At some point last year, while I was traveling back and forth between Miami and Puerto Rico, we decided to make a significant change to our diets. We keep kosher, so that overrides everything, but beyond that, we made a conscious decision and effort to start eating both locally and organic as much as possible, both for our own health and for the general benefit of the world. When we moved to our new apartment, among the things we downsized in order to make the move easier and get rid of some clutter, was the microwave. That was in November and rarely in the last seven months have we honestly wished we had one; breakfast may take a little longer to prepare, and I’m probably one of few who has four burners going at 7 AM, but it’s not an impossibility. We’ve learned that we enjoy a lot of foods we used to microwave a lot more now that we actually cook them. Along with this switch we decided to do our best to increase our rate of exercise, though this one has been a far more inconsistent resolution.

However, the simple truth is that in the last year I was at one point at the heaviest I’ve been in my life, clocking in at 360 lbs. I am not that weight right now, but I’m also not that much better: I’m 346 lbs as of Wed, June 30, 2010. Clearly something needs to change.

I’m choosing today to mark the start of that change.

The first thing I’m doing is posting my weight publicly, something I have never done before. In doing so, I cannot hide, and simply have to own up to my reality.

The second is that I need to modify my eating habits. Now, contrary to what many may think when they see a fat person, I actually don’t eat that terribly. Because I keep kosher, I have not touched fast food fare in the last 7-8 years. It’s not that I haven’t had burgers and fries, but when I do these aren’t the McDonald’s-type burgers, but more restaurant/deli fare (and please understand, I’m not claiming these are pinnacles of healthy eating, but there is a difference). I still have pizza and fried chicken at times, but again, I can’t go to the corner to get 2 large pies and a bucket of wings for $10, I have to go to a restaurant and pay around $20 for either, so it seriously limits my intake of these foods. That said, I aim to reduce my consumption of these foods as much as possible, once or twice a month at most.

I know I need to watch my portions, and eat a better selection of foods that will fill me up with less quantity and keep me full for a sensible period of time so I don’t oversnack. Even when I eat well, I err on the larger portion size, so I know I have to watch this.

More than anything, more than any other food issue, my biggest problem is that I am addicted to sweets. Addicted. I crave sweets. As I type this I am craving something sweet. And not fruit-sweet, but candy/chocolaty/pastry/cakey sweet. I absolutely love sweets, and I am addicted to them the same way a drunk is addicted to alcohol. And these are making me fat beyond belief, regardless of any other improvement I make in my life. And it needs to stop. And it stops today. Cold turkey. As of today I am giving up all sweets. Well, let me be realistic: I am allowing myself only one sweet per week, and only one sweet. And if I screw up, I will admit it publicly, out loud, and make amends for it by counting it as the sweet of another week. So if I eat three donuts in one sitting, that’s a month till I get to have another sweet.

Along with these changes in eating I will also endeavor to do more exercise. I hate exercising, I really do, but I love riding my bike, for example, so it’ll be a matter of finding incidental ways to get active. It’ll have to wait till I get back from my vacation next week, as I discovered yesterday my bike’s seat had been stolen (Grrr) but I’ll do this.

I have to. I am 346 lbs (and that’s after having lost 10 pounds over the last 4 weeks, BTW). My wife bought me the Wii Fit for my birthday two years ago and I have not been able to use it ever because it has a weight limit of 330. At one point I was very close to that goal, and then stress overtook my life and, emotional eater that I am, it all went to hell. But that’s it. I am studying to join the field of Health as a Nurse and I cannot go in weighing 346 lbs.

So here goes, probably the hardest journey of my life. I will update my info as I go along, I will keep myself honest by owning publicly my mistakes and triumphs, here and on Twitter. I will do this.

Starting now:

July 1, 2010 – 346 lbs.