Mike Beck after his 40-pound weight loss on Nov. 7, 2012. / T'xer Zhon Kha/12 For '12
I recently attended an industry meeting, and I was greatly impressed.
Sure, we talked about technical innovation, new market strategies and business goals for the coming year.
But what really got me was how much cake was left after dinner.
Time was, at any company gathering, my colleagues and I would devour our desserts without restraint. Thatís after we practically licked our dinner plates clean.
But I noticed a significant change this year. Not only have some of my friends realized a need to curb their dessert impulse, they have smaller frames to show for it. Several looked healthier and more energetic, and it was encouraging.
I made a point to compliment them on their changes because I have benefited from many people encouraging my efforts of the past year. It may be slightly embarrassing, but itís nice when people notice that I have lost weight.
Itís taken some discipline: eating less, exercising more and not beating myself up if I fall short.
Since early December last year, I have lost about 40 pounds. Thatís a big turkey and a half Iím not carrying around anymore, and that has helped in ways I had not anticipated.
Iím not as creaky in the morning. I have more energy. I am more flexible.
I was more physically active this summer than I had been for years, bike riding in the mornings and on weekends. And it felt great.
But frankly, the biggest daily benefit: I fit into smaller clothes, and I like that.
I noted that my friends looked healthier. Beyond the visible effects of this journey, thatís certainly true for me.
With the help of drugs, diet and exercise, my total cholesterol has dropped 30 percent. Take that, Norwegian genetics!
My resting pulse has dropped by at least 30 points, and my blood pressure is lower, too.
So itís all good, right? I can pat myself on the back and move on. Ö Right?
I started this column declaring that I was obese, according to the Body Mass Index. Despite my progress, Iím still considered overweight.
But I donít think Iíll obsess over numbers too much. The past year hasnít been about arbitrary, impersonal benchmarks.
I plan to continue this lifestyle change for me ó and for my family.
My hope for the new year is that other curmudgeons and skeptics like me (and some of my colleagues) will consider a lifestyle change. If so, I wish you the best of luck ó itís worth the effort.
Also, enjoy your dessert while you can.
Michael Beck is general manager/executive editor of Daily Herald Media and Stevens Point Journal Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.