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Jim Buice column: Another weighty issue entering new year

A new start. A new year. Welcome, 2021!

And good riddance to 2020, a year unlike any we’ve ever experienced…

While it was comforting to flip the calendar, the coronavirus pandemic still maintains a stranglehold on us — and has even tightened its relentless grip — but let’s hope the vaccine will eventually win out as we move forward in 2021.

With that new beginning, the inevitable “what’s your New Year’s resolution?” always seems to follow, and until the last couple of years when it was time to try to drop a few pounds, I was one who rarely made resolutions.

However, in 2019 I decided it was time to lose some weight after my clothes were no longer fitting. So I felt that setting an ambitious goal of shedding 30-plus pounds required the additional step of turning it into a New Year’s resolution.

By early May that year, I had arrived at my target weight and maintained that for the most part until Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the holiday gatherings — remember this was before COVID-19. It was hard to avoid all the food and goodies the holiday season always has to offer, and by the time I stepped on the scales to greet 2020, I had given back about a third of what I lost.

Sadly, that meant yet another diet — and another resolution — to start the new year in an attempt to get back to the weight I achieved the previous year.

Famous last words, as I shared these words in this space last year: “That makes me more committed than ever to reach — and maintain — my latest weight goal in 2020 so I don’t have to start another new year making another resolution to be broken.”

So here I am again. Wow, why is this so hard? In 2020, I only needed to lose 10 pounds, but after just maintaining in the first two months, I was about to get serious in March with the arrival of warmer weather … when the pandemic hit and all the restrictions took hold, including closing all the gyms.

Uh-oh. That meant no workouts and no racquetball, my best way to burn calories.

I did start walking and playing more tennis, but then in May, I blew out my knee and eventually had to have surgery.

The combination of the pandemic and knee surgery meant more time on the couch than I ever expected. But I still had to eat.

By the conclusion of 2020, I’ve started to pick up my physical activity, but the net result has been a gain of another five pounds for the year instead of a loss of 10 pounds.

Now I’ve given back half of what I shed in 2019, so I’m back again for a third year with yet another resolution to lose weight. I’ll take dropping 5, 10 or 15 pounds — just so I don’t add pounds again.

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It’s hard to believe there was life before the iPhone, especially in these days when many people spend most of their waking hours on these devices.

I was doing some research for a story recently and came across an item about things that didn’t even exist 20 years ago, and iPhones topped the list.

Here’s the rest of the list with another household name leading the way: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Android, iPad, Gmail, Netflix streaming, Wikipedia, Google Maps, Amazon Prime, App Store, SpaceX, Reddit, Snapchat, Skype, Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, Xbox, Waze, iTunes, Hashtag, Chrome, Tesla, Bitcoin, LinkedIn.

I just had to smile and think about how things constantly evolve in our lives, especially involving technology.

I remember my sweet aunt, who passed away last year at age 95, once telling me how excited she was when, as a young girl, she got to use the only telephone in her entire neighborhood and recalling the steady stream of people who came to get on the line.

Many years later, as a senior adult, she took a class on writing and did a story on telephones and the impact of being able to “get in touch” during those days.

I still have a file of some of her stories and looked back to find this one. Here’s the final graph from her “Number Please” short story from 1995.

“Today as I write this, every family has a telephone, some in every room in their house. Many people have a phone in their car.”

My, how times have changed.