When I got home, I told my wife what had happened and that I intended to start doing something about it on the day after Labor Day. Being a man of my word, I was up early and out to the fitness center at CentraState Hospital in Freehold. I had been swimming laps at the fitness center's Olympic-length pool for a number of years, but had fallen out of the habit a few months earlier. It is important to note for you that while I had not been to the center in many months, I had been paying my $75 monthly fee all along.
Anyway, I entered the swimming pool and did about a dozen lengths. I knew that the worst thing to do was to try and recapture my old many-lap-mode too quickly. It was not my intention to spend the next several days nursing the pains from muscles which had been rousted from a slumber of many months. Pain and I do not get on that well. I have the pain tolerance of an aging sissy-girl.
Let me also suggest that part of my motivation came from my buddy Steve Austin. A while ago he began walking. He felt the need to exercise and over the course of a number of months, he lost a lot of inches. I saw this and marveled at it. Of course I really did nothing about my issues at the time, but Steve's efforts impressed me. He now walks about five miles most days.
In addition, my best friend in the world, Jack Peltier of Marlboro, Massachusetts, had lost nearly 200 pounds between actually trying to lose weight and almost dying from an obscure medical condition. He indicated that losing weight while one is healthy is much better than being unconscious for a couple of months and waking up thinner. He also pointed out that I should try to lose my weight a little bit at a time.
Anyway, over the next several months I reigned in my eating and ramped up my swimming. However, at no point was it my intention to go on any sort of a crash diet. I was happy to see a pound or two drop away each month. I have managed to stop television-based grazing sessions at night and limit myself to the normal-human-being quantity of three meals per day. As a matter of fact, the manager at our local Dunkin' Donuts store must think that I have died or moved.
Now for the truth part of the story my friends. I am still fat. Given my body style, I will probably always look fat. Fortunately for me, I am not as fat as I was last year. I have lost nearly 40 pounds since Labor Day and am now wearing those three suits which the tailor gave up for dead last September. The same for my fire company uniform (the old one). I am now swimming three days a week and walking a bit on the off days. It is my intention to ramp up the walking a bit now that the weather is warming up.
My lesson for you today is this. Even the most lard-butted amongst us can have a Hallelujah moment. I have a lot to live for. I want to be at the ordination of my son in June when he becomes a Priest in the Diocese of Trenton. I am also suggesting that I want to be around to walk my two daughters (Ellen and Katie) down the aisle at their weddings. I want to dance to that old wedding favorite, "Daddy's Little Girl."
I do not want a line of duty funeral. I do not want to keel over dead from a heart attack at a fire. I do not want people to march in a funeral procession for me, at least not for another twenty years. And on a crass personal level, I want to keep collecting my fire and military pensions until I am a grey-haired little old man.
Let me suggest that it is never too late for any of us to come to the table. If chubby old Harry Carter can do it, anyone can