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Me? Obsessed with my weight? Better believe it

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POSTED June 27, 2013 11:24 p.m.

I admit it.

I’m obsessed with my weight.

Nothing new there. I have never hid the fact I once tipped the scales at 320 pounds.

But what I didn’t realize was that a good number of folks seem to be obsessed with my weight as well. Back when I was a kid and weighed 160 pounds in the sixth grade, it was amazing the number of people who pointed out the obvious. Speaking from experience, no one has ever been inspired to lose weight because some well meaning person in the middle of a crowd tells a kid that he’s fat.

Now that I’m 162 pounds there are people who tell me I’m too skinny. They need to talk to my physician, Dr. Sain. He told me I could stand to lose a little weight. That was seven months and six pounds ago. My goal is to reach the point where there is 50 percent less of me than when I weighed 320 pounds some 28 years ago.

That said, calling me skinny is akin to calling Barbara Boxer a conservative. It isn’t true.

Still there are some who believe I’m not eating enough. But given the fact I put away an average of 4,100 calories a day, I don’t think it’s the case.

I’d like to say I’ve replaced my obsession with food with exercise but I am still obsessed with food. It takes a little effort to shovel in 4,100 calories a day when you eat basically all-you-can-eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and nuked veggie burger patties.

The last six pounds have dropped off because I opted to give up — for the most part — cookies. I was putting away a good 700 calories each day by keeping the value of Grandma’s Cookies stock up.

It underscores a point I failed to wrap my head around for years — you are what you eat.

Back when I thought 195 pounds was my natural weight and I was logging 10,000 miles a year on a bicycle I ate everything in sight that wasn’t nailed down. It wasn’t unusual for me to go through a half gallon of ice cream a day.

There is a point to all of this. I was asked the other day how I managed to lose weight and keep it off. Actually I have had three fairly significant weight drops over the years with two of the times the weight coming back partly because I did not come to grips with what matters. The first I went from 290 pounds down to 195 pounds when I was 14. The second was going from 320 pounds to 190 pounds when I was 29. The last was going from 195 pounds to 165 pounds seven years ago at age 52.

First — and foremost — I have made exercise something I do for me as a way to relax mentally. And while I have faithfully weighed myself every morning for the last 9,855 days — who’s counting — and marked the results on a calendar, I’m not as obsessed as much with my goal of not to regain weight as I am about the other statistics.

And while I admit clothing size enters into it, the real numbers that drive me are blood pressure and resting heart rate.

The lower I get them, the better I feel.

Besides the truth is pretty brutal when it comes to the vanity stuff. I’ll never be well defined muscle wise when it comes to my torso. But that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to improve my strength and flexibility. I’m never going to win the Tour de France or impress anyone with my jogging ability. But then again I’m not exercising to judge myself against other people. I’m exercising for me.

That brings me back to the question. You can’t do what you need to do to lose weight or improve your health until you realize four things: You do it because you care about yourself and not what others say or think. You make it a priority to put yourself first. You judge yourself not by weight or looks but true measurements of health, and, perhaps most important, you understand it is never too late to reverse weight or improve on your overall health.

Your body is an amazing thing but it is your body. It’s not Jane Fonda’s and its not Shawn T’s.

You can’t replicate others but you can improve yourself.

In the end, that’s all that matters — you and not whether someone believes you are fat or too skinny.

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.

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