People tell you that you look good when you lose weight, but they rarely remind you that you're getting heavier. And they absolutely never say, "You're fat."
As a boy, people called me husky. Eventually I figured out that I weighed too much, and I began a lifelong roller-coaster ride from 170 to 240 pounds and back again.
Finally, after my 60th birthday, I met my new internist. Dr. Jasper is a skinny little woman who goes to restaurants where they serve tiny portions arranged in culinary sculptures. She confronted me honestly.
"You're just too fat" she told me. My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high and on the weight chart I was over the red line into obese. I whined like a five-year-old caught with cookie crumbs on his chin. I explained how long I'd wrestled with my weight. But she insisted.
So I counted calories and calculated grams of fat. I gave up ice cream and cheeseburgers. It worked. Five weeks later, I entered Dr. Jasper's office six pounds lighter. She told me to keep it up. Since then I've maneuvered the traditional dietary minefields of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now I pull my belt in an extra notch.