I 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.