By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
Here I am, month after month, always smiling at the top of this page as I share the wonders of a newly discovered healthy lifestyle.
As if it’s easy. As if danger doesn’t lurk at every turn.
Let me set the record straight: I’m not always smiling, especially when the top button on my pants won’t – ahem – button.
Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (especially around candy corn season) can wipe the smile off anyone’s face.
On the first day of classes this fall, I discovered my pants were tighter than last spring. I needed an extra tug to line up the button and the hole.
Oh, no. Had I slipped over the summer? The scale didn’t say so. I know my bike mileage was down, but I hadn’t missed a day at the Y.
So I asked Susan whether I looked like I had gained weight.
There was a pause.
Pauses after that question are never good.
And whether or not the scale corroborated Susan’s pause, the fact remained. My pants were too tight.
For the first year or so of the new me, I adopted a hard and fast rule of saying NO! to all my past temptations.
No bites, no tastes and really, not even a smell. I’d get out of the room.
So had I been slipping? Cheating? Perhaps a little bit.
After all, what’s a single Whitey’s milkshake going to do once a month? Or a third slice of Happy Joe’s?
It’s not like I did it every day.
And yet, my button wouldn’t button.
Looks like my metabolism is slowing to a crawl. Whether I like it or not, a milkshake is going to stick with me.
The reality is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not for sissies, especially if you’ve become a convert later in life.
Yes, some days are easier than others. And most days I’m smiling about it. But there are other days when I think my smile would be bigger if I had a tower of chocolate cake in front of me.
Still, I’m on the other side of 60 and I have a pacemaker and 2 new knees to take care of. Oh, yeah … and the family.
I’m going back to my original plan of just saying NO. No little bites. No tiny tastes. No deviations from the original plan that lead to success. I’m back to saying yes to frozen grapes.
(Well, I did eat two-thirds of that foot long hot dog at a recent River Bandits game. I’m probably carrying it around yet, too.)
So rather than savoring a bowl of ice cream every night, I’m aiming to be satisfied with my doctor’s congratulations at my yearly physical.
That, and being able to button my button will keep me smiling.
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|