We have been here before.

I am not giving up sugar. That would be crazy. And sad. And, most relevantly, impossible. I am giving up on: sugary snacks, cakes, biscuits/cookies, desserts. No more cocoas at the end of the day. Just a little splash of chocolate here and there.

It sounds hellish but…it’s not. Not yet.

The idea of the treat is better than the treat itself, almost every time. It’s like the three-bite rule, which may or may not be a real thing, but a friend of mine told me about it years ago. The first three bites (or sips) of a tasty thing are awesome – after that, the pleasure subsides. Three bites of cheesecake are awesome; the whole slice is a grind. Three sips of thick, comforting cocoa are impossible to better; drinking the whole mug becomes a by-rote process.

I keep this in mind when I think of having some shortbread cookies with my Friday afternoon coffee. And then I have a banana instead, which might have the same amount of sugar, who knows? What I do know is that you shouldn’t dunk your banana in a cup of hot coffee.

Not a euphemism, but could be a euphemism.

One difference from last time is that I’m partnering better eating with some kind of half-arsed exercise regime. The treadmill is out of its semi-storage world and back front and center, every week day. 20 minutes of purposeful striding and podcasts, every step recorded on my Apple Watch. More or less. Sometimes when I think I’m exercising, my watch is not convinced and so doesn’t give me credit for it.

But, yes, I now have an Apple Watch. I didn’t see the point of Apple Watches, but then my wife wanted one to track her exercising. So I went with her, the sales person told us there was a two-for-one deal, and now we both have an Apple Watch.

For full price, I don’t think I’d recommend them. There are cheaper options out there that do much the same thing. For half-price, I love my Apple Watch. It measures my steps, my heart rate, how often I take a standing break during the day. It congratulates me when I meet or beat my daily goals. It enquires about my health if I don’t move my little tracking bars as much as I had yesterday. It informs me, without judgement, that I’m not getting enough sleep.

It’s measuring my life and I love it.

My wife usually forgets hers and I see it on her charging stand. Such is the irony of everyday life.

At my last medical check-up, my doctor noted what we both could see, just from my body shape. I had put on a remarkable amount of weight over the past year. Some of this was anxiety weight – eating my way through some stressful times. But, his gaze told me, I needed to be making a change.

As per usual, he didn’t take the initiative in terms of actually telling me what to do. He was more like, “What do you think you should do?” Which is great because I have zero medical or nutrition-based qualifications, so I should definitely be the one making these decisions.

ME: Well, I’m changing the way I’m eating.
DOC: Good! What are you doing?
ME: Cutting way down on sugar.
DOC: So, a low-carb diet?
ME: Heh. Good one. No, I mean I’m cutting down on cake.
DOC: Oh.
ME: And cookies.
DOC: Well, that’s good, there’s-
ME: And ice cream.
DOC: Yes.
ME: Pie, sweets – I mean, candies…
DOC: No nutritional value there-
ME: Puddings…

I suggested that losing 30 lbs would be a good start. He nodded, tapped on his keyboard. “30 lbs,” he mumbled. And that was it. My plan. Get up early, walk on a moving walkway for 20 minutes for five days a week, stay off the cake. See how far that moves the dial in two months.

If it doesn’t work, I figure I’ll just chop off my left leg. That’s got to be worth a few pounds. I’ll suggest it to my doc next time, just to see what he thinks.

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