I’M AFRAID I’VE GROWN A GUT. I was always a skinny kid. A skinny young man. A skinny middle-ager.
But Mom said I would grow gut one day.
One Day has come.
I’ve just compared my gut size to profile photos of pregnant women. As best I can tell, if I were a miracle beyond biblical proportion, I would be about three months pregnant.
My daughter got me one of those health bands you wear on your wrist. They can tell you everything from about how many steps you’ve taken in the day to how well you slept at night. The app that’s related to the band also makes it easy to keep track of calories.
I had shredded wheat, four blackberries, and orange juice for breakfast. I dictated that into my phone and it showed me how many calories I had eaten, and how many calories I had left to eat in the day. The amount of calories for the day is determined partly by the goal weight I set for myself. It’s a goal weight that does not involve the illusion of pregnancy.
One week into it, I find the system incredibly motivating. I’ve been coming in under the calorie count every day except one. I missed that one accidentally. Who knew a bowl of chili had that many calories?
I am on track to hit my target weight by March. I picked the “Moderate” approach among the options available. “Moderation is best in all things” wrote a Greek poet name Hesiod (about 700 BC).
The Bible seems to teach moderation, too. Especially when it comes to food.
“It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets” (Proverbs 25:27).
“If you find honey, don’t eat too much, or it will make you throw up” (Proverbs 25:16).
“If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat” (Proverbs 23:2).
Okay, that last one sounds like it came from an old sage whose little sister got squashed by a fat guy who fell off a camel. But I get the point, exaggerated though I hope it is.
The New Year can be nothing more than a new calendar on the wall. With pictures of another dozen dogs.
But sometimes, it can mark the beginning of something new for us.
That may be hard to imagine because wherever we go we take ourselves with us. We step into the New Year with our old self and the worn out bags we bring with us. (Guys, no intended reference to the Little Ladies.)
Still, any day can begin a makeover – spiritual, physical, emotional. But the New Year feels especially suited to that.
I’ve brought my gut into 2015. I expect to leave it there. And I’m going on record saying it. It’s called accountability. Some of you tend to follow up on me, I know. Boy do I know.
I’ve got other things I’d like to do differently this year. I’m thinking about them now. If it seems like a good time for you to do the same, you’ve got my blessing.
But don’t take that “knife to the throat” thing literally. The sage was probably having a bad day. It happens.