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St. Patrick’s Day reflections

22 March 2010 No Comment

I was just reflecting on last week’s St. Patrick’s Day St. Louis celebration in Dogtown. What a day! Since I am looking for work and in the very beginning stages of helping to prepare our house for market, I was conflicted last Wednesday morning. Our daughter goes to daycare on Wednesdays, and so the idea is for me to scramble as best I can to be extra productive. Not party all day.

But … this day only comes once per year. And it was sunny … and I really wanted to go. However, since my wife was not in a position to take off the day from work, that just added to that pesky sentiment of guilt. What to do? Around 9:30 in the morning I decided to weigh myself. I have been losing weight over the past year and once I had shed a few pounds, I had a target goal in the back of my mind. It was nothing farfetched, yet it seemed so far off for those first few months. As the calendar turned to 2010, I realized this goal was attainable. It also become symbolic for me; an example that unemployment will not bring me down, that I can achieve a long-term goal, do something important for my health and, by default, the overall health and vitality of my family. It genuinely was meaning more and more to me each day as I neared this landmark weigh-in.

Of course, once I was closing in on this weight, I knew eventually it would be a reality. I would not be two pounds away, and then start to go the other direction. So, last Wednesday morning before leaving for the St. Patty’s Day festivities, I stepped up on the scale and … it figuratively smiled back at me. For the first time in 17 years, I stepped on a scale and the first digit was a 1. A simple, glorious numeral that had eluded me, in this context, since my early college days. Living on beer, Doritos and donuts was not so kind to me in those days.

The fact I lost much of this weight over winter while being a stay-at-home dad most of the time bodes well for the future. With the active season of spring (and beyond) now here and my eating habits very well formed at this point, I am confident my belly will not see any pending expansion. Many people I’ve talked with say if they were out of work and home all the time, they would gain weight. For me, I am able to micro-manage my calories and fit in plenty of exercise. It works for me, thankfully. I am beyond gratified to have lost 39 pounds. And guess what? I did all of this while still drinking plenty of beer. It has been a really fascinating journey to learn so much about my body, and what causes weight gain. In short, I’d say about 70 percent of the battle is food – not exercise or alcohol or anything else.

As for St. Patty’s, it could not have been more fun. Celebrating from 1145am to 8pm was big-time fun, featuring a lengthy parade, ample sunshine, lots of friends, three good house parties (big thanks in particular to friends Natasha & Dave and also Jon & Laura for my parking spot) and, to top the day off, my wife and daughter met me at 6pm to enjoy a couple of hours with friends … and I remembered to save a Guinness for my wife! Though, after a loooong day, she did have to drive home. It was really cool to see so many friends on a weekday afternoon and, all told, my guilt was resolved early … just in time!

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