The country’s another year older – how about you?

Doug Parks
Jun 29, 2019

Happy Canada Day, but here’s the wake-up call: unless you change your eating behavior, you will continue to gain more rapidly every year. The ground was probably laid back when you were that young man with boundless energy. In those days you got into the habit of having greasy lunches on the run. You also drank quite a lot of soft drinks and beer. You never thought about what you ate or how much you ate, because it didn’t seem to matter. You were still growing, and you were still exercising frequently. For a while it seemed like you couldn’t gain weight, and if you did, it would be gone again after summer break. Unfortunately, this is where your bad eating habits were becoming really engrained, never again to be questioned.

When you started working, all of a sudden you spent most days sitting down; 175 pounds gradually became 190 pounds. You had a little less energy, but you still played pick-up basketball once or twice a week or maybe the odd game of tennis on the weekend. At some point, your meals became more regular, although you didn’t have time for breakfast before going to work- you wanted to stay as long as you could in bed with your partner. You made up for breakfast with a mid-morning muffin and coffee with cream. Your weight was now creeping up to 200 pounds. Remember that promise that you had made to yourself that your weight would never go over 200? That you would never buy size 38 pants?

Oh, well, you said to yourself- “When I get more established at my job, I’ll have time to go to the gym and sweat it off” In the meantime, you also noticed that your appetite had increased and that even when you did allow time for a proper breakfast, you still had that muffin mid-morning.

Work could be frustrating, but you were finding relaxation and relief with a few drinks and then a steak dinner with a bottle of wine. You made a concerted effort to go to the gym. You were only able to sweat off five pounds. By the age of 40, you’re losing the battle. You’re now 30 or 40 or 100 or more pounds overweight, and the weight gain has become a runaway train.

If your 20-year-old self could see you right now, would he recognize you? If he could talk to you at this moment, he’d probably say, “How could you have let this happen to me? You used to be able to leap over walls with unstoppable energy and now, in your early forties, you weigh in at 245 and you’re exhausted. Worse yet, you have high blood pressure and your cholesterol is way up!” So what are you going to do about it?

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