Last Friday, the alarm on my iPhone went off just before 6 am. I stumbled out of bed, put on gym shorts and laced up my Hyperdunks. In less than ten minutes I was heading to the gym with my neighbor to play basketball.
For the next 90 minutes I ran up and down the court. My shot wasn’t falling but that didn’t matter. I was there for the exercise, and I love the ebb and flow of the game.
As much as I complain to myself, once I get to the gym I can’t imagine being anywhere else. This school in Kent must have been built no later than the 1940’s. The glass boards drop from the ceiling. The rims are forgiving and are adorned with long nylon nets which flip up inside themselves on the perfect baseline swish shot.
With my workout complete, I jump in the shower before heading to work. Then comes that time of day I dread: picking out my clothing for the day.
Kim has her own closet and I have mine. The right side is filled with clothing that fits me today. The other side is filled with shirts and pants that no longer do. Every morning I’m reminded of this fact so I seldom open the left side of my closet. It’s full of Dockers in perfect condition. Dress shirts hang there that haven’t been worn more than a few times. Even a couple of belts that used to fit around my waist.
Three years ago I got tired of being overweight and lost 60 lbs over the course of seven months. I did it by cutting sugar from my diet, monitoring carbohydrates and exercising. There were no secret formulas or magic pills. It was difficult. Bad habits occasionally surfaced. But I stuck with it and was down to within a few pounds of my goal.
But by last December I’d gained back all but 15 lbs. Over time, I’d replaced my size large shirts with extra large ones. My jeans went from 34 to 38 and even those were tight. I had less energy to spend with my kids and my sugar cravings had returned in full force.
Sugar is my kryptonite. It’s the domino that triggers bad habits. I’m constantly fighting the urge to consume it through cookies or donuts or Chewy Sweet Tarts. Yet, once it’s out of my system, the cravings subside, and I am able to eat healthy foods without constantly feeling hungry.
When I went back to work after the holidays, I decided to change my eating habits. I began playing racquetball every Tuesday night. I joined a group of friends for basketball a couple of times each week. I got my butt back on the treadmill. I began taking my lunch to work or making a salad at the Microsoft cafeteria. I’ve tripped up a few times. When that happens I move on instead of pouting over a bowl of ice cream.
Back to last Friday morning while I’m staring at my closet. I decide to pull down a pair of black Levi’s from the left side of my closet. I tell myself they probably won’t fit, but it will motivate me to keep going.
I was shocked when I was able to pull them on and fasten the buttons without suffocating myself. I checked the tag to make sure they were the smaller size. I could not believe it.
I was so happy I called out to Kim, “Hey, check this out! It’s been two years since I’ve been able to wear these.”
But I know I still have a ways to go. I know I can lose the weight. I know I’ll be able to get down to a weight I’m comfortable with. But I also understand that keeping the weight off will be a lifelong battle.
But I’m off to a good start. And most important, I feel better and have more energy to spend with Kim and the kids.