Rearview Mirror

Behind me, not too far back is my start, or more accurately, my restart. It is so close that with a mere glance I can catch sight of it in my rearview mirror.

The step-off did not begin with my foot hesitantly lunging forward down the driveway and onto the street. That came later. Instead, it started with frustrations sprouting from many directions, mental sparring that convinced me that something had to be done. I had done it before, and I can do it again.

The problem was, I was running out of daylight at my age. It had to be now or never, and never just rang hollow for me.

But the decision to jump off the starting line came with the sun still sweltering here in the Vegas Valley, my favorite times of the year governed by temperature, and that was the mid-seventies and down. Any hope of a plunging temperature was still many weeks away, so I turned immediately to my caloric intake and my inherited rowing machine.

There was within my calorie consumption a major hurdle.

I was a latecomer to my coffee love of heavy cream, having spent most of my adult life drinking it black. But when I first indulged in the flavorful richness of cream (heavy, no light stuff for me), it was coffee heaven. And over the years, I drank it with impunity, giving little thought to what it was costing me in terms of an expanding waistline and a heavy hand on my health.

Of course, I still love it today, but I do so with a measured, limited approach. Even at 65, it is never too late to start making better choices.

I realized that my coffee habit was out of control and needed to be severely curtailed if I was going to have any hope of success. So, reluctantly, I put away the cream and started to drink coffee black, a biting, bitter, nostalgic reminder of that old days and I realized, that while I will never give the cream up entirely, for the time being, black would be just fine.

In a note of full disclosure, I have come back to cream in a very limited capacity, brewing each Keurig cup of Italian Roast with the brewer’s smallest drink size and measuring out just enough cream to give me the taste that I desire while managing to keep things under control. (Better than nothing!)

Apart from my heavy cream issue, I selected 1700 calories as my daily allowance, with a focus on better quality food and better choices, even in an environment of rising food costs.

Then, of course, there was the course of physical action I would take, waiting for the Sun to be a little more forgiving. We have in our home, one of the cheapest magnetic rowing machines available. We bought this for my wife who, in the past, found rowing to be a great exercise for her in the past at the gym. But with her own health issues, primarily related to her back, it was pushed to the corner and ignored.

Eyeing this contraption, I set it back up and climbed aboard. It had nothing in terms of bells and whistles, and it was so low to the ground, I immediately understood my wife’s struggle with it. After a little experimentation, including finding the right cadence of songs to listen to, I was soon rowing away contently, working up a sweat, while pulling the oars at 22 strokes per minute.

So my journey back began back in September, with a starting weight of 290 pounds hanging on my 74-inch frame.

But as for my progress, I will not track the details through my posts, only mentioning them here and there. Instead, I will devote to details to a separate page which will be going up very soon.

So enjoy your journey as you read through mine. Many of us have a lot of work to do.