Four weeks of counting every morsel of food or beverage with calories, limiting that to 1500 calories per day, and I’ve dropped 6 pounds.  Oh happy day!  I even had a hamburger last week (I’ve temporarily discontinued the enjoyment of cheese) .  My friend at My Kugelhopf has not been much help with sticking to this restriction.   If you haven’t seen her website, check it out. You’ll be sorry if your weight is currently an issue.  Or glad in a torturous, perverted way. Back to the hamburger.  It counted for a whopping 550 calories, but was worth every one. I didn’t have any fries.

All my life I’ve had to watch what I eat.  Having a tremendous sweet tooth exacerbates the effort. As a kid I was fat. At 15 I experienced, successfully, my first weight loss effort and stayed fairly thin until about age 24. At 29 I lost 40 pounds, and it’s stayed off. But not without a fight. Since marrying 5 years ago a few pounds have crept back.  To summit Grand Teton I need to be as thin as I’ve ever been.  My knees are going to need all the help the rest of my body can give them.

So now you know I’m versed in the Herculean task of weight control. And it is Herculean.  To me it ranks right up there with paying your bills on time, getting and staying out of debt and living within your means — some of the basics of life, but astoundingly difficult.  Lulled by the simplicity of the task, many of us do not factor in the day-to-day strain of it.  The word consistency should have “unattainable” as a synonym.

Carrying around excess pounds and excess debt are means to the selling short of our futures. They both diminish the ability to be free.  While I believe living within your means to be honorable and admirable, keeping your weight at a healthy level may be only admirable, bordering on honorable.

Long before I discovered the book above I realized weight maintenance and philosophy had a great deal in common.  The book fell from a shelf onto my head during a late night crawl through a book store. It wasn’t so much the title “The Philosopher’s Diet” as the subtitle that caught my attention “How to Lose Weight and Change the World”. The author Richard Watson, is a professional philosopher.  From the back jacket: “If Descartes had sat down to write a treatise on losing weight as a metaphor for maintaining discipline amidst life’s vicissitudes, it would have read much like this.”  From the first paragraph of the book: “Fat. I presume you want to get rid of it. Then quit eating so much. No normal, healthy person on the good green earth ever got thinner without cutting down on caloric intake. Do a few exercises, don’t eat so much, and you will lose weight.”

Buy it. You’ll never be tempted again to try the latest weight loss fad.  Your pocketbook will thank you; your goal to live within your means will be rewarded.

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