So it finally happened.
I gained some weight back.
We’re not talking about a large amount here, but I told myself when I started this that I wasn’t going to fixate on the number that appeared on the scale whenever I stepped onto it. The idea of losing “pounds” as opposed to making long-term, sustainable choices that will reap far more benefits down the road was something that I told myself I wouldn’t make the center of this journey.
And this, right here, is the reason why.
It’s a turning point, honestly, because this is the point in the past where I would tell myself “why bother?” You’ve changed your diet and you’ve become active and yet you’re still going to gain the weight back so why bother trying?
That right there is the trap that I fall into every time and it’s something that I absolutely need to get past in order for these changes to take hold.
I know why I gained the weight back – likely due in part to the bag of Doritos Cool Ranch chips that I hammered out while studying, or convincing myself that lemonade is just as good for me as water is and it tastes better too. It can’t be worse than soda, right?
Well, that depends on whether you put down three gallons of it in a single week. Its sugar, water and flavoring – maybe with a dash of real lemon. How is that good for you?
But I also figured something else out this weekend that I hadn’t noticed before – my appetite isn’t exactly what it once was.
On Sunday I went to Chili’s here in Manteca with the wife and kids and ordered their version of a chicken bowl – albeit it contained beef and added a whole bunch of other southwest delicacies in order to make it more than the Luu’s standard that I chow down on three times a week.
It was delicious. But I only ate two-thirds of it before I realized that I couldn’t finish it if I tried. As a guy who could hammer out a 20-ounce steak with a baked potato and vegetables and still have room for dessert (not to mention the warm-up salad) and a handful of ginger beers, that was marked progress.
I know that “I couldn’t finish the 9,000 calorie meal they put in front of me” defense doesn’t necessarily work for everybody, and my wife hates that I use this logic, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not where I need to be in terms of my diet and my level of activity, but I’m heading that way. And it’s a wonderful thing.
As a result I’m going to treat myself to something this year.
Every spring I go on a fishing trip with my father and several of his friends – occasionally bringing one of my own with me for company and a roaming partner. Last year that was my father-in-law, and it looks like that will happen again this year, which is awesome.
But by-and-large the trip is bacchanalian in nature, with heavy emphasis placed on the food that my dad cooks up at the end of each night.
For the last several years I’ve been too far out of shape to really do anything other than get out of the truck and walk over to the stream, but this year I’m hoping to hike back into some places that aren’t quite as easy to get to in order to enjoy the majesty of Northeastern California in all of its glory without having to deal with any of the people.
There’s something poetic about drowning a fly and having nothing but the sounds of nature – bugs and birds and running water – keeping you company. It’s almost hypnotic if you let it be.
Will I still eat the 22-ounce cut of prime rib that he cooks on the last night? Probably.
But if I hiked five miles through the forest round trip that day in order to find the perfect hole – untouched my man – then I’m pretty sure that I earned it.
This is a reward-based system.
I just have to focus on earning those rewards.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.