I’m 30 Again and My Wife Doesn’t Like It

 

I’m 30 Again and My Wife Doesn’t Like It

Nope, not my age, just my waist

HEALTH

Adobe Firefly image of a digital scale indicating 150 lbs
Adobe Firefly image by author

Today I dug through a pile of very old jeans and found two pairs of 30–30 to put aside. The rest were mostly 32–30 and 33–30; I’ll be putting those in a clothing collection box the next time I go out.

I can wear the 30 inch waist again.

Really, I’ve been able to for months, but I’ve been cinching up my belt and tugging the 32’s up all day because I wanted to make sure I am really there, that the weight and the waist aren’t coming back.

I am really there.

I’m happy about that. It’s required years of cutting calories — no keto, Atkins, or anything like that — and exercise, but I’m there again, back where I was as a young man. If I had to attribute my success to only one thing, I’d give the award to retirement. No more work stress, no more hours of driving, no more fast food on the road, plenty of free time for exercise.

There are some wrinkles though, mostly on my face. I look older.

Sometimes a mirror or a reflection in a glass window will catch me by surprise and an involuntary “Whoah!” will leak out. When we do a FaceTime with our daughters I wonder who that old man on the couch beside my wife could be.

It’s me, but not the me I know.

And my wife doesn’t like it. As my waist has melted and my face has drawn in, she has regularly reminded me that “A little fat is good for you as you get older.” When that didn’t work, she ramped it up to “You look old!”

Well, hell, I am old. I’m a 1948 model and I have some rust. But here’s the thing: since losing the excess weight, I feel better. I’m more energetic, peppier, and I have more spring in my step. I’m a tad over 5–10 and 150 pounds, which is not overly skinny, at least by my standards. I’d give me slim, okay? And I like slim. It feels good to be slim again and step into my old 30–30's.

I’d rather look old and feel young than the other way around. Why wouldn’t I?

Losing weight isn’t easy. As I noted, retirement helped me avoid crap food, relieved stress, and gave more more time for exercise. I also used the Lose It app to track calories, though my use was perhaps a bit unorthodox.

I did not set a calorie goal. Lose It is never 100% accurate and the level of activity I do will always vary. So what I did (and still do) was weigh myself every morning. I learned from this that if I ate about 2200 calories a day, I’d neither lose nor again. Above 2600, I’d gain; 1800 or below caused a small loss.

I aimed for small losses.

If I lost too much, I ate more that day. I did not want to lose weight too quickly because I don’t think that’s healthy. I’d also let myself plateau for days and sometimes weeks to help my system “know” where I want to be. I think that’s important too. If I can get my body “set” at a weight, it tends to stay there without much attention.

Then I’d cut back a bit and drop a few tenths of a pound. That’s all I was looking for, just a minor drop repeated for a few days, then I’d let it plateau again. Rinse, repeat. Nothing rushed, nothing drastic, no hunger pains, no agony. Just a slow, steady trip down.

And here I am, happy as a slimmed down pig, if that’s a thing. I’m 30–30, old as at least some dirt, with a wrinkled neck and some deeper smile lines.

But dammit, I am smiling, aren’t I?

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