I’ve never been a goal-maker. I don’t even have a bucket list. Yes, there are things that I would like to do – like see an opera at Teatro alla Scala in Milan – but I’m not going to lose any sleep if it doesn’t happen. I have always been very happy just letting life sweep me up. I have had so many experiences, seen so many things, been to so many places, and have had so much fun, that setting goals has always seemed a bit redundant – or selfish. I’m already doing it all! And, of course, there’s the very simple fact that I’ve always just been a bit too undisciplined to make goals in the first place. I’ve just never seen the need.

But there’s a short-term goal that has just arisen – my annual physical in two months. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be the old fat guy walking into the Doctor’s office. Okay. In two months I’m still going to be the old fat guy walking into the Doctor’s office, but I want to be the old fat guy walking into the Doctor’s office who has dropped a couple of pounds and who has a plan to be the old guy who doesn’t look too bad for his age at the next physical.

A Goal. Totally doable.

As I mentioned earlier, we’re committed to a year at the gym, but a year is too abstract to grasp. September is right around the corner – and a date and time-frame I can actually see and understand. I know how quickly May 1st to June 28th went – I have no doubts that this will be just as quick – and even more rewarding!

So, of course, to meet that short-term goal, I need to continually work on portion control. It’s amazing to see how big the meats and poultry portions are that I froze last month compared to what I portioned yesterday. It’s also amazing that I never paid attention to it, before. Or not. Let’s face it – we love food and love to eat… try new things… play in the kitchen and have fun! Paying attention has never quite been in my vocabulary. Old dog, new tricks. Paying Attention has been added.

Week One is almost done and I haven’t quite found my groove, yet. I’m still feeling my way around. Food-wise, we’re eating well and our portions have dropped considerably. Our nightly dessert – something I refuse to give up – is now fresh fruit. Simple, maybe some fresh herbs tossed in… but no added anything else. If I learned only one thing in all those years I worked in Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s that deprivation does not work. Need a snack? There’s a bowl of little apples on the table.

I made burgers for dinner, tonight – 6 oz burgers with diced green chiles and a minced hot pepper from the garden mixed in and then grilled. Served on the side was fennel, carrot, leeks, and a sweet potato – oven-braised in a splash of white wine, garlic, and oregano, and then finished in the oven with some chicken stock.

It was really good – and all the better because we were actually hungry when we sat down to dinner. What a concept, eh?!?

And to start getting into the groove a bit more, I think I’m going to head downstairs and  dust off a few of the books down there and see what fun things I can come up with.

That September appointment will be here in no time!