Bye Bye Cookies and Soda; Hello Gym

In a Dec. 30 column listing my New Year's Resolutions, I pledged to start working out regularly again and get back to healthy eating habits.

Is it January yet?

Talk about getting off to a rough start. The whole plan was to lose the 15 pounds I had gained since having foot surgery last summer, which forced me out of the gym for quite a while. The good news at that time: I had kept off five of the 20 pounds I had lost a year ago, when this whole fitness thing started.

The bad news: Those five pounds are back. Not only that, another five jumped on along with them, making me five pounds heavier than I was in the beginning. (Well, not really in the beginning. I think I was something like 8 pounds, 10 ounces when this whole thing really started, but you know what I mean).

OK, so now for the excuses. Sure, I have some. You think I'm just going to admit I'm a lazy old man?

Excuse No. 1 -- As soon as toe surgery for a bone fusion took place last July, I went from five days a week in the gym to 24/7 at home on crutches. Or, as my granddaughter Riley called them, my "crunches." Every five minutes it was, "Pop, you need your crunches?" No, Riley, I'll just sit here and feel sorry for myself. Run along, now.

But even though I couldn't work out in the gym for months because of the swelling and healing in my foot, I figured the lack of a workout with weights, cycles, swimming, etc., would be offset by the workout I got on my crutches. Man, I got pretty good on those things. I raced everywhere on them. I had to be burning major calories. Unfortunately, this leads us to the next excuse.

Excuse No. 2 -- Although those thousands of "steps" I took on the crutches was a decent cardio workout, it also screwed up my shoulder. When I finally got off the darn things, I had more pain lifting my arms above my head than in my foot. The doctor's diagnosis: A strained rotator cuff, probably caused by hoisting myself off the ground over and over for months on end, with only my arms to support the weight.

Excuse No. 3 -- Realizing I still couldn't walk normally and now could barely reach back to pull my seat belt across my slowly expanding waistline, I let the frustration get to me. Rather than maintaining the calorie-counting regimen that had worked so well, with protein shakes and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, I gave in to the "Hey, things are on hold anyway, so where's the cookies?" line of thinking.

The other day, remembering my New Year's pledge and feeling somewhat better both physically and mentally, I decided enough was enough. Inspired by a sign of increased healing in my reconstructed toe and by a shot of steroids in my shoulder, I set this week as my return to the gym -- and the salad, apples and small portions of fish and chicken. Sadly, this also means saying goodbye once again to soda, fast food and my all-time favorite -- chocolate chip cookies.

For the record, I don't start this until Wednesday. Right now, I'm enjoying the last few days of ice cream sandwiches, cheeseburgers and Dr. Pepper. But boy, in three more days, I'm attacking those extra 25 pounds like a pit bull in a meat factory.

Four months ago, when I was still new to Menifee, getting back into shape was a process for which I promised to give my loyal readers regular updates. I believe the promo on the Menifee 24/7 Facebook page was something like, "Read about Doug's resolutions and see how he does."

Well, I do believe I am now kinder to others. Beyond that, it's back to square one with those New Year's Resolutions.

So if you see me riding a 10-speed around town (remember, I can't run too well) or stocking up on carrots at the local grocery store, cheer me on. Summertime is coming, and I don't want to be a blob. I still plan on getting those horseback riding lessons, and I would hate to climb on and send some fine steed to its knees.


  1. I hurt my hip about 18 months ago. Afterwards I needed to drop some weight to take pressure off my joints. I stopped drinking diet soda, ate lots of fruits and veggies and switched to whole grains. No matter how hard I tried I could only take off 1- 2 pounds a month. I've lost 25 lbs in a little over a year. I need to drop 20 more. I cannot wait to see your progress. Just remember it is a marathon not a sprint.