Weigh gain first started to appear on my lean frame in the mid-'90s, after I moved from
Los Angeles to North Carolina. The year was 1995 and it would be the time when I first became working in the food service industry.
I skipped around hotel jobs like being a bellman at The Washington Duke Inn (which is across the street from Duke University) until finally ladning decent part-time work as a banquet server at Hope Valley Country Club in Durham. It was here that I first noticed my belly starting to bulge.
It was easy to get to as employee meals where usually left over food from the wedding reception of cocktail party. You never really felt like you were eating a lot because your intake was done by constant grazing: a few appetizers here and couple of rolls of bread there, maybe plate of mash potatoes downed after the shift. Brunch for me was the ideal shift, although most people hated it, because you had unlimited access to bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and fruit.
Eventually, like most places I've worked where food is served, you get bored of seeing the same selections over and over again, get sick of the taste and curb your appetite.
The I got a full-time job working at a weekly newspaper.
I had scored the dream job: music editor.
The downside was that it involved sitting on my ass in a cubicle for 8 to 10 hours a day.
And then there was the daily lunch trip with my co-worker the Reverend Gene Slax, he of the red pen and copy edit God. Suddenly, there was many options: chicken philly sandwiches, great pizza and extraordinary sandwich shops. Life was good. Slax often busted on me for looking pregnant so I would push my belly out and rub it just to taunt him.
Enter the belt.
It allowed me to strap it up or down a notch depending on my mood. Around that time, it was customary to ride it on the third notch.
Things went sour years later and I got laid off.
So it was back to catering. Only this time none of my black pants fit. I had gone from a 32 inch waist to a 36 inch waist. I needed new clothes.
I trimmed down a bit and many rode the fourth notch.
And it was like that for years.
Then last year the whole chronic sinus infection-turned-into-sudafed-overdosing and I found myself making constant trips to the doctor's office. Each trip required a weigh in.
At my heaviest, I remember tipping the scales at about 173 pounds.
I tried to get into excising, but my first son had been born by now and finding the time and energy wasn't quite as easy as I hoped it would be.
I maintained a good 168 pound frame for many moons and was comfortable at the belt's fourth notch. Some days, when manual labor was required of me, I'd slipped it up to the fifth notch, making my jeans or pants snug enough to avoid any gangsta-styled baggy sagging.
Then just the other day it happened: I felt like I needed to hit the fifth notch.
I reached down to adjust my belt, and lo and behold, I already was on the fifth notch.
I tried hitting six but that was far too tight.
Dumbfounded because I had made no real attempt to lose weight only changing my diet by reducing dairy for it caused too much havoc on my sinuses, I decided to step on the scale in the bathroom.
Damn. Haven't seen myself under 160 in quite some time. I hope to seize this moment to jump into some spring time exercise routine (of minimal effort) by riding my bike and doing a few simple sets of push-ups and sit-ups.
Although, I can say I've never felt the slightest bit concerned about my girth and I have no desire to get back to my lean 135 pound college days frame.
But I would like to stay under 160.