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On July 23, 2014, I wrote an article titled "Trouble With Jaws." In that Reflection, I said, "Although I knew my belt had slowly been getting tighter, I was surprised on May 18 to find that I weighed 182 pounds. I am five feet, eight inches tall with my shoes on, and I shouldn't weigh more than 165."

We had been in California from December of 2013 through February of 2014, and my brother fed us well!

I told Carol, "Precious, I am disgusted!"

"What's the matter?"

"I am having trouble with my jaws."

"What do you mean?"

"My jaws are processing too much food and my tummy is revealing the consequences."

Laughing, she asked, "Are you going on a diet?"

"No, and Yes. No: I'm not going on a traditional diet that people make and break 12 times a year. And Yes: I am going to count calories."

And so I did. The weight calculator said my caloric intake should not exceed 1,948 calories daily, so I decided on 1,950 calories for easier figuring. If I went over one day, I stayed under the next day. I started limiting calories -- not food types, but caloric intake -- on May 18, 2014; and five weeks later, June 25, I was down to 160. My plan worked. Ice cream, pies, and cookies were part of my diet, but only in limited quantities, and only after a hearty -- not large, but hearty -- meal.

If you want to know: My daily caloric intake for the five weeks averaged 1,713.

Oh, I almost forgot: Carol also experienced significant weight reduction because we both disciplined ourselves to a new way of eating.

That was five years ago. But as you know, we recently returned from a prolonged road-trip around our grand country; and guess what? My belt slowly-but-surely got tighter. When we returned home on May 16, 2019, the scale lied: it said I weighed 191 pounds! Not to be outsmarted, I replaced the battery and the truth was revealed: my true weight was 182 -- again. I remembered that tried-and-true regimen, and I decided to count calories -- again. Because I'm five years older, the weight calculator wants to limit me to 1,916 calories daily.

Limiting calories while sitting on the couch or at the computer helps only a little. So in addition to sitting at my desk doing a lot of writing, I've been working. I haven't the time yet to go to the gym to work out; I'm already working out -- outside, that is.

As I work at tree-trimming, shredding the limbs, weed-whacking around our half-acre, mowing the lawns, burning pine-needles and branches, ridding the premises of unwanted vegetation such as poison ivy, etc., it wouldn't matter if I went over on the caloric intake because I'm burning it off. Nevertheless, I'm keeping track and keeping Jaws under control. Or is it keeping my over-eating under control?

Either way, I'll get the weight down to a healthy level -- again.

I eat mashed potatoes and gravy, hamburgers and steak, chicken and turkey. I really like fish. And I eat fruit and vegetables. I just won't over-eat. Yes -- milk-shakes, ice cream, pies, and cookies are still in! But in limited quantities.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I find myself asking for more fruit and vegetables, and I've lost interest in some foods that are low on nutrition. (Some -- not all.) Therefore, I already feel better and I have more energy.

By the way: I will not LOSE the weight because I know where it will be hiding: It'll be in the refrigerator, the food pantry, and at my favorite restaurants. The key is discipline.

Our next short adventures are to Dallas this month to see our newest grandbaby, and to Pagosa Springs, Colo., in August to be with our daughters and friends. I will be down to my desired 160 pounds before then, and I'll make sure I don't over-eat.

Well, I might need to retract that statement. I catch plenty of 16- to 18-inch rainbow trout up there, and I tend to over-eat on fish. However, wild trout has between 202-270 calories for a 6-ounce fillet (depends on how it's cooked). Compare that with approximately 394 for six ounces of hamburger, and approximately 400 for steak. And fish meat is obviously healthier for us.

It is not difficult to reduce waist-line and weight. You just have to WANT to -- and use my plan: It works.

Bon appétit, mes amies.

-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to Visit his website at The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 06/26/2019

Print Headline: Counting calories -- again

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