I'm not the kind of guy who obsesses about his weight. Take a look at recent photos of me and that becomes all too apparent. However, every few years I take stock of my girth, and come to the sad conclusion that I need to shift gears and peal off a pound or ten. One of those times is now.
I've gained about 15 pounds in as many months. It all began when I hyperextended my knee taking a poorly planned step off a ladder toward the end of my shed-building project a year ago this past December. Roughly two months passed before I tentatively reentered the gym. Returning my daily cardio workout to pre-injury levels required another two or three months. Moreover, that December was uncharacteristically busy with carmaker media events presenting endless opportunity to eat stuff I shouldn't eat and drink stuff I shouldn't drink. And that was just a ramp up to my holiday eating binge upon which I always embark when visiting my sister in New Mexico at Christmas. Cookies, homemade candy, home-baked bread and other once-a-year treats present an irresistible sirens' call to a weak-willed pushover like me. When my sister offers to make grilled-cheese-and-ham sandwiches for lunch, my response: “Why, yes, I'll take two, please!”
Always the diplomat, Doc Budelmann hasn't scolded me about my gains during my six-month visits, but he always mentions, with a raise of his eyebrows, that the pounds are building. Then there is a pregnant pause as if he expects me to either try and defend the increase or promise to do better, during which I avoid his gaze and ask about the diploma hanging on the exam room wall.
I have been in denial. Every few days I screw up the courage to look at my body in full profile in the mirror, suck in my gut and convince myself the extra weight will magically fall off if I simply think happy thoughts and steer clear of ice cream.
In the past couple of weeks, however, I've had to take a ride around the block on the reality bus: Damn cleaners shrunk my pants again! Yep, I've reached the point where I need to take action. And that action needs to be either moving up a pant size or dropping some poundage. I'm too cheap to buy new clothes; so.....
Now it's time to pay the piper, sleep in the bed I made or whichever cliché you want to trot out to describe my predicament.
Not all that long ago, I pretty much managed my weight with the gym. Put on five pounds over the holidays? A couple of weeks in the gym burned them off. Today, all the gym is good for is maintaining my current weight – whatever that total might be. If I splurge and gain a few pounds, 40 minutes of cardio a day won't take them off. I need to monitor my daily intake. Oh the humanity: That means a diet. Ugh.
In the eight or ten diets I've embarked upon over the years, only one was truly successful. I spent about three months in 2002 or 2003 on a low-carb diet and dropped about the same amount of weight I now find myself in need of losing. That was a tough row to hoe. As far as I'm concerned, life isn't worth living without pasta, fried rice and craft beer.
I made the decision to shift into diet mode as I was standing in the bar at the Hotel Emma in San Antonio's Pearl District waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport after the Infiniti Q50/QX60 media event. I was hauling down massive gulps of Ballast Point Victory at Sea porter in a courageous attempt to kill the 22-ounce bottle in the 15 minutes before the shuttle's departure. I wasn't entirely successful, but hope to do better with the diet that will begin in earnest after the upcoming Kia Sportage media event in San Diego: home of Ballast Point and Belching Beaver breweries. I mean, I am only human, right?
My goal is 12 pounds by June 1st. It's not going to be pretty.