loss? Anyone can do it
Dec. 31, 2011
from this page
proof of that, having taken off many, many pounds (dropping seven
full waist sizes for pants) and doing it without fancy equipment,
a gym membership or coaching from a hired fitness trainer.
The secret to my success
— losing weight, keeping it off and getting into the best shape
of my life — is simple.
It’s discipline to take
time out of each day, no matter what, to exercise and discipline
to eat well but very much in moderation. (If you burn off more calories
than you take in, you lose weight, so goes the formula.)
My fitness tools are
nothing more than leftover carpet padding that serves as a mat and
a big Pilates balance ball and two 5-pound weights that others in
the household bought but have rarely used.
The mat, ball and weights
actually were late additions to my exercise routine. I lost most
of my weight (the “man boobs” and waistline “spare tire” included)
working out without them and using a routine I made up and added
to along the way.
We do have an exercise
bike in the house (again, not something I bought), and I must admit
I’ve used it in my routine for its cardiovascular benefits, but
the bike has been broken for quite some time, collecting dust in
a spare bedroom and awaiting repairs from me.
see a television commercial for exercise equipment, whenever I hear
radio ads for gimmicky diet shakes and pills, whenever I pass local
gyms or whenever I see signs such as “17 USED TREADMILLS,” I think
to myself: “I need to get a piece of this action. I’ve had true
success losing a lot of weight — and without any of those things!”
It can be done.
And it gets back to discipline and resolve (a form of that word
I have resolved
to be disciplined about my exercise routine, which includes a full
evening workout, an abbreviated early morning session and muscle
stretching whenever possible throughout the day. Even when I’m not
feeling great or feeling up to exercising, even when I’m out of
town on business or on vacation, I get in some or all of my routine
— every single day. And when I feel my will getting weak, I think
about my oldest daughter, the mother to a 5-month-old little girl.
“If she can give birth to a 10-plus-pound baby, I can get through
these push-ups and sit-ups,” I tell myself. And get through them
I do, sometimes even with bonus reps.
If I can exercise daily
with the busy schedule I have, if I can be disciplined in what,
when and how much I eat, everyone — anyone — else can do it. Begin
like I did with a brief routine and add to it as you get stronger
and more confident and as you begin to see the pounds roll away.
It’s satisfying to be
thinner. It’s satisfying to be healthy. It’s satisfying to be physically
fit. And it’s satisfying to succeed with a personal goal and not
slide back from it.
Lord, help me not to
Having lost a lot of
weight, I notice more the weight of people I see in public, and
more often than not, what I see is not pretty. It’s downright disturbing,
I don’t need to hear
doctors and health-care experts tell me that America has a serious
weight problem. I don’t need to read warnings in newspaper and magazine
stories about childhood obesity. I see it every day with my own
I see it at
the discount department store, where obese people — let’s just call
them what they are, “fat” people — of all ages go up and down the
aisles in motorized carts because walking is too much strain, too
much pain, too much of a workout.
It see it at the buffet
restaurant, where extremely fat people not only pile their plates
several inches high with food — and then go back for second and
third helpings — they occupy a lot of space, making it difficult
for others to get around.
I see it on television
(in the very little time I watch TV), where entire “reality” shows
revolve around fat people.
We as a nation — the
“convenience nation” or “invalid nation” I call it — do have very
serious problems with obesity, overeating, poor eating and lack
of exercise or even simple physical exertion.
I don’t want to be judgmental
about others — I don’t want to be a snob — but the truth is the
truth. The facts are the facts. In matters of personal health, in
matters of weight and eating, we are a nation in BIG trouble. (Pun
As poor as things are
economically in the United States, I wonder how we could ever pull
through if times get really bad — as bad as they were during the
Great Depression, for example. People of little means had to do
without a lot of things, including food, way back then. How would
today’s basically spoiled people, people used to excess things and
seemingly endless food, react and live if they suddenly had next
is we would never qualify for — not even come close to qualifying
for — the term “The Greatest Generation.” “The Biggest Generation”
might be more fitting.
On the matter of resolutions
I like New
Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Together, they symbolize the end
of one period, whether good, bad or indifferent, and the beginning
of a new period — a fresh start for everything and everyone.
resolutions is a New Year’s Day tradition. As a young person and
young man, I never got caught up in all of that, but in recent years
I have jotted down or made
mental note of personal goals for the new year.
I prefer the
word “goals” to “resolutions,” probably because “goals” have less
rigidity to them.
I keep my new
year’s goals to myself because, really, are they anyone else’s business
I have three
goals in mind for 2012. All I’ll say here is that one is broad and
the other two more narrow in scope. Perhaps this time next year,
I’ll spill the beans and report on how I did.