When I was a child, I was always tall, but thin. When I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom took me to the original Leahy Clinic, located just outside Kenmore Square, Boston. The reason for the visit was I was so thin. After many tests, the doctors determined I had an iron deficiency and I started taking iron pills. The pills must have worked because later in life I was certainly not thin.
When I graduated from 8th grade and high school, I was a little bit on the chubby side, but not too overweight. In my freshman year of college, I actually got thin (but not overly thin) again. I worked in a gas station part time after school and most of the cars then (mid 60's) had the gas tank filler behind the license plate. All the bending, combined with not eating big meals while at work, kept me in shape and relatively thin. After I left the gas station job, I began to put on weight and I was a little bit overweight when I graduated from college. For about 5 years after graduating from college, I put on about 10 pounds a year.
In 1977, I started watching what I ate and joined the YMCA. I ate a lot of salads and soups. At the YMCA, I exercised at least five time a week. I also jogged 5 to 7 miles a day at least four times a week around my neighborhood. For about 3 years, I was in the best shape of my life, probably the best fitness level I have ever been. I was thin (not too thin), fit, and felt great.
In 1980, I accepted a temporary assignment in Washington, DC. I enjoyed myself immensely; however, my exercise routine ceased and most of my meals were in restaurants. When I had to choose between socializing in Georgetown and exercising, I picked Georgetown most of the time. I gained close to 50 pounds in 6 months, 50 pounds that to this day, I have not lost (although my goal is to loose it by the end of Spring, 2000).
Although there were periods of weight loss after I returned from Washington DC, the end result was I gained another 50 pounds by the beginning of 1999, for a total gain of 100 pounds since my "in shape" days (this extra 50 pounds I have lost since February 1999). The only exercise I got was walking, I love to walk. I obviously ate anything I wanted. I ate when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was feeling good, when I was feeling bad, when I was busy, and when I had nothing to do.
For the last 20 years, every Monday (and the beginning of every month) I would say I was going to start an eating behavior modification and loose the 100 pounds I had gained over the years; however most of these intentions were just that, intentions. I was lucky if they lasted a day. Unfortunately, every type of food I enjoy is either high in calories or bad for you. There is nothing special in my past about February 1, it is not an anniversary or my birthday, etc. For some reason, I actually kept my usual Monday morning intention and started an eating behavior modification on February 1, 1999. I am ecstatic that I started; however, I do not know why I started on this Monday and not any of the other 1000+ Mondays that preceded February 1, 1999. A similar situation occurred when I gave up smoking 14 years ago, one day I kept my intention to stop smoking, even though I had the intention to give up smoking many times before.
I know from past experience that I could easily slip into my old behaviors and gain all the weight back (and about 20 extra pounds as a bonus). I am as firmly committed to my weight loss today as I was on February 1, 1999 and, hopefully, will learn from my past weight behavior mistakes. I can not guarantee that I will loose more weight and keep all the weight loss off; however, I will give it my best shot.
Good luck with any eating behavior modification you may be starting.
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