The ending of an old year and the beginning of a new year affords us many opportunities. For one, it offers us the chance to leave some things behind ... to move on. Some things are better left to the past. And too, we can look back and take stock of the past year and consider all the blessings we enjoyed.

The new year brings the promise of a new beginning. Hope springs eternal when we look to the future. Changes can be made; wrongs can be righted, and, hopefully, unfulfilled dreams realized.

And, of course, the New Year is a good time for resolutions. The pessimist will say that most new year’s resolutions are never kept, at least not for very long. I say the world always moves forward whenever any progress is made. So, if you are considering a resolution this year, have at it.

Surveys to determine the most popular new year’s resolutions always list losing weight at or near the top. Most people are inclined to pick up a few pounds around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

All of us tend to add pounds as we age, especially after we turn 40.

My metabolism started playing dirty tricks on me when I reached 40. It got worse at 50. Research in health and fitness now shows that after 50, we will gain two to five pounds every year unless we make a serious effort to control our weight.

If you weighed 170 at age 50, you could easily weigh 190 to 220 at age 60.

Twenty years ago, the National Institutes of Health came up with some new guidelines based on body mass index (BMI).

BMI is calculated from a simple formula using height and weight.

According to my BMI, based on my height of 5-foot-9 1/2 inches, I should weigh 169 pounds. My post-Thanksgiving weight as of today is 198 pounds.

According to the National Institutes

of Health, I am officially classified as over-

weight.

If I weighed 203, I would be classified as obese or according to Webster’s, very fat.

Let’s be honest here … I will probably never see 169 again, but I am going to lose some weight before spring.

Here’s why.

The medical community is in agreement that the extra five or 10 pounds that tends to accumulate around our middles really messes with our body’s use of insulin.

That much extra weight makes a big difference.

Besides that, my clothes don’t fit right. My pants are too tight. I feel pudgy. I hate feeling pudgy.

I feel better when I’m leaner. I feel better physically, and I feel better about myself.

And I have lots

more energy.

Then, why do I let myself get in this shape, adding 10-15 pounds that I don’t need or want? It’s simple. I’m like you. I like to eat, and I’m not really picky. And as I

age, I have less energy, and it requires being active to burn away those calories.

So on Jan. 1, I started the Jack McCall 2.3 ounce-per-day diet. It is based on a simple concept that finds its value in the wisdom of the ages. It can be stated many ways … “One day at a time;” “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step;” “Little strokes fell great oaks;” “Life is hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch;” or, one of my favorites, “How do you eat an elephant … a bite at a time.”

A fellow professional-speaking friend of mine presents a great seminar on health and fitness. One of his speaking props is a five-pound, vacuum-sealed blob of human fat.

It’s really disgusting.

In his presentation, he holds it up and asks, “How would you like to carry this around all day?” It’s an excellent question.

I asked myself this question … “How do you get rid of that much fat?

I decided a long time ago that I couldn’t handle 10 pounds, or five pounds, or one pound ... but 2.3 ounces, I can handle.

I can lose 2.3 ounces a day.

I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.

Of course, 2.3 ounces multiplied by seven days equals 16.1 ounces (one pound.)

Ten weeks of losing 16.1ounces equals 10 pounds and 10 ounces … voila.

Dr. Charlie Shedd wrote an interesting little book a few years ago titled, “The Fat is in Your Head.” The gist of the book is this … change the way you think, and you’ll change the way you eat.

When I’m thinking 2.3 ounces, I carefully consider everything I eat.

If I should overdo it on the eating one day, I exercise more.

Research now confirms that 3,500 calories translate into one pound. You can knock that out this way.

Drop 500 calories every day for seven days.

At the end of the week a pound is gone.

Is it easy? Of course not. Who ever said it would be easy?

Remember what your mother said, “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.”

I wish you well in your efforts to improve yourself and your world in 2022.

In doing so, I think of the words of Jimmy Stewart in the movie “Shenandoah” ... “I had to try, because if you don’t try, you don’t do. And if you don’t do, why were we put here in the first place?”

Happy new year.

Hartsville resident Jack McCall is an author and motivational speaker.

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