It's over (but not really)

Editor’s note: When Ed Pratt, a columnist for The Advocate and assistant to the chancellor for media relations at Southern University, announced in January he would spend 2013 getting in shape, we decided to follow along. Let’s see how he did.

So it’s been almost a year to the date that I decided I needed to start working on getting myself in better shape.

Here are the results:

I began 2013 weighing 253 pounds. I now weigh 227 pounds, for a total weight loss of 26 pounds. While it’s far from the 50 pounds I wanted to lose, it’s still pretty good.

I also dropped from a 44 waist to a 40 waist. I want that to drop even more.

During the year I participated in a healthy eating/weight-loss program at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. As it turned out, I was in the control group. But, nonetheless, just being in the program encouraged me to be mindful of eating the right kinds of foods.

Now, don’t think I only ate broccoli, baked chicken and fish all of the time. There were days of fried everything and stuff with gravies and rice. But, I kept those days to a minimum, and they were followed by extra walking and tons of vegetables, fruit and baked and grilled stuff.

During the course of this journey, I was often approached by people at restaurants and in grocery stores who would comment on my progress. They might even challenge what I was eating or buying.

“I guess you’re not on your diet anymore,” one person offered, while others chimed in with: “What kind of diet lets you have alcohol?” or “I know you’re not going back for seconds!”

It has been a hoot and thanks to all of the people who helped me.

The question now is whether I feel better than I did when I started this. Yes and no.

My blood pressure is good and all of my other vitals are in good places. But, overall I kind of feel the same. So therein rests the danger of carrying too much weight. You may not feel the dangers lurking.

My goal for 2014 will be to lose about more 15 pounds. Then I will probably want to maintain at that point.

Maybe, I’ll write a column about my success at the end of 2014. See you in the vegetable aisle.