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Monday, Nov. 30, 2009 03:18 pm

Fat Pat no more

Pat.jpg

It happened so subtly that I hardly noticed.

From junior high through my college years, I got fat. Honestly, I was in denial. I knew I ate too much, and I knew I ate the wrong foods, but I didn’t care. I had decided to enjoy whatever morsels I wanted, and I would deal with the consequences later. I grew to a portly 275 pounds before I finally got fed up enough to admit I needed a change.

My sister Natalie, a registered dietitian, began preaching to me the virtues of a healthy diet. “It’s an investment in your future,” she would always say. Eventually, her advice began to creep into my subconscious. More vegetables, less meat, fewer processed foods and more exercise now will really pay off later, she repeated.

I didn’t like vegetables, but I loved meat and junk food, so I decided to start with the one change I could stomach: exercise. I took up running, but I was discouraged because I didn’t see results immediately. Natalie reminded me gently: “It took a long time for you to get fat, so you shouldn’t expect to get thin overnight.”

With a lot of sweat and exhaustion, as well as my sister’s guidance and support, I lost 40 pounds by my senior year of college. Even after running a half-marathon, however, I was still about 60 pounds over my “ideal” weight of 180. I had barely changed my diet, and I knew I was still missing a piece of the puzzle.

To be continued...

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