Published 12:00 am Monday, January 4, 1999

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / January 4, 1999

The most common form of New Year’s resolutions is the elimination of a bad habit. This may take the form of not eating too much, smoking ordrinking too much.

I have a few bad habits but fortunately, drinking too much and smoking are not among them. Eating too much is another story.There are still a number of people who remember me growing up in Luling, skinny and undersized. For those of you who haven’t seen me since then,I’ve changed. At the time I graduated from Hahnville, I probably weighed115 pounds, soaking wet. I’ve added 100 pounds since those days.Fortunately, I feel, some of that weight went to the right places and I have more muscle than I did in those days when I couldn’t throw a softball as far as most girls and always came in dead last in the 600-yard run.

(Going along with being underweight was having absolutely no athletic talent or ability.)Unfortunately, some of that weight settled into my waistline. My 28-inchwaist blossomed into the 42-inch waist I have now.

Fortunately, I’m doing something about it. I joined a health club and amsticking to lifting weights and running on a treadmill at least three days a week. My weightlifting has already improved and I’m working up a goodsweat on the treadmill.

Unfortunately, taking weight off is so much harder and time-consuming than putting it on. Much of my weight gain game within five years ofgraduating from college, so that by the time I was 30, I was hovering around 200 pounds. Blame a lot of that on my lifestyle of too many fast-food suppers before sitting on my duff through hours of government meetings.

So in the plans for 1999 is my New Year’s resolution to cut my weight to below the 200-pound mark. I’ve made a slight dent already (I was nudging225 not that long ago) but I am going in the right direction.

Along with that is trying to pay attention to what and how I eat. I’malmost rabid in seeking out the fat-free and sugar-free stuff but these past holidays have not helped. I am trying to eat in a more healthy way andI hope by the millennium, when I step out of the shower in the morning, I won’t mind seeing my reflection in the mirror as much as I do now.

Therefore, I am doing something right here I will likely come to regret ever saying – if you see me eating improperly, say something. However, ifyou honestly think I’m improving, say something as well. As anyone whohas endured serious weight loss, a little positive reinforcement goes a long way.

Here’s wishing all our readers a safe, sane and successful New Year. Mayyour happy events multiply as your sorrows decrease. And let’s be carefulout there.

Leonard Gray is a reporter for L’Observateur

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