2 fingers, 15 pounds

I used to be a Math and Industrial Arts teacher, as it turns out I’ve taught my kids fractions in a very difficult manner … my pointer finger is 2/3 and my ring finger is 1/3 of what it should be. People say, “High Five?” I reply, “How about a high four?” That kind of math is easy to understand, but I’m not sure how this adds up: I lost part of 2 fingers and gained 15 pounds.

Eating became a way of coping with some of my pain. If I was able to take enjoyment from eating it lessened the pain I was feeling in my hand. I’m only 5’8”, well, not quite … but a healthy weight would be around 165 to 170. I was about 175 at the time of my injury. Over time I began to pack on the pounds. I recall the day I stepped on the scale and it blurted out 189! What? Me? That’s crazy! I thought for a second, should I try to hit 190 to say I’ve been there or do I need to take action?

Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America,
and Excercise is the most potent yet underutilized antidepressant – Bill Phillips

I decided to take action. Over the next 3 months I made a very conscious effort to curtail my caloric intake (eating less) and also began exercising more. I also made sure I stepped on the scale each morning to determine if I was winning or losing. I was amazed to see how much impact a big dinner could have on my weight.

It felt odd eating less than my son, but realizing that he’s still growing and that his metabolism and activity level was greater than mine it began to make sense he should eat more than me. That is part of the rut we get into, we do things a certain way because we’ve always done them that way. My activity had taken a dip so my consumption needed to follow suit. I needed to keep better tabs on things, to report on my weight just like the status of a project that I might be working on.

Week after week I focused on a lower, healthier weight. I began to feel the difference physically and emotionally. I was more energetic, more positive, and slimmer. People began to notice and some of them even asked me if I was feeling alright because they noticed the weight loss. Man, that was encouraging!

I remember stepping on the scale one morning and I was 163 pounds … I did it! I was ecstatic! I hadn’t been that weight since the 80’s.

Pay attention to your warning gauges. Are there things that have become habit forming for you that are unhealthy or unsafe? What can you do to change the trend? Recognizing unhealthy habits is half the battle, now do yourself a favor and look for a healthy habit to replace those undesirable coping techniques.

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