That’s a lock: Entering maintenance mode after dropping 30 pounds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

One of the food craves I knew I had to cut out when I started my diet as the calendar flipped to 2019 was country-style steak.

So when my wife cooked up one of my former favorite meats for her dad last week, I knew I had accomplished my goal of dropping 30 pounds by the midpoint of the year when I asked her to make me a “to-go” plate to eat later.

That hasn’t been on my menu for months since my wife and I decided to joined the resolution crowd and lose some weight. Yeah, I know, we weren’t alone.

But we did it. In fact, I’ve had a couple of people ask me if I was sick or something was wrong with my trimmer look.

We thought about all the different named diets and approaches, but after a couple of weeks of angst over every detail on the nutrition labels, we ultimately settled on a common sense approach.

This was the basic formula — to eat more protein but don’t totally cut out the carbs — just do everything in moderation, reduce the portions on the plate and eliminate late-night snacks and sweets. Drink lots more water and much less sweet tea and soda. And keep moving — including more exercise.

That’s it. As I’ve said before, nothing fancy but just be consistent.

We realized after a while that although we were dieting, life gets in the way. You’ll be at gatherings where everyone is eating pizza. Or you might be at a cookout where you either eat hamburgers and hot dogs — or you don’t eat.

So on those days early on when we were bad, we’d just try to balance it out the next day or two.

And it worked. By early May, I had arrived at my target weight. My wife isn’t far behind.

Since then, it’s been a transition to maintenance mode, which means being able to have some of those craves more often since the daily calorie intake can now rise a bit.

Hey, besides the country-style steak and maybe an occasional slice of cheesecake, I might start adding a little butter to the popcorn again.

Life is good.

• • • • •

Part of losing weight and staying in shape includes regular exercise, which is always easier for me to accomplish than cutting back on my favorite foods.

I’ve got to share a story I heard from one of my buddies at my gym about one of his friends thinking all of his belongings had been taken out of his locker — with the lock still intact — while he was working out.

How could that possibly happen?

He rushed to the front desk and told the person there what happened. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time. As they walked back into the locker room, the front-desk attendant opened the locker next to it … and all of his stuff was right where he left it.

Unfortunately, he had closed the locker with his possessions inside and reached down to get his lock — and put it on the locker beside it.

So, if you ever go to the locker room and unlock the lock and there’s nothing there, don’t panic. Just check the locker next door.

• • •

Maybe it wasn’t a cornfield in Iowa, but I felt like I was in a more modern setting of “Field of Dreams” in a recent trip to a wonderful slice of small-town America — Pulaski, Virginia — for a minor-league baseball game.

Pulaski, which is located near Roanoke about an hour and a half from here, is 5 miles off I-81. You get off the interstate and head north on U.S. 11 up Draper Mountain and then down into Pulaski.

The first thing you see before entering town is Calfee Park, the beautiful facility that is the home of the New York Yankees’ Appalachian League (Rookie) affiliate.

As you might expect, the Yankees have a first-class park, probably a bit fancy for the usual home fields in a league for aspiring minor-league rookie players who are generally 18- to 21-years old.

Adding to the “Field of Dreams” theme was the celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the movie and the appearance the night I was there by Dwier Brown — who had a short stint as John Kinsella and is remembered for his touching father-son moment with Kevin Costner.

In the film’s closing exchange Costner’s Ray Kinsella calls out, “Hey dad, wanna have a catch?” And Brown’s character answers, “I’d like that.”

It was a classic movie about Costner plowing under a cornfield to build a baseball diamond on his land with all the likely family plot lines, and then the ghosts of great players emerging to play ball. But it was ultimately about being much more, including having second chances to make things right in life.

It was certainly a pleasant night for me watching some ball and soaking in the atmosphere. I could almost envision the long line of cars on the roads leading to the field on the farm in the movie stretching down Draper Mountain entering Pulaski’s Calfee Park.