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First Diet

Corky Cummings


When I turned 70 earlier this year it was somewhat of a reality check and I started giving more thought to adjusting my lifestyle to possibly extend whatever time I had left on earth. Most of my life I never had any issues with weight, other than being too skinny and needing to gain some. I always thought that cholesterol was a measure of how much you were enjoying life. However, in the past few years I did a complete 360 from that and having reached a milestone birthday, I realized it was probably time to shed some extra pounds. I am 6’2” tall and weigh 215 lbs., which is not so bad if the weight was proportioned correctly and not centered around my mid-section.

At the last physical I had, the doctor recommended that I lose about 10-15 lbs. The trouble with doctors’ advice is that they always say you should do it with proper diet and exercise, which to me sounds too stringent. I WANT PILLS! The problem is there doesn’t seem to be any miracle medication that has been FDA approved to lose weight. 

With no easy way out I recently made the commitment to start eating better and reduce my daily intake of calories, carbs, fats, and about 40 other things that are not good for you. In the few short days I have undertaken this endeavor, I have gained more understanding for people who have dealt with this challenge most of their lives. 

Reading labels to check contents has become a routine that sometimes becomes overwhelming. It seems that if a food is low in one category it is high in another, so you have to select the lesser of two evils. If you only eat food with healthy ingredients, the taste is similar to wallpaper paste (I’m not sure it has a taste, but that’s the best analogy I could provide.). If anything tastes good, you can bet it isn’t good for you.   

Each morning I get on the scales to see what progress I have made since the preceding day. I used to think it was funny when people would say they had lost 2 1/2 lbs., as if the 1/2 was significant. Now I have an understanding of how important that can be to continuing the process. After five days of eating better I have dropped from 215 to 207.8. That .8 is important because it puts me below 208 and when tracking your weight it is important to always round down.

I’m not sure what my final goal is but I plan on continuing to diet for one month and see where it takes me. My wife, Patti, who is normally very encouraging has already informed me that wherever I end up, it will take continued maintenance to keep the weight off. What a bummer! It almost makes me want to give up now and just enjoy whatever remaining years I have left. Maybe this worry about aging is overrated.