It's time to, once again, start watching what I?eat and try to shed some unwanted pounds.
As some of you might remember, a couple of years ago, several of us at the newspapers took part in a little business weight-loss competition. I?ended up losing 25 pounds, and felt better than I had in a long time.
Well, since then I fell back on some old habits, combined with different work schedules and other projects, and ended up putting some - not all, but some - of the weight back on.
I was surprised how well I did the last time. I never expected to keep that focus and schedule, let alone have those results.
Then again, there was money on the line back then. The top finishing team received a cash prize. We didn't get that.
But, then our publisher sweetened the deal, and offered the top male and female finisher from our building with a gift card for a certain sandwich restaurant chain known for its subs.
Plus, I can sometimes get a little over-competitive. So, it's more than just setting a personal goal. If I can do something and beat someone, it adds a little something extra.
This time, that motivator won't be around.
But, it has to be done, and this is the time of the year that I need to put together a plan.
The weather is finally staying warm - with the exception of still finding some frost on my car windows lately - and I can try to get outside a little bit.
In addition, it's coming close to the end of what we in the newsroom call "banquet season." You see, February through early May is probably the busiest time locally for big social events. In Weirton alone, both Rotary clubs, the Salvation Army, United Way, Chamber, the Weirton Medical Center Foundation and many other local organizations all hold a big dinner to celebrate their year, help raise money for a project, or honor those who have helped them out.
I attend many of them, for work purposes, of course, and I don't want to seem rude and only eat salads, especially when most of them have cake from a certain downtown Weirton bakery.
But, the season is almost over, and I need to put some program and motivation together.
I have a couple sets of exercise-based DVDs and video games, so I have no excuse for bad weather.
When the weather is good, I live a short jog from the Panhandle Trail. That's definitely being used right now, as I see all the cars in the parking lot as I drive home from work every evening.
I used to use the trail a good bit, for walking or taking some time for myself, but not for a while.
I could take some time and walk a couple of miles, or finally get that bike taken care of and ride it for a few hours. Maybe I'll work my way up to the point I can make it to Burgettstown and back. Surely that would give me the exercise to at least start shedding a few pounds.
Of course, I know it's not just exercise. I need to watch the portions of my food as well. I can't sit around eating ice cream every night, for example. I can't sit down for dinner and eat two hamburgers, plus a helping of each side dish. I can't eat a plate plus of pasta.
I used to buy yogurt for my lunch and only eat wheat bread or bagels. I'd have smaller portions of whatever meal we had for dinner, and then exercise for 20 to 30 minutes.
But, again, I had a particular motivation.
I need to stay focused, to have something or someone to keep me on my toes.
So, anyone want to be my workout buddy?
(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)