Is it time to get serious about your weight?

Lifestyles Editor Gib Snyder

Is it getting harder to get around as you get older? Are you injured, or is there more of you than maybe there should be?

By getting older it doesn’t necessarily mean hitting your “Golden Years.” Getting older starts the minute you are born, although for purposes of this writer detailing his journey, it began after high school.

Waiting for weight to fall off by itself doesn’t seem to work for too many people from what I have observed over the years, including the fellow who peers back at me from the mirror every morning with a skeptical look.

It takes work and diligence to maintain a “healthy” weight and fitness level. It takes about one week of over indulgence to set oneself back from fitness goals. Believe me, been there and done that — repeatedly.

At graduation from high school there was some 125 pounds of me, which, by the time fall rolled around had grown by another 15 or so. Fast forward to January 1971 when an Army enlistment settled my fate for the next few years, a soldier weighing 166 was sworn in. By the end of basic training some 30 pounds had disappeared — for the time being.

Now I consider myself the luckiest enlistee ever, as I ended up stationed at Ft. Myer in Arlington, Virginia. Even better, I was the clerk-typist working a steady Monday to Friday day job. Only one I have had until becoming the Lifestyles Editor at the OBSERVER more than 45 years later.

Within some 12 to 14 months, there was nearly 230 pounds of me and it was time to knock off the nonsense. That was made clear when I couldn’t move two steps to my left to snag a high chopper to third base. The weight came off, rather easily at that young age, and it pretty much stayed under control into civilian life — until later when it was time to stop playing city league sports.

Sports did come back into my life after the day I woke up after a midnight shift and didn’t have a job anymore — the steel plant had closed. Ending up as an OBSERVER sportswriter was certainly different than the steel plant, and involved a lot more sitting. It also interrupted a regular workout schedule.

After a few years the weight had shot back up to 215 and there was but one thing to do immediately — quit drinking Pepsi. That helped a lot.

The weight began to fall off again and fell back to 190 or so. And there it stayed for several years.

In September 2009 doctor’s records show I weighed in at 185.

One year later there was almost 20 pounds less of me for gravity to work on.

From September 2012, when I had snuck back up to 175, a steady decrease was recorded until I settled in between 150 and 155 for the last two years, with the occasional foray over and under those numbers by a few pounds.

Is it easy keeping those lurking fat cells from mounting a counterattack? For the most part yes, too many parts don’t need additional stress. But it is a struggle.

The key is simply burning up more calories than one takes in. With that comes the reminder, if you take in too many calories at a meal, during a day, or week, stop it and start paying attention again.

Like Yoda says, “Control, control. You must learn control.”

Another pertinent quote from the wise Yoda details what the key is to getting fitter.

“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Gib Snyder is the Lifestyles Editor