My close friend, Will Power, and a desire to get healthier to ensure many years ahead with my family, inspired me to lose 67 pounds since last summer, including 20 during the pandemic. Never to be outdone, even our dog, Buster, has dropped eight pounds since last year.
The refrigerator winks coquettishly. I freeze, then step back and counter with a head shake and combatant stare. I turn away. The snack armoire does the same, grabbing the enticement baton from the fridge and racing toward me. I turn away again. Home-baked chocolate chip cookies, still gooey and warm on the counter, tempt me with their aromatic sweetness. My salivary glands turn cartwheels, imagining the three-ring circus the sugar rush would trigger. I consider the offers. Then I consider my BP reading, HDL, LDL, arteries, and family, and usher temptation to the door. Another battle won.
Weight loss can be a maddening tug of war. Bad foods attempting to pull you in; better decisions gripping the rope tight and pulling back hard. Eleven months and 67 pounds later, I’m winning the contest.
"Geez, I’ve gained about 15 pounds from working at home during the pandemic," a dear friend confessed recently, gently patting his belly as would a parent atop their child’s head for a good deed done. "How have you been able to continue losing weight during all this?"
I told the dear friend a good friend has helped: Will Power.
While the strategy may sound simple and perhaps trite, for me, it’s been true. Laboring up flights of stairs, and becoming winded after brief physical activity, moved me to call on Will Power to help. I had to set my mind right. My increased weight was destined to decrease my odds of a long, healthy life. We have two children in their teens. I imagined the milestones I might miss if I didn’t do something immediately. I couldn’t wait to address my weight any longer.
Keto, a no-carb, no-sugar regimen, as well as walking every day, has made me feel healthier than I’ve been in years. Since the start of the pandemic, when we’ve all spent a great deal of time at home tempted by stress eating comfort foods, I’ve managed to lose 20 of the 67 pounds.
Now, do I miss gobbling down a half-dozen of those cookies with a tall glass of chocolate milk in front of the TV? Do I miss pizza? Do I miss my wife’s rigatoni and meatballs, with a few slices of Italian bread to sop up the homemade sauce? If you’ve tasted her sauce, you wouldn’t need to ask the question. I miss, but resist. Will Power directs my attention to my young family and my age — 63 next week — and convinces me to opt for healthier fare. Easy? No. Difficult? Occasionally. Important? Tell me what’s more important.
Cookies. Ice cream. Pizza. Rigatoni. Those are foods I miss. And when I decide to set keto aside and reincorporate them into my diet, I’m determined to bring along a good friend to help me.
Because where there’s a Will, there will be less to weigh.
Columnist Phil Gianficaro can be reached at 215-345-3078, firstname.lastname@example.org, and @philgianficaro on Twitter.