Weight Control

I believe the control of weight is highly important in our quest to live a long, healthful life. In this endeavor, I have been on so many diets that I lost count. All the diets were successful but I regained the weight I had lost soon afterwards.

I went on my first diet when I was about twelve years old. It had become clear to me that I tended to be stocky. Being of short stature, I knew something had to be done when my weight hit 180. I lost forty pounds and regained it soon afterwards.

In the Service, weight control did not seem to be a problem. I can see now that the reason was obvious. Army life is a busy life. It did not matter how much I consumed, never accumulated at my waist.

After returning from the Service, I remember going from 140 to 180 and back over and over again. Each diet was a calorie diet. I restricted my consumption of food until I reached my goal over a period of several months; then I’d relax with the obvious result.

It was not until I was over seventy years old that I decided I had to go on a diet, attain a goal of 140, and stay there. I weighed about 190 at the time.

To ensure that this next diet was going to be my last, I purchased a doctor’s scale. This allowed me to measure my weight to the nearest two ounces, to an eighth of a pound. Using Excel, I made a chart that gave me goals to strive for as I drove to reach 140. The goals started with one pound a week for several weeks, then half a pound a week for several weeks, then one-quarter pound for several weeks, until I had reached 140.

One new feature was that I should diet six days during the week and eat unrestrictedly on Saturdays.

The diet worked. I reach each of the periodic goals as planned over a period of about six months. Then began the period of weight maintenance. I found that in order to stay at 140, I had to keep dieting as I had been doing. And I also realized that keeping myself from regaining my weight, I had to keep on dieting for the rest of my life. It has been eight years since the diet began. I stayed with my plan; diet strictly during the week and relax on Saturdays. The only change I made was to allow myself to maintain my weight at 150 rather than 140.

Daily dieting has become a way of life for me. I don’t consider it a hardship. It’s hard work during the week but Saturdays make everything worth while.

Maintaining weight at a reasonable level is not easy. Everyone who is serious about doing this needs to develop a plan that works for him or her. The plan I use may be no good for anybody else except me so I don’t advocate it. But I do suggest that anyone who agrees with me that weight control is essential develop a plan that is custom-tailored for the individual involved, then stick to it. Yes, it may turn out to be a lifelong battle that constantly needs to be won, but the results are well worth it.

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