Step Twenty Nine

Step Twenty Eight
July 31, 2015
Step Thirty
August 3, 2015


I don’t know what it is about 209, but I’m convinced the universe will implode or something if my weight slips any lower than that.

This morning I weighed in at 217. Last week I logged 214. I’ll probably be 222 by Monday morning’s “official” weigh-in. (It’s only official in the sense that when I step on the scale around 6 a.m. every Monday, that’s the only reading that really matters to me.) On any given day, at any given time, my weight seems to swing +/- 5 pounds, and it doesn’t seem to matter how much (or little) I’ve eaten, or how much (or little) I’ve exercised.

The only really consistent thing I’ve noted is that never, not once, has that oscillation dropped below 209.

The universe is doing its darndest to protect us all.

Ah, young love! Elaina and me, summer 1988.

Ah, young love! Elaina and me, summer 1988. That’s what 180 pounds looked like back then.

The day I graduated high school, I weighed 135 pounds. That just happens to be what I weighed on my first day of Army basic training nine months later. Standing 5’8″, I was by far the smallest guy in my platoon, though I was nowhere near the shortest. All that changed over the next two months. By the time I graduated from basic training, I’d bulked up considerably. More than considerably, really. Weighing in at a barrel-chested 165, I was bench-pressing over 200 and clocking a 6-minute-mile pace whether I was running one mile or 10.

When I met the girl I would marry roughly two years later, I’d bulked up a little more. Still small by comparison to the guys I hung out with, I weighed a solid 180. My pace had slipped a bit – a 7-minute-mile was possible, though it typically took me 25 minutes or so to complete our morning 3-mile jaunts. Two years of married life plus another three of civilian married life went by, and I found myself on the north side of 200 pounds for the first time in my life. I wasn’t worried, though. I still jogged (though not as far and not as fast), and, as a newspaper reporter, spent most of my days on my feet. I also spent most of my meals in fast-food drive-thru lanes.

Baby Emma and me, 1998. Nearly twice the man who married her momma.

Baby Emma and me, 1998. Nearly twice the man who married her momma.

I don’t know whether it was the new baby, the new business or grad school, but life took a serious turn in the late 90s. By 2000, I owned my first newspaper, my kid was turning 2, and I was wrapping up a master’s degree. Somehow, I’d managed to pack on another 50 pounds without realizing it! Diabetes, sleep apnea and a host of other complications were soon to follow.

Thanks to a merciless physical trainer, a diet that disavowed all carbs and most fat, and an iron will that also happened to make me one of the most hateful people on the planet, I dropped 30 pounds in just under six weeks.

And that’s pretty much where I’ve been for more than 15 years. (The universe. Grave danger and all that, remember?)

But I have a plan. Well, an idea. A concept, really. I’m still working out the details. But I promise you one thing.

It does not involve kale.

Jeff Peyton
Jeff Peyton
Don’t be fooled by Jeff Peyton's accomplishments in communications, crisis and business management. He also wing-walked on an airplane at 700 feet, co-piloted the Goodyear Blimp and swam with sharks - and still managed to obtain paperwork officially declaring him “legally sane.” Really.

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