No decision is still a decision, and sometimes it is the wrong one. That’s what I’m told.
I made an important decision in December 2019, sometime between stepping off the scale in the Doctor’s office and our family supper that evening. “I’m going to lose some weight,” I told my dear wife Sandy and the rest of the family.
You see, I had weighed 165 pounds when I got married in 1998, so I really did not appreciate that 180 pound number staring at me unblinkingly from the doctor’s scale. Enough is enough, I said to myself. You’ve gotta get that weight off, I said. I ordered a digital scale on Amazon, began cutting back on food, and upped my running regimen. It’s time to do something, I said again, this time adding a clenched jaw and steely eyes for effect.
Three weeks later, well into January of 2020, I stepped on the digital scale to see how I was doing. Okay, not great. 182 pounds. Well, at least there is movement, I tried to console myself. But this is strange. I’ve been watching what I eat AND running more. How did I gain two pounds?
It’s been a strange year. Much of what has come our way I would not have even thought to include in a novel--it’s too far out. A pandemic? Protests and counter-protests? The death of civil discourse? Republicrats don’t like Democublicans? The election was hacked? Wait, the election wasn’t hacked? Swabs from Covid tests are implanting nanoparticles in the brain that are controlled by supercomputers manipulating the masses, all with access to individual Social Security numbers obtained when the Covid test was taken? Elvis was sighted in Holmes County? Wait, what? What is actually true? In all the strangeness, one thing I’ve done this year more than any other year of my life is run. I’ve passed 500 miles of running. All over the Bronx I’ve pounded the asphalt, pavement, and trails. I’ve tried to cut back on desserts, eat smaller portions of food, and run run run. This was, after all, the year to lose weight.
At a pastor’s meeting last weekend, one of the brothers talked about an article he had read citing statistics from CEO’s who were interviewed regarding the decisions they make. Apparently about 50% of their decisions turned out to be the wrong decisions. My pastor friend, who usually sees the glass half full, said he was encouraged by that statistic. It kind of takes the pressure off, he said. We don’t have to always have to be right, he said. I like his positive spirit. Another pastor said “No decision is still a decision, and sometimes not making a decision is the wrong thing to do.” I had heard that before. But it made my mind head back to December of 2019 and THE DECISION. I had decided to lose weight, and it’s a good thing I did. Because the morning of that pastor’s meeting I had stepped on my trusty ole digital scale and saw 184 pounds staring unblinkingly back at me. Well, first I had to suck in my stomach to see over it to the scale.
Wow. Here I had been trying to watch my weight this year. I had been running more. And 330 plus days into the year with all of that, I had gained four pounds.
Look on the bright side, I said to myself. I could have gained 400 pounds instead of just 4. Imagine where I would be now if I hadn’t made that decision? Goodyear may be hiring me out for their blimp commercials. Sara Lee or Jenny Craig may be calling me for a before (and hopefully after) picture for their advertisements. I may have reached the unique accomplishment of being able to balance my coffee cup on my belly button while standing.
Thank God for decisions. I think I made the right decision last December.
What decisions will I make this month that affect me next year?
Postlude: This post was written as a kind of good-humored jab at myself for my inability to lose weight this year, despite trying hard to do so. For any of my friends who may be struggling with extra weight and its effects, please know that this tongue-in-cheek expose of my lack of success is not in any way designed to make you feel bad about what you may be facing. If you do happen to feel that I was insensitive in my narrative, by all means please let me know and I will consider revising my narrative.
And maybe we can share a box of Oreos together?
Son of the Father, husband to Sandy, father of six amazing gifts, Bronx brother, active participant in Believers in Jesus Church, insurance adjuster, occasional runner