Here's what happened. I was weighing in between 205 and 210 -- creeping up over the years from about 180 when I graduated from college. But recently I've been having trouble with a creaky left knee and some arthritis in my right ankle. I figured it could only help if I lost a few pounds. But how would I do that? I'd dieted before, and never did figure out a regimen that really worked. I would lose a few pounds, then gain them right back within a month or two.
It was hot. I left the windows open to get rid of the paint smell. I spent two or three days preparing the walls, working right through lunch, sweating like a hog. I would eat breakfast around 9 or 10 a.m., then go to work and have nothing but water until dinner, around 7 p.m.
I took a couple of days off and went at it again, all day long, applying first the primer, then two coats of paint. Another two or three days, working straight through, without stopping for lunch.
By the time I finished I felt pretty good. And when I stepped on the scale, the dial teetered on the 200 mark. I had lost 7 or 8 pounds.
I was so impressed with my work on the bathroom -- and my modest weight loss -- that the following week I started in on the garage. I moved everything out from the walls, repaired the dents and the holes, and put on a coat of primer and two coats of paint. Another several days sweating through the afternoon, eating no lunch, just drinking bottled water.
I went back to eating a normal lunch. The only dietary concession I kept up was the bottled water. I had been used to drinking soda -- usually Diet Coke, or sometimes a ginger ale. So I switched to the water, instead of the soft drinks. And I stayed down below 195 through the fall, through Thanksgiving, right up to the Christmas season. But then came the Christmas cookies, and the cakes and pies and candy -- not to mention the big family meals -- that go hand-in-hand with the end of the year.
The other day I stepped on the scale. It popped up to 195, then kept edging up to 196 and finally topped off at 197.
I do not want to go back up to 200 pounds. I feel too good about myself to do that -- not to mention the load off my knee and my ankle. But I can see I've started down the road to recidivism.
What can I do? I'm looking at several months of cold weather, when I won't be going outside very much -- and I sure won't be sweating. I do go to a health club now and then; but that doesn't seem to help much.
So that's why I need some advice. Can anyone give me something I can use to help me keep the pounds off? Even now, as I write this, I can hear those corn chips calling to me from the kitchen.