Wine Is Beautiful!

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When women are ten pounds overweight, they feel overweight. When men move several notches on their belts in the wrong direction, they think their belts are shrinking. Men get puzzled about the known shrinkage factors in leather, and we ask ourselves about whether at our last attended Happy Hour, we may have picked up a few extra water bottles.

Way back before I began my IBM career, I bought five (5) sized 15 1/2 Van Heusen 35 inch sleeve "medium" button-down white shirts. It was right upon graduation from King's College. I then embarked upon a move to Utica NY for a Systems position. I was about to work for the "white shirt, suit and tie company, also known as the IBM Corporation. After two weeks learning about IBM in the Utica Branch Office, they sent me off to a seven week tech school in New York City, where I stayed at the famous Prince George Hotel on 28th St.  

During these seven weeks in 1969, my per diem expense rate was $7.00 per day--having just been raised before my arrival from $6.00 per day. Wearing white shirts every day and using the washer and drier at the hotel, I reconsidered my original opinion about Van Heusen being a good name in shirts. My dad swore by Van Heusen and he never had any quality issue. Before I completed the seven week tech class, my Van Heusen shirts became very tight. I blamed it on the shrinkage factor.

It never crossed my mind to blame the beer and the huge Bono Brothers hoagies that I consumed every night that we did not go to Steak and Brew. I did not blame the donuts and coffee in the AM nor the big burgers and cheap lunches at the IBM Cafeteria served at the IBM Building on 590 Madison Avenue. I simply knew the shirts had shrunk for whenever they came out of the hotel's drier, they always seemed to be tighter than when I had worn them last. All five of the shirts in unison had shrunk and there were no cautions on the Prince George Hotel's driers warning us about such damage. Soon, I saw the front buttons separating, showing my big white v-neck T-shirt underneath.

I am not kidding. I never thought to check my weight at the time since for a long time it had been holding fast at 190. I was 21 years of age, and in pretty good shape from having played baseball at King's in my last semester before graduation. Besides, there were no scales in New York City or none that were obvious, or so it seemed. Regardless, in my heart, I knew Van Heusen was responsible. I can't recall ever buying one of their shirts again. Later in life, I am willing to admit it more than likely was not their fault!

Somehow, from when I was twenty-one years of age until I was sixty one, I had no perceivable changes in my weight. Yet, when I weighed myself at the beginning of 2013, more than 40 years later, I clocked in at 243 pounds, more than  60 pounds more than in 1969. I knew this was massive so I told my dear wife, the lovely Patricia Kelly and thankfully she informed me that I was terribly wrong. My "phew!" only lasted a few minutes as she explained why i was wrong. She pointed out that in the "off" years, I had turned the first digit twice -- once from a 1 to a 2 and then about eight years ago from a 2 to a 3. She said that I was really 343 pounds, not 243. She said with 160 pounds of new growth I was carrying around the moral equivalent of another full-grown adult with every step I took.  I felt terrible but even worse because I knew that there were times while I was on my nasty scale that it had displayed the two digits to the right at just about 43. Yes, my max weight of all time 340 pounds.  

As long as I could move and as long as I had no great pains and my wife still thought I was sorta good-looking, and charming of course, I was never compelled to go on one of those nasty crash diets from my past ever again. All my life I was on some type of diet and then in the last 20 years I had said no more. Actually, diets had stopped working and it seemed that I would always gain a lot of weight after I finished a "good diet." So, it seemed hopeless. I just stopped thinking about it.  

I suspect that you too have been on such diets. I never liked being a chub-ball per se. However, eventually in many ways I rationalized that God intended me to be big. Thankfully at about 5 ft. 10" inches tall, with broad shoulders, I looked less corpulent and much stronger than I would be if I were just "flabby.' Yet, I am flabby. It just does not look as bad with the shoulders covering some up. I knew I had gotten almost morbidly obese. I hate that word obese, don't you? Hey, I was 335 to 340 when I woke up one day in early fall 2013, and something inside of me said, I should lose some weight. It had taken me a long time to realize that from a month or two before that, I had been losing weight from having made a few subtle changes.

Nothing happens all at once. But, before our 40th class reunion, I was 290 pounds and I was using a treadmill frequently in the cold weather and I walked a few miles by the river most days in the warmer months. Not too long after the reunion, I was failing. I had begun to skip my regular walking routine by the river and on the treadmill. After all, none of my classmates would see me for another ten years.

One day, I got back on the treadmill thinking all would be the same. It wasn't. The motor was laboring and the speed was snail pace. The unit was still under warranty and Nordic Trak came to the house and replaced the motor, no questions asked. It worked better but it was not as good as it had been. My wife and my adult children had no problems with the unit. So, after awhile I reluctantly concluded that it was me. Just like the Van Heusen shirts, I knew in my heart that something was wrong with the unit. One day, my wife Pat got sick of my whining. She brought out the Nordic documentation and she asked me how much I weighed. I knew she knew something. I checked and I was about 310. Nordic's maximum recommended weight for this model is 300 pounds. Until just recently, almost ten years later, I was too big for the Nordic Trac. I have forgiven Van Heusen and Nordic Trac.      

During the years of extreme increases in my weight, I continued to enjoy all aspects of my life. I was able to be a little league and soccer coach, and I rarely thought about weight. I had been on so many diets over the years, I was glad my clothes seemed to wear out fitting before they had to be replaced. Or, maybe I was actually deluding myself. I developed a penchant for red wine about twenty years ago when I moved into our current residence. It is made by the Italian Vintners of Northeastern PA. They call their recipe, "Dago Red." I liked it right from the start. As I am thinking through my weight life, I am more and more convinced that many of my pounds came about because I had put no limits on my Dago Red consumption from November through May each year.  

Going through all my diets would be tough but I do recall in my early twenties being on what I will call the cracker diet. I would place a thin amount of peanut butter or 1/4 slice of American cheese on a cracker and eat about two or three of these delicacies for supper along with a lot of water or diet soda and nothing else. I had great will power in my youth. But, after I lost twenty to thirty pounds something always happened that caused me to violate my diet.

My diet was just five days a week and I would still drink lots of beer on the weekends. With the Monday to Friday deal, and a reasonably active life, I would lose about 2 to 4 pounds per week. I was starving all week, and my breath was bad from not eating and it was really a tough deal to continue. So, like clockwork, whenever I lost about 20 or 30 pounds, I somehow always stopped the diet often without realizing it. When I started the next diet, I had put on the twenty or thirty I had lost plus about five or ten more. I kept gaining overall in between diets. Yes, of course I read the books on Atkins, and I also tried the Atkins Diet. I woke up in the middle of the night one time on Atkins staring at the ceiling and craving either raw spaghetti or a glass of flour and water. You can have all the steak you want on Atkins but not eating carbs gave me the heebie-jeebies, and prevented me from getting to sleep easily.

I did solve the problem in my 65th year. I had made a subtle adjustment to my eating and drinking habits a little more than two years ago. I did not know it would work so well. When I went to my family doctor (Dr. Patrick Kerrigan) in October, 2013  I had already lost some weight--enough thateven his once nasty scale quickly understood.  

So, despite wanting to blame Van Heusen and Nordic Trak, my problem  is mine, simple and true. It's always been mine. For most of my life, I have been an over-consumer of all delicacies and libations from beer to wine to whiskey and with sodas as mixers, and I even like foods of many caloric interpretations. In my life, if it tasted good, I would eat or drink it. I was invincible. As time went on and God chose to keep me alive, since I like Red Wine, I have come to credit it as not only the sustain-er of my longevity but also the impetus for my healthy cholesterol numbers, and now finally, my weight.  The wine-diet is not a fad. It is something that we all can do subject of course to the site and book disclaimer. Please check out other articles on this site to find out how you too can lose more weight than you ever thought you could without having to ever go on the Atkins Diet or the infamous "cracker diet.".

You can learn about how to lose weight while losing bad cholesterol counts if you are drinking stuff that is colored red. Keep reading the stuff on this site, and if you want to take the documentation with you, bring home the book. 

The best!