This Is Not A Resolution

Adam Swift
4 min readJan 9, 2020

I didn’t wake up on New Year’s Day intending to make any resolutions. The only times I’ve ever made resolutions, they have been made under duress and never kept for more than a month, maybe two, tops.

And then my phone told me I was obese.

It wasn’t quite as bad as the Google lady voice greeting me with a ringing, “Happy New Year, fatty,” but close. The family was planning on taking our (second) annual let’s go walk outside somewhere on New Year’s Day walk, so I figured I’d activate the Samsung Health app on my phone that I’ve been actively avoiding since I bought a Samsung phone. No issues, turned the sucker on, counted my steps in whatever surveillance state method that the Deep State tracks your every move these days

No immediate issues with this, as we walked Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, putting in a few thousands steps and a couple miles of moderate exercise. I feel good about myself! I’m moving! Definitely the most exercise I’ve gotten lately, other than the occasional lunchtime jaunts around the Lynn Common, dodging goose poop and empty Fireball nips.

No, the issue came the next day when I decided to unleash the full capabilities of my Samsung health app. Not only would I be counting steps, I would also be tracking my weight. Which meant I had to weigh myself. On a scale. With numbers. Dammit.

I was fully aware that I’ve put on a pound or two over the past few years, that my jeans were a smidge tighter than I’d like, that I’d gone through my closet and given up the ghost of pretending to save my 36" waist pants until I fit in them again. So when I stepped on the scale and the digital numbers eventually settled on 221.4, it was a little disconcerting, but not exactly shocking. I know I’m never going to hit the 150ish I was during high school and most of college (nor would I want to), but I would like to have a fighter’s chance of being slightly to either side of 200 without a lot of fuss.

Photo by Ronit Shaked on Unsplash

What was disconcerting was when I entered the 221.4 into the health app, along with my height, which was then used to calculate my BMI, which landed at a perfect 30.0.

Or, as Samsung was surely happy to inform me, obese. Just like the real American I am.

I can handle overweight(ish), but surely, obese seemed out of the question. Alas and alack, placing the scale on the floor only verified what my phone was telling me. A quick turn to the side, and here I am staring at a middle-aged man who looks like he’s ready to head to the maternity ward any minute to birth twins.

I was officially disconcerted.

Time for action! Action one was watching what I eat. By eat, I mean drink. And by drink, I mean beer. By no means was I ready to check out schedules of local 12-step meetings, but man, beer has calories and I’m guessing, very little nutritional value. At least people post enough articles on Facebook about the health benefits of a glass of two or wine a night that I could have finessed that a little bit. But beer? Big stretch, big belly, time for the beer to go bye-bye, at least until my daughter stops pointing at my midsection and saying “You have a big belly!” with me being unable to argue with her. Add to that keeping track of how much water I drink a day, trying to take at least one walk per day to up my steps, and avoiding (most) of the cupcakes and other processed sugar treats that get magickally deposited in my work break room, and I had at least the beginnings of a weight loss plan.

I was blessed with almost immediate success (or I managed to find the most beneficial scale placement in the kitchen) and after an entire day and night of no beer and at least thinking about eating less crap, the next morning I weighed in at a comparatively svelte 217.6 pounds. Even better, the loss of just under three pounds (or favorable scale placement) dropped me all the way down from the obese classification to the merely overweight. Beers for everyone!

Well, except for me.

True, the first month of the first year of the new decade isn’t even a third over yet, and I’m not going to call it a resolution (and my willpower was weakened by a chocolate cupcake in the break room yesterday), but I’m going to ride the no beer, more water, get off my ass and try to walk a little bit every day bandwagon for a bit longer.

Maybe I’ll even get down from overweight to moderately paunchy one of these days.

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Adam Swift

A guy who used to blog somewhere else when blogging was a thing and now does a thing here.