Blogs > Lighten Up With Jim

55-year-old James Horejs, of Mentor, is a contestant in The News-Herald's Lighten Up in 2013.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The End is Nothing to Dread

In their blogs recently, a lot of contestants have noted the "light at the end of the tunnel" - the end of the contest which is approaching fast.  Many are happy with their progress, as well they should be.  Many have more goals to reach.  That includes me.  I have achieved a lot, but not quite as much as I wanted.  This was mostly due to three factors:


Lofty goals is the first issue.  I thought the weight loss would continue on a fairly even pace.  I knew it would decline at some point, but never imagined how tough losing weight would be these last three months.  Maybe I lost too much too fast.  But I'm not complaining.


Another issue preventing my "best case" weight loss was me rewarding myself for my early accomplishments.  These rewards were not huge, but were a diversion from the diet and exercise routines that got me where I am in the first place.  But I'm not complaining.


The last issue preventing me from reaching all of my goals was a minor injury.  I pulled a calf muscle two weeks ago and just got back to running yesterday.  This is just in time to run the Johnnycake Jog in a week and a half.  Hopefully, this is the first of many more road races to come.  But I'm not complaining.


Am I happy?  You bet.  I do take exception, though, to what many have mentioned in their blogs.  They say that when the contest is over, it begins an "ongoing struggle", "a never-ending battle with weight" and other ways of phrasing the same dreadful idea.  I do not agree at all and question their negativity.


The end of this contest should be the dawn of a new life.  A life that brings with it new energy, new opportunities for fun and fitness, and a new wardrobe.

[Pause for cheers from the female contestants who get to go clothes shopping]


There is nothing stressful here, nor should there be.  The lifestyle changes we have made should put us on auto-pilot.  Reach for an apple, not a bag of chips.  Salads should be: "hold the cheese and croutons - dressing on the side".  Limit the red meat.  Have fish once or twice a week, but not at the "All-You-Can-Eat" church fish fry.  In fact, get everything fried off your food radar.


Some unhealthy foods may still have their place in our lives, but only once in a while and perhaps only after a deserving day - for example, a day with a good workout at the gym.


I look forward to the end of the contest, but do not dread the first day afterward.  Nobody should.


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