My first approach, upon recognizing that I did in fact have a weight problem, was to ramp up my physical activity.
After all, I thought I was eating a fairly healthy diet, and was following the basic proportions of the USDA guidelines.
And I had some successful experience with intentional weight loss in the years before I had been diagnosed with celiac disease.
In just six months, I had lost enough weight and also increased my strength and fitness to reach my goal of dunking a basketball on my 4oth birthday.
Since I had done this previously, I expected I could do it again.
So in early 2016 I started working out hard, six days a week, 30 minutes per day, on the Precor elliptical training machine at our YMCA.
I had two daughters getting married later that year, and I wanted to be at my best as I accompanied them down the aisle.
I stepped on the scale every day before my morning workout, and after several months I had lost…about five pounds.
Lisa asked, “Do you think maybe you should do some weightlifting?”
“How am I supposed to fit that in? I’m already working out at least three hours a week with heavy cardio. And it’s not doing any good!”
There’s a reason why our parents and grandparents called it “working up an appetite.”
“Eat less, move more” is trite and simplistic at best.
The reality of weight loss is a lot more complicated than fighting gluttony and sloth.
So by sometime between those August and October weddings, I was teetering between resignation and readiness to change.
I was willing to change, but had no realistic idea of what could work.
So I asked myself the question that is the title of this post.
A few months later, Lisa asked another question that started us in the right direction, together.
More on that starting Monday.
But first, I want to share an update from Thursday, when we continued a family tradition in taking as many of our children and grandchildren as were available for a day at Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
We had five of the six kids, three spouses and two significant others, and 11 of 12 grandkids join us. Ruthie, Trevin and their daughter Noa couldn’t make it because they’re in Bulgaria. But otherwise, we had them all.
It meant we had to get a lot of all-day wristbands.
Our tradition is to pick a Tuesday or Thursday in January to avoid the crowds. Lines are typically non-existent. And Thursday was especially slow, with temperatures of -8 ºF. So this was typical for many of the rides, with all seats occupied by our descendants:
This was our fourth consecutive year with this extended family amusement park outing. It’s been fun to see the kids grow and get tall enough for some of the more adventurous rides.
This time I also qualified for a ride from which I previously had been excluded.
Because I was safely below the weight limit, not only were my grandchildren able to ride…
… so was I.
So the answer to today’s blog post title is “No!”
Tomorrow I’ll share some before and after photos.
Then I’ll begin the story of our journey to improved health on Monday.