I’m what they call lucky. I most assuredly am not, but whatever “they” want to call me to make themselves feel better, I’ll live. I had a weight problem and now I don’t. It took the better part of a decade of trial and a lot of error to get to where I am. Thousands of miles to get to a good, healthy weight. Hundreds of hours to lose the fat gained when I quit smoking. You can call that luck if you want but that would say more about you than whether or not luck was involved.
I will admit that I am absolutely fortunate. I pretty much eat whatever I want, whenever I want it. I enjoy food thoroughly and I don’t have to sacrifice anything… To a point. I rarely overeat. Maybe once or twice all year. When I’m full, I’m done and it works.
That all sounds good, but here’s my catch: Out of sight, out of mind.
I kicked a Coke habit last summer. It’s been more than a year and just the other day my wife found an old commemorative 6-pack of Coke that I bought in ’97 when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 35 years. It had been sitting up in one of our spare bedrooms for the last 9 years or so and my daughters thought it was neat so they brought it down to show me. That 6-pack of Coke sat on our buffet table for the better part of a week before I realized that I was very close to slipping back into my Coke habit – I started wanting a Coke at dinner time and I couldn’t figure out why after all of this time… With that 6-pack out of sight I was OK, but as soon as I could see it sitting there, day after day, I soon wasn’t… And that’s my problem – I can manage to eat just enough to maintain my weight, I can give up drinking Coke (it’s a lot harder than it might sound), I can eat healthy food and like it, but you stick a 6-pack of Coke out where I can see it and I’m utterly powerless over the craving… In other words, I’m just like everybody else, I just manage to keep the monster at bay.
This shouldn’t have come as the shock it did – I have the same problem with alcohol. The wise-crack saying goes like this: You sit in a barber shop long enough, eventually you’re getting your hair cut. I don’t frequent bars, we never have alcohol in the house – I even avoid the beer aisle at the grocery/convenience/party store. I recoil from alcohol, to borrow a phrase, as I do from flames. Alas, I spent last week looking at that Coke sitting on the buffet, craving a Coke for dinner… So I picked it up and put it in the other spare bedroom next to my cycling gear (technically “under” my cycling gear) where it shall stay until I find a better out of sight place for it to hang out.
And therein lies the trick. Know thyself grasshopper, or know frustration.