Friday, December 12, 2008

Better Living Through Eating


As I may have stated, I was a tall, skinny guy most of my life. I'm not skinny today because of 19 years of marriage, working, and going to sleep on the couch after eating dinner. Today, I stand at 6'1+1/4"and I weigh 220 lbs. If you had known me as a young man, you probably would have never believed that I would ever reach 200 pounds, let alone pass it. I think when I was 25 years old, I might have weighed 160 pounds and that's stretching it a bit. I always had a voracious appetite and I could eat any three people under the table. I also had a crazy metabolism so, I never gained much weight. It didn't bother me because it was never my goal in life to be Johnny Atlas.

However, I did set goals for myself, with the reward always being to treat myself with some kind of dish. I think the idea came from my fourth grade teacher who told us to always set goals for ourselves... small goals and when we achieved these goals, to reward ourselves. I couldn't reward myself with much in my early years because I didn't have much money, so I guess I rewarded myself with food.

In college, I had a ritual... I would study for a test all week and stay up half the night two days before the big test, drinking coffee and studying. My girlfriend at the time, Shelly (who I've mentioned in previous posts), hated this because it meant that I kept her up too, drinking coffee and studying to the point of giddiness. Then, she would oversleep and either be late for or miss her classes the next day. The day before a big test, usually the finals, I wouldn't study at all. I would sleep late, not go to any classes, put on some Frankie Beverly & Maze, and just chill... sitting in my room sipping on some wine coolers and relaxing. Then, the next day, I would take the big test, ace it, and then give myself a reward. The reward would be a big juicy sirloin steak, baked potato with sour cream, and maybe some creamed spinach. I felt as though I deserved it.

Years later in the military, if we had a successful drill or operation I did the same thing or I celebrated with steak and eggs (three eggs to be exact) for breakfast. The day after I got married, my new bride and I celebrated with a huge pancake breakfast that featured hash browns, sausage, and two eggs. It was okay because the U.S. Air Force was making me run three miles a day and do so many push ups, sit ups, squat thrusts, etc. Plus, I was riding bikes in the afternoon and playing several games of basketball with the guys in my unit. I was in great shape and I was "burning it off", as they say.

When we bought our first house, my wife and I celebrated by ordering Chinese food and sitting on the bare floors of our new house (that had no furniture and echoed because it was so empty) and ate and laughed at our good fortune. I had discovered this new Chinese food dish called "General Tso's Chicken" that I'm still hooked on to this day.

When I got my drivers license, I introduced my driving instructor, who was an Arab named Muhammad, to African-American soul food. I took him to a place in Germantown that I used to frequent and we had smothered pork chops, turnip greens, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, and sweet ice tea. He loved it! He said, "American soul man, you are the greatest!"... a high tribute, indeed.

Some friends of mine used to play the numbers on the street and if one of us hit, that person took all of us to a dive called "Scotty's" in West Philly that served great soul food and we had a couple of cold beers and sodas to wash it down.

Well, years and years of this type of "celebrating" not only slowed my metabolism down but, changed that once skinny, scrawny young man into a contender for the heavyweight championship of the world. I couldn't believe it when the scale said 220 lbs. yesterday! All of which brings me to this conclusion... next year, I'm getting on my exercise bike, going swimming and running, and hopefully in March, I can write a post about how I'm down to 200 lbs... maybe even 190 lbs. That's my goal. I'm going to find a better way to "celebrate" my milestones and it won't be eating.

There was a girl in that same fourth grade class, who lives just a few blocks away from me. She's an undertaker now and I talked to her about our fourth grade teacher, who she laid out when she passed away. I asked her how did she celebrate her milestones. She told me that she bought herself a new pair of shoes. If I had done that, I'd be writing a completely different post, now wouldn't I?

21 comments:

Reggie said...

You are too much!!!:)

Toni said...

Keith, you are too funny-lolol.

Angie B. said...

Ditto ,what my room-mate said-LMAO

Vanessa said...

You're a big man...I find Tall and Big men very attractive..don't lose too much weight.-lololol.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Use that exercise bike brother. It works..

Tate 2 said...

The Exercise Bike is the thing. Check out GNC...They have a number of things you can drink that will help you.

Simon Bastion said...

See if there are any health care kitchens in your area. They serve
a lot of nutrients and foods of that type that help you lose weight fast.

James Perkins said...

This Post made me hungry-lolol.

Lisa said...

I like tall guys..big guys too..
Keith, if you're not broke..there is nothing to fix.-lololol.

Sunflower said...

Good Health is always essential..
Good luck to you in your quest for
self improvemant.

Halo said...

This was a funny post ,but a serious one too...We all need to check our weight.

Jazzy said...

Good post Keith, Good luck in your
health initiative.Eat healthier,
Live longer..I say.

CurvyGurl said...

Hey, American soul man! Most of us have battled the bulge. I lost 30 pounds this summer so it'll be a breeze for you. Keep us updated.

Angel said...

Good Luck for the weight loss Keith, It will be a breeze! That post was funny but like James said, it made me hungry so I’m going to the kitchen...see you later :)

Opinionated Diva said...

I guess, without realizing it, I was doing the same thing and have been doing so, since I was a kid. We celebrated most accomplishments with a "get together" or small party and of course there was always lots of good food that's bad for you.

Like you, I definitely need to get back on track...eating healthier and becoming more active. The older you get the harder it is to keep the pounds off.

LadyLee said...

Look at you, got that new years resolution thang going already!

I celebrate my milestones by going to a movie!

Mizrepresent said...

Keith, this was too cute! I love it! I too love to celebrate my milestones with eating...i mean really what's better than eating...except all that extra weight! Come Jan, i'm back to working out again too! Kudo's to you!

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

If you ever come to Atlanta and need a running partner, look me up :)

Keith said...

@Beautifully Conjured Up- Okay!-lol

Swaggie said...

I'm all late and what not...Loved that photo..that made me hungry.lolol ..nice post Keith

Shanita Waters said...

"I couldn't reward myself with much in my early years because I didn't have much money, so I guess I rewarded myself with food."

That's my problem right there all summed up in one sentence. I still do this.

Scotty's was the bomb! Are they still open?




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