Today is Weigh-In Wednesday, and I have some good diet news. I’m on the road and didn’t pack my bathroom scale.
That means only the earth below my body or carnival guessers can tell you how much I currently weigh.
Even better news?
I’m not at a carnival.
And I finally regained control of my eating habits after a rough stretch that extended into the fun anniversary getaway my wife and I had this past weekend. As you might expect, I was at a tasty all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet when I snapped out of my eating and exercising funk.
Good timing. The previous morning I’d inhaled about 5,749 calories despite beginning that morning meal with a healthy decision at our hotel restaurant. I chose an egg-whites-based concoction, but then still allowed the omelette specialist to mix in copious amounts of cheese and ham. Before I knew it, my good intentions were smothered with ketchup and being devoured along with pastries, bacon, fried potatoes, French toast and, well, we all just gained 3.7 pounds from this sentence.
My two restaurant dinners and desserts were as calorically disastrous: steak with butter on it (what a horribly tasty idea!), variations of palate-pleasing potato dishes (gnocchi and scalloped spuds), sweet-potato casserole (this amazing dish had more sugar than healthy veggie in it, for sure), one pound of frozen yogurt and toppings (good thing I didn’t have to pay for weigh-ins like you do at that costly pay-per-ounce dessert spot), bread (lots of sourdough and Focaccia bread) and creme brulee (but at least I shared some with my wife during our anniversary dinner).
On the final day of our anniversary adventure, I was considering just continuing my pigging-out ways. I’d even ordered the same supposedly healthier omelette (hold the yolks, add lots of everything else that’s bad for you). I had to go out to the hotel lobby for a moment and before returning to the restaurant made a decision.
STUFFING MYSELF SILLY ENDS NOW!
I still ate the omelette, but this time I didn’t add ketchup. Even smarter, I filled a plate full of fruit (I know, I know … fructose!) and ate that with one light yogurt. No pastries. No potatoes. No French toast, no American toast, no bacon or sausage, no more side dishes of self-defeat!
An hour later, my wife and I added some exercise to our excursion. She’d tried to talk me into hiking up Ensign Peak all trip, but I kept making good excuses, like “Oh, wow, we’ve got to get to the show, dangit” and “Sorry, there’s an infomercial I haven’t watched on the hotel TV.” Continuing a pattern that’s carried out for the first 12 years of marriage, however, I finally caved in to her desires. Yes, this means I watched “Vampire Diaries” with her on the trail.
Glad I did the hiking part. I’ve been moving in the right direction in my weight-loss efforts since then, even making a visit to my hotel gym on my work trip in Los Angeles. Plus, my wife and I had a great time on the short-but-steep trek. I sweated enough that I might’ve burned off a couple pieces of bacon from the previous breakfast, too.
I even had a little epiphany while looking down at our car parked at the base of the peak. I shared that with my wife on the way down after she gently grabbed my hand and thanked me for hiking with her.
It wasn’t a new metaphor. It’s even kind of a cliched one. But when I looked up and saw how hard the hike ahead of us was going to be a big part of me wanted to suggest that we go back to the breakfast buffet instead. It was easier — and tasted much better.
Even as we started hiking, I kept looking at the ascending path and towering peak above and got discouraged. And this was supposed to be an easy hike! Perhaps seeing a 2-year-old girl trudge along with her family helped change my perspective. Despite some pain in my chunky legs, I kept plodding up that hill, taking some breaks, enjoying the scenery and reading every single historical sign (more for breaks than info, of course). Slowly but surely, we kept moving forward.
I even beat the 2-year-old girl to the top of the hill.
That wasn’t the best part.
The hard work — and carrying 270ish pounds for a half-mile uphill is hard work — was rewarded with a stunning view of the Salt Lake Valley. I felt self-satisfaction and accomplishment instead of guilt and self-loathing.
There might be one small regret. I did tell my wife on the way down the hill, “Maybe I should listen to you more often.”
Great. Who knows what kind of vampire show she’s going to try to get me to watch next.
LOSING IT (AGAIN): TALE FROM THE SCALE
Starting weight: 271.1 (all-time high: 371)
Last week’s results: ??? (scale is in a different state, and I kinda like it that way!)
Current weight: Was 271.4, but now??? (see above)
Goal weight: 171
Status/BMI: Morbidly obese/42.5
Quote on my mind: “The worst place to be is in line behind me at an all-you-can-eat buffet.” — Some guy I know who is trying to get rid of this attitude