That winter I gained weight and I’ve been battling the waistline ever since.
Unfortunately for me, I stopped growing at 5’5”. You tall people can carry the extra poundage better.
The first diet I remember going on was one of my own creation. I drank several glasses of water at every meal — I would ask for a pitcher of water if I ate out.
I don’t know if that was the major reason why I got down from 190 to about 165 pounds (the lowest I have weighed as as adult). The real reason probably was the pantomime class I was taking at community college and the leotard I had to get into.
I lost the weight, looked pretty good in the leotard, and eventually gained it all back, and then some.
My weight, however, never stopped me from trying to be an athlete. When I was in my 20s, I ran long-distance, training for a marathon. I actually finished the Arkansas Marathon in 4:52:44. Hey, I was 183 out of 188 FINISHERS. Dozens never finished.
For elite long-distance runners, they average about 2 pounds per inch. Since I am 67 inches tall, I should have weighed 134 pounds. When I finished that marathon, I weighed 190 pounds.
Not quite a gazelle.
Imagine what the tale of scale would have been if I had not been running 5 to 10 miles a day.
But I am not the most methodical and disciplined runner — I would run 21 days in a row and skip the next three weeks. This was not conducive to keeping my weight down.
So I continued to gain weight until I reached 220-230 pounds. It became harder and harder for me t0 to lose weight and to continue running.
The decades that followed saw gains and losses, the epitome of the yo-yo syndrome.
One of the first “brand” diets I went on was one of the early shake fads. That was one of the easiest diets I ever went on. There were no decisions to make. I took a scoop or two of the chocolate, vanilla or strawberry shake and mixed it in the blender with water and ice, maybe milk, and I drank the shakes 3 or 4 times a day.
Once you get past the first few days on the shake diet you get locked in. It was easy for the first 21 days until my mother became hysterical and insisted (insisting is a weak word for her state of mind that evening) that I eat something. She made some scrambled eggs for me.
But I did lose more than 20 pounds on that diet.
One of the more exotic diets I have been on is what I call “The Jerusalem Diet.” This weight-loss program had nothing to do with what I ate. It had everything to do with the hills in Jerusalem and all the walking I did while living there for eight months.
Since I didn’t have a car, I either walked or took a bus (which meant that I walked either to the bus or from it). Can’t remember how much weight I lost, but I had to be pretty healthy after walking Jerusalem for a year months.
Once I came back to the states, I entered what I now call my dark period of weight gain. I pushed past 200 pounds, increasing to 220 to 230.
Next week, I will tell you how I dealt with this dark period. I never gave up, but I never did win.