  It’s called the Wolf Moon.  Hey, hey, The Lone Wolf!

            It sure is fun sliding into 34” waist jeans.  Now the real challenge begins: keeping it off. 

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com

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