Sliding Down Mount Cocky

I lost weight over winter for probably the first time in my life this year, coming within four pounds of a goal I set more than two years ago. By summer, I fully expected to be below my 200 pound goal for the first time in decades. Instead, my weight has slowly but surely gone up. I decided to investigate.

First I checked to make sure I wasn’t just making up the gain. I fabricate stuff sometimes. I’m a novelist — making shit up is what we do. So I logged on to Weight Watcher’s to see weights I’ve recorded every Monday for the last two years. The lowest was 203.1 pounds on February 18. Now, four months later, 211.1 pops up on the scale. Not a huge increase, but gaining two pounds per month is reason for concern.

Like me, you’re probably thinking the operation I had is to blame. But taking four weeks off from my exercise routine after the surgery wasn’t the cause. The break didn’t help, but my hernia repair was in March, a month after the increase started. Throw in that I’ve run at least twice every week since I was cleared to exercise for a total of more than 70 miles, and clearly, something else is to blame.

Having pinpointed when my diet went south, I checked my calendar to see what happened the week of February 18. The UGA women’s gymnastic team had a meet in Missouri on Friday. My niece’s birthday was Thursday. On Tuesday, the day after recording my lowest weight in decades, I had an appointment with the surgeon.

The light came on. It wasn’t surgery. Nope. The surgeon caused my weight gain. Circumstantial evidence isn’t enough to prove my case. What we need is the unbiased testimony of an expert witness, for which we need look no further than this very blog. That’s right. You can check the original post by clicking here. But because you won’t, here’s the incriminating text:

I may have also mentioned something about having lost fifty pounds since my last visit to his office. He asked me how I did it, and was surprised when my answer was diet and exercise. Then he put a hand on each shoulder and looked me in the eye. “Do you have any idea how many people do what you’ve done?”


“Practically none. I can count on both hands the patients your age I’ve seen who have lost any weight at all and kept it off for two years.”

The hands on the shoulder prove my case beyond a reasonable doubt. My surgeon dubbed me a cock of the walk in a short ceremony in his office. I’ve been strutting about ever since.

High atop Mount Cocky, I’ve been pigging out on ice cream (always with various and sundry toppings, and I’m back to the full fat stuff too), ginger snaps (three or four boxes a week — I’m sick, help me!), and grilled steaks, burgers, and chops. Thanks to my surgeon, vegetables and I have become strangers. Last week I ate pizza — on a Sunday night before my weigh in — with bacon, five kinds of cheese, and an order of breadsticks that, along with the crust, soaked up all the fake garlic butter in the little plastic container tucked in with the pizza.

My work schedule has been hectic. I’ve been on the road a lot, increasing the chances of eating crap food. Some of the extra junk is the guilt tax I pay for using the fast food place’s bathroom. Attending functions where refreshments and possibly lunch are served makes things worse. A plate full of pastries, cookies, and/or other goodies isn’t something I can resist. And for lunch, the fried whatever with gravy appeals to me more than the salad with vinaigrette I’d have at home.

I have more excuses. I’ve only seen my trainer once in the last three months. The trainer I’ve had for going on two years left, and because I forgot to change my contact info at the gym after moving, his replacement couldn’t contact me until I complained about not having a trainer. Oops. That kind of stuff happens to me all the time. I raise hell, only to find something I did or didn’t do caused the problem.

And there you have it. I can’t pretend to be a victim with my weight gain. Forget the excuses. Let’s get to the reasons — really only one in this case. I gained weight because I decided, since I’d run it off, to eat whatever I wanted.

Eating whatever I want is not okay. Never has been, and in truth, thinking so is what got me in trouble in the first place. Looks like I need to start tracking Weight Watcher points again. Oh well. At least I’ll be paying a monthly fee for something more than a place to record my weight every week.

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