I turned 70 back in July. To be honest, I didn’t think much of it.

Mentally, I’m a Jr High School kid laughing at fart jokes. Physically, I’ve slowed down, but… I’m 70, not 20. I’m supposed to slow down.

But slowing down shouldn’t mean stopping.

I was doing pretty good after retiring and losing a bunch of weight. Victor and I were gym-rats and spending an inordinate amount of time there. But then Covid hit, we went into lockdown/isolation mode, moved ‘cross country, the weight came back, and I turned into a slug. Classic Catch-22 – move less, gain weight, gain weight, move less.

The joints and muscles had tightened up so much that at my last “Wellness Meeting” – old people don’t have annual physicals, anymore… we now have Wellness Meetings where things like falling and elder abuse are discussed – my Primary Care Physician set me up with a Physical Therapist to learn how to stretch, again. She also recommended a Pre-Diabetes Program to get me refocused on eating and exercise.

In March of this year I made it up to 260 pounds. 18.6 stone. 118 kilograms. A lot. As of this writing, I’m at 238. Cutting back some, moving a bit more, but I need structure to make this work.

I’ve always been a Live to Eat person as opposed to an Eat to Live person. I love food. I love new flavors, different cultures, trying new things. Unfortunately, I love it all a bit too much.

I spent 13 years working in Nutrition and Dietetics with some of the best Dietitians in the country. I created recipes for different dietary needs and restrictions. I should know what I need to do. And, in theory, I do. But I also spent years baking and cooking professionally. There are 60+ herbs and spices on the spice shelf, A pantry full of flavorings and ingredients that my impulse-shopping hands grab while my brain is conjuring up what I can do with guava paste, ube, or gooseberry jam. But, obviously, knowing what I should do and actually doing it are two entirely different things.

As I noted above, I need structure – and accountability – to make this work.

September 28th is the fist day of a year-long program of paying attention to what I eat and committing to 150 minutes a week of exercise. The end goal of the program is to lose 7% of my weight – a number that in their studies, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.

Personally, I’d like to lose 15%, but, at this point, I’m just going to go with it.

I’ll be heading back to the gym on Monday. I need that structure, as well. I can find a million and one reasons not to do something at home – or even step outside and walk down the street. I need that structure.

I’ve already started with a daily food diary, logging everything I eat and all of my movement. After we officially start, there will be a weigh-in/check-in every week for the first 14 weeks. It then becomes every other week for the duration.

What’s great about the program is it’s not focused on “Good” foods vs “Bad” foods, but about paying attention and being aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Looking at triggers that contribute to over-eating or binging. It’s about being realistic. There’s nothing wrong with having a piece of cake for dessert. It’s probably not a good idea to eat a slice every night.

It also stresses that we’re human. It’s not about beating ourselves up about food or food choices. It’s about learning, making better choices – and getting back up after eating that quart of ice cream after having a miserable day.

I don’t plan on having any miserable days, but I am glad that I’m starting this in the fall. We’re heading right into Holiday Over-Eating Season, and this year, I hope to pay a bit more attention to how many cookies I eat and how many cups of Egg Nog I consume.

I’ll be doing weekly updates on Wednesdays because I need the accountability. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate to be wrong and I really hate public humiliation. I really hope my blogging will keep me focused.

Wish me luck.