247. That’s what I weigh as of a doctor’s appointment yesterday. I’m up 8 pounds from a February physical. My blood work in February showed a high level of liver enzyme and slightly elevated cholesterol, and yesterday’s doctor visit was a belated follow-up (I neglected to schedule it earlier, and my doctor nagged me about it a couple of months ago when I came in with a virus). My blood pressure was up yesterday as well, and that’s odd, as I’ve always been a 120/72 kind of guy. I measured 120/96 yesterday, I think. Between that and the already being overweight and the weight gain, my doctor went ahead and told me to start eating better, exercising, etc. He wants me to monitor my blood pressure over the next month (I have another follow-up set up in October) to see if yesterday was a fluke or if I’m developing some sort of problem. If my blood work comes back with liver weirdness, he’s going to do an ultrasound on my liver to see what’s up. It could be any number of diseases, or it could be fatty deposits in my liver. Yuck.

My second summer in Knoxville, I got a new job and had to get my first physical in many years to get the job. I knew I had gained a little weight then, but I was utterly shocked to see the scale balance out at 220. I had always been fairly heavy-set — at least solid and with beefy shoulders — but even so, I weighed in at 185ish through most of college. Of course, in college, I walked many brisk miles a day back and forth across a large campus, and my meal portions were pretty small. When I moved here, I ate bountiful meals and enjoyed a largely sedentary lifestyle. So it shouldn’t have been as much of a shock as it was. I suppose I wouldn’t have been surprised to have escalated up to 200 pounds, but 220?

A few years ago, frustrated with my weight and feeling sort of bad about my appearance, I decided to lose weight. I cut soft-drinks and limited my fat intake to the standard allowance or less. What prompted this lifestyle change was my discovering one day that a measly little fronzen lunch entree that hardly qualified as a snack had more fat in it than my whole daily allowance. And after eating that, I’d go home and eat a big dinner with probably double the fat. So I cut my fat intake substantially and did nothing else in the way of exercise, and before you know it, I had people commenting about how my face was thinner and about how thin I was looking. I felt really good about myself. I’m not much of a mirror gazer, but if I happened to catch a glimpse in the mirror on the way to the shower, I’d see at most a very slight hint of a bulge around my middle. I lost two or three inches around my waistline during this time, and I guess I kept the weight off for a year or so.

Then I got another new job and started eating big greasy burgers out with my coworkers a couple of days a week. Then along came the baby, and something about the experience made me start packing food in. And so here I am today at 247.

Several times over the past year, I’ve started to cut my fat intake, but I’ve always relapsed pretty quickly into pigging out. But now, with the doctor on my ass, with $120 blown on a blood pressure thingie, there’s real motivation. I went out yesterday and bought some tennis shoes so that I can try running (or at least walking briskly) pretty much every day. I did a little under two miles today (walked most of it). And I bought a couple of cookbooks that have great looking low-fat meals. This is exciting anyway, as I’ve been growing increasingly tired of the meal rotation (call it a rut, maybe) we’ve been on.

I think I’m serious about changing my lifestyle this time. I’ve spent money on it, after all, and I’m so tight-fisted that spending fairly substantial money on something represents a commitment that’s not to be taken terribly lightly. Wish me luck, and if you see me scoping out unhealthy food, do me a favor and remind me that I shouldn’t.

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