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Editor considers weighty issues

Easy WriterThomas Martinez

An old joke goes something like this: You know you need to do something about your weight when a flight attendant designates your potbelly as carry-on luggage.I’ve actually lived that, trying to fit that “carry-on luggage” in a skinny airplane seat. That was/is me.You see, I’ve struggled with weight for most of my life.(OK, enter your own fat joke here. It doesn’t bother me.)I entered high school a chubby 175 pounds. Peer pressure helped me leave high school about 150 pounds.Post-high school freedom and the first year of college showed me 200 for the first time in my life. Three years in the Army helped me back down to a respectable 175 pounds.When I went back to school and finished college, got married, started earning a living behind a desk (read: Got lazy), well, my weight really ballooned.According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, about 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children were obese or overweight in the year 2000.I was leading the charge.One day about 18 months ago, I woke up to the fact that I was 293 pounds. That’s right, almost 300 big ones.I had a lot of the health problems associated with being obese, chief among them diabetes.So I could have gone on eating myself to death, or I could have undergone a lifestyle change.Some health officials say obesity has leaped over smoking as the No. 1 preventable health problem.So, I chose the lifestyle change. I started exercising – again – and it felt good. I watched what I ate.And little by little, the pounds started melting off, and the diabetes was under control.A popular television show, “The Biggest Loser” pits fat people against one another to see who loses the most weight. It’s an interesting show I try to watch whenever I get a chance. (OK, that’s most every week. I’m hooked on the show.)I relate to the people on the show because I lived their struggles.Eventually, I lost 66 pounds, just 26 pounds short of my final goal of 200.OK, don’t start patting me on the back just yet.I’ve slipped a little bit since I’ve moved here. I’m still exercising as much if not more than ever. But my eating habits have disintegrated. I’ve gone back to eating junk food, sweets, too many snacks – all the good stuff that sticks in all the wrong places. I’ve lost control again.I figure if I go public, such as with this column, then I’ll get a stark reality check.Nothing is a better wake-up call than a public pledge.I pledge to crack down again on my eating habits, keep exercising and meet my final weight goal. Look, I know I’ll never be skinny, but 200 is the weight I think I can live comfortably with.So, it’s time for me to get back on track. If you see me with a cookie in my hand, take it from me. Or if you see me, ask me how my pledge is going.I don’t want to have to live this fat joke forever: I’ve really put on weight. I’ve gone from pinch-an-inch to rub-a-tub. Thomas Martinez is the Post Independent managing editor. He pledges to stop eating the cookies in the graphics department.Thomas Martinez is the Post Independent managing editor. He pledges to stop eating the cookies in the graphics department.


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