By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
I’ve recently encountered 2 new foes in my battle.
First, a new scale.
You fellow battlers know what I am talking about. You get to know the scale you weigh in on. You develop a relationship with it. You know how to work it.
Over time, you learn how and where to position yourself to get the reading you want.
A cold scale, for example, is best before the springs warm up and begin telling you the truth.
Well, I had a relationship with the Davenport North Family Y‘s scale. It was like a doctor’s scale, with 2 bars at about chest level to slide up or down till they were balanced.
If you needed to lose a pound or 2 on your reading with this scale, you could slide the big weight a bit to the left side of the notch before stepping on it. IT WAS NOT CHEATING. I was technically “in” the notch!
I liked that scale. It gave me a better attitude than I had a right to have on many a Monday morning.
But there’s no applying a charming personality to Y’s new scale. It’s an indifferent slab of metal that is attached to an eye-level digital readout on the wall. Like the scale you put Fido on at the vet.
Apparently, the old scale took kindly to me and often showed me what I wanted to see. Not this newcomer. It shows the cold, hard truth.
And it shows that I am up a few more pounds than I want to be. I don’t know how that could be. I’m not eating any differently than I have for the last 4 years.
And yet, am I?
Foe #2: A Monolithic Company
About 6 months ago, the company that bakes the rounds that I put my peanut butter on EVERY morning changed the formula.
The rounds went from being an innocuous peanut butter delivery system to a thick, chewy slab that dominated the sandwich.
And the calorie count of the rounds went from 100 to 150!
The calorie boost outraged me, so I had to act. First, I added more peanut butter to offset the thicker rounds.
(Yes, yes. This is probably the source of the new scale readings. As they say, we only see what we want to see, and for some time, I only saw a BAD, ERROR-PRONE scale.)
Then, I did what anyone confronted with my dire circumstances would do: I complained on Facebook.
The company said the new rounds had been tested with consumers and this was the way forward.
Not for me, it wasn’t. No way would I let them fatten me up.
Before I got serious about a lifestyle change 4 years ago, this new scale and the new rounds would have done me in. After all, I was already great at convincing myself that extra slices of pizza and left-over holiday candy were well-earned rewards for working out.
Not anymore. I pay attention to exactly what I put into my mouth. And extra bread is not on the acceptable list. So I decided to fight back.
Ingenious Battlefield Maneuvers
#1. No more rounds for me. I now buy regular loaves of whole-grain bread and slice them in half lengthwise. It takes about 15 minutes to slice up an entire loaf for the week, but I end up with about the same number of calories as my old rounds delivered.
#2. That new scale is learning who’s boss. I’ve started a HIIT (high intensity interval training) regimen, using my regular exercise routine, but ramping it up according to HIIT guidelines. I’ll let you know in a month or 2 how it’s going.
To someone not on this battlefield, my latest issues may seem a bit obsessive. But to you fellow warriors, this skirmish CAN be won.
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|