Weight, Weight, Don’t Tell Me

chc-silI have, on average, gained two pounds a year since I quit smoking and about three pounds a year since I retired.  This means I am now 36 pounds over what I consider to be a good weight, and 5 inches over my desired waist size.  I am not going to tell you my current weight and waistband, but I will share this: the expansion of my personal universe will be ending as of Sunday, January 3, 2016.

Here is how I plan to do it.  I know better than to adopt some self-sacrificial strategy that is miserable to follow.  What works for me (based on experience) is a combination of limits, allowances and positive steps.  These will include:

• No chips, pretzels, crackers or other snacks
• No potatoes, rice, bread, toast, etc.
• Nothing fried or breaded
• One drink (wine or beer) a day.  Limit of one martini a week.
• Unlimited vegetables
• Unlimited lean meat (steaks, chicken breast, turkey)
• Unlimited broth-base soups (vs cream soups)
• One item per week of fatty meat (pork, hot dog, hamburger, sausage)
• One six-ounce pasta dish OR two slices of pizza for dinner, per week
• One bread item per week, only if needed for a hot dog, hamburger, etc.
• One bowl of Cheerios with 1% milk OR one hard-boiled egg, per day
• One-half (3/4 ounce) of a chocolate bar or equivalent treat, per week
• No messing with my morning coffee.
• Thirty minutes of real exercise (elliptical) at least four times a week

The main idea is to get rid of gratuitous calories but keep the satisfying ones, so that I am more likely to stick with the plan.  I know losing 36 pounds will not happen overnight, so I will need to be patient.  I hope I can lose 3 pounds a month and achieve my goal in a year.  We will see.  If my initial plan is not aggressive enough after six months, I will be prepared to take further steps.

Since I have a blog, I can (and will) post a cool graph documenting my progress every few months, which is more often than any of you want.  In a sense, however, I am doing this for you, future readers of The 100 Billionth Person.  I will have a lot to say about the decade of the 2040s, and it would be in our mutual interest if I were around to say it.

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7 Responses to Weight, Weight, Don’t Tell Me

  1. Rob says:

    My method is calorie counting. Nothing else works for me. My best to both of us. May our closets yield previously argumentative clothing this year.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks Rob. I haven’t worn clothing of questionable style since the 70s, so it will just mean I get back into some of my old Dockers. Re: calorie-counting, I memorized so much of the calorie book in past efforts that I pretty much know where I need to cut without doing a daily accounting. Bring on the carrots and celery.

  2. Judi says:

    Public declaration is a good strategy as well???? Good luck!

    • Craig says:

      Yes, Judi, I forgot to mention the public part — I look forward to publishing a fancy graph! Thanks for your wishes.

  3. Toni says:

    Good luck, Craig….you can do it!

  4. Bruce says:

    Good for you! I too have drawn a line in the sand as of 1/1/16. I lost a lot of weight in 2013 using the Weight Watchers point-counting app (for which I paid $20 a month). Since I stopped that (thinking I knew the drill), I’ve been gradually gaining, now within 5 pounds of my 2013 “oh no!” weight. This time I’m using a free calorie-counting app on the iPhone and so far it’s working. The key point for me is accountability. If the rules are just mental, I will cheat. But I’m concerned that as with most calorie-counting schemes, it’s not sustainable. I already feel deprived and hungry. I’m reading a new book “Always Hungry?” by David Ludwig of Harvard. It’s a very different (though not wholly original) approach, and it sounds promising though logistically difficult. Once my wife and I both finish reading it, we will decide if it’s worth a try. She’s already a believer in the benefits of good oils and fats, full-fat yogurt, etc. and this plan claims you can teach your body a new “set point” and other benefits. The pilot study participants are saying great things. We shall see.

    Oh for those college days when my big complaint was that I couldn’t gain weight! I was so thin, they called me “Weed.”

  5. Eric says:

    Hey, buddy –

    Good onya, I say! I’m confident that your intelligence, and your instinctive engineering & math skills (you and Lou progressed *way* past Linear Algebra back in the day ;-), and your support staff, and your sisu will get you to whatever goal(s) that you might choose. A coupla comments follow . . .

    Denying yourself pretzels? Really? I just took a look at the Nutrition Facts label on the back of my nearly depleted bag o’ Rold Gold (now owned by Frito-Lay :-/ more abt that name later, to Bruce ;-) Pretzel “sticks”. It sez, among other stuff: Serving Size (About 53 pretzels); Calories 100. If my fading math skills are still intact, I’m thinking that works out to be slightly less than 2 cal (OK, kcal) per stick. It’s the hummus (good fat), or Ranch Dip (ugh, by my taste), or whatever adornments that might accompany them that gets in the way. But maybe you’re talkin’ about those huge, swollen bombers from an Asheville mall kiosk or from startup cafes that are tryin’ to “broaden” their clientele, though? That would be another story.

    So yeah – maybe 10 or so years ago, I weighed well over 200 lbs., had the whole muffin top thing going, had to stretch & kinda inhale in order to just tie my shoes, etc., etc. Somehow, I took a look at a nearby gym (right around Xmas, so cliché), hopped on the lowest-impact seated cycler, and did maybe 20 minutes as a tryout, thinking “I can do this”. Managed to keep going to that gym, began to feel comfortable “saying Hey” to others, etc. Now carve out 2 or 3 times / wk, have been down to abt 165 for several years, get out on my bike in decent weather, etc., and feeling stronger than ever.

    You can surely do that too, whether at home, or just going outside for a walk or a bike ride, or doing wherever. Takes a bit of time, but detectable effects (including having some ignored muscles beginning to report in ;0) appear within a week or so . . .

    OK – rambled on more than I’d intended after so long, but needed to confirm w/ Bruce: so, buddy: was it your *thinness* that was the origin of your nickname way back in the day? Hmmm . . . ;-)

    Your pal,


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