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It's a 'onederful' feeling to be in this new club

I am obese. Have been — by clinical definition, not my own — for the past 20 years.

That time period, by the way, includes all of my adulthood, plus most of my senior year in high school when I was voted "Most Likely to Own a Fast-Food Joint" and won a mouth-stuffing marshmallow contest.

Ah, those were the days.

Speaking of things in my past, that's where I left my membership in the 200-pound club.

Yep, medical professionals can still call me that O-word. Heck, they can even call me late for dinner now. But they can no longer call me a 200-pounder.

I've finally made it to a long-lost place dieters call "Onederland." Yep, that means I now weigh in the 100s. Not the 200s. And certainly not the 300s anymore.

It feels — to use terminology from when I last weighed this much, er, little — totally rad!

And it's about dang time I returned here.

For those of you who are new to this column — and where have you been?! — here's a quick background on me: I've been 200-plus since 1989 and originally joined Weight Watchers on March 25, 1999. The scale that day read: 371 pounds.

Since then, I've literally lost hundreds of pounds, multiple times even. Problem is, I'd always eventually bounce back up — never surpassing that original amount, thankfully — but always regaining a bunch of blubber.

Over the past decade, my weight has been on a wild roller-coaster ride, going from 371 to 246, back up to 355, then down to 265, up again to 328 to 233 to 275 — with several stops and loopey-doops in between — to where I am now.

And where's that?


Let me write that again in numeral form: 198.2!!!!!

Notice that number at the beginning? El Numero Uno? The so-called loneliest number?

The one has even been there for almost two weeks.

And these were not easy weeks, either.

The first one had me returning to my bachelor days because my wife took our kids to sunny St. George to spend time with her grandma. Though tempted to eat out — and boy those buffalo wings and steaks sure sounded tastier than usual — I resisted the urge other than to get a couple of healthy sandwiches with lean meats, lots of veggies and no mayo or cheese.

I actually hit the 199.5 mark the first day my family left me in the cold. I sent a cell-phone picture of my feet on the scale to my wife, who'd never seen me at this weight, as physical evidence. (It was proof I'd reached that milestone, not to remind her that I have funky-looking toenails and hairy toes.)

Dealing with the Easter Bunny presented another challenge.

Have to admit, knowing that I wanted to write this column about getting under 200 kept me extra focused and motivated on a holiday that comes with some great-tasting grub — from the chocolate eggs to turkey and ham spreads with desserts and scrumptious side dishes at both of our parents' houses.

But while enjoying the Easter meals — and even snarfing one portion of dessert at lunch and dinner — I remained in control. In other words, the Easter Bunny's helper didn't go into quality-control/sampling mode with his kids' candy for a change. Sure, I had a few pieces of chocolate and a dozen or so jellybeans, but that was it. I made sure to load up on the salad and made a veggie tray with a fat-free dip.

Keeping up with the modus operandi that has helped me lose 173 pounds overall, I also continued to run, bike and swim to burn off some extra calories.

All stuff I'll have to keep doing, of course, to remain in this new onederful weight club and to drop just two more pounds to officially end my two-decades stay in the obese category.