Some time ago, during a visit to my doctor, he said, “You know, except for one thing, you’re in pretty good shape.”
“Yeah, I know”, I replied. “I’m a little overweight.”
Gazing intently into my face, he said, “You need to remove that word ‘little’ from your vocabulary!”
Okay. So I’m more than a “little” overweight. I have fought the Battle of the Bulge ever since I left the military and especially, when in my early 40s, I ceased being active in martial arts. I used to work out a lot and eat a lot. In my 40s I pretty much quit doing one of those.
I have tried almost every weight-loss gimmick and diet at one time or another. My wife, who has been very successful with Weight Watchers, has been after me for years to go on that plan. And, being a good husband, I ignored her appeals as best I could. And then my body started sending me signals.
Around two years ago, I had my left knee replaced. After a successful surgery, plenty of rehab, and learning to walk again, things were much better. Knowing I needed the right knee replaced, I said to the bone doc that I thought I was ready. But he was not.
He said, “Before we do the other knee, I’d like you to lose some weight.”
He explained his reasoning and I asked, “How much weight?” “Twenty pounds, “he said. “Thirty pounds would be better. Fifty pounds would be even better.”
I shared with my wife what the doctor said and she asked, “So what are you going to do?” I told her I was going to do what any man in my position would do. I was going to find a new doctor. She renewed her campaign to convince me to join Weight Watchers and keep the same doctor. And the campaign was relentless.
Finally, I decided to take the plunge and join Weight Watchers, if nothing else, to see peace come to my turbulent and somewhat nagged life once again. My wife is a true believer. She does Weight Watchers online and has lost about 45 pounds and kept it off. I thought she looked just fine before the weight loss but … I gotta admit: She looks really good.
Needing accountability, I joined a Weight Watchers group that meets locally and weekly. There is a weekly weigh-in (and only one other person knows how bad you broke the scale), and tips and advice on how to keep on track. Anyway, I decided that I would be faithful and, after the first week, went to my weigh-in. I texted my wife and informed her that I had lost 6 pounds.
When I returned home, she met me at the door, stuck her finger in my face, and victoriously proclaimed, “I told you! I told you! I told you! I told you that this would work! You owe me a present!” With that, she ran up the stairs, clicked on the Amazon website, and ordered herself a present.
Last week, I had my 10-week weigh-in. I have lost 25 pounds. That sounds like a lot but I still have to lose the equivalent of a small high school halfback. But, it is a start. And there’s not been a day that I have been hungry. I still eat out, still have ice cream, and still eat foods that taste good — most of which I cook myself. I just have to follow my plan.
Someone asked me what my goal was. I know they meant, “How much do you intend to lose?” But I declined to answer that question. Rather, my goal is to take every item of clothing I own, save for the socks, to the Goodwill Center, donate it all, and buy new clothes.
Will I make it? Well, I’m 25 pounds closer than I was and can actually get my trousers buttoned without engaging in a wrestling match with myself. It’s a start. And not a bad start, at that — especially for a guy that is a “little” overweight.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org). He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]