It hasn’t been that long since I made a commitment. My weight had been increasing for several years. I was at an age when one becomes more aware of how excess weight has an adverse effect on their health. I was, by far, the heaviest I had ever been. And in turn, I was not in the best physical condition.

I was serious about the commitment. Of course, a change of diet was essential. I resorted to healthier choices and smaller portions. Exercise was of utmost importance. I would crawl out of the sack at the break of day and either embark upon a hike or ride my bicycle on a regular basis.

My efforts did not go without reward. I knocked off an excess of 60 pounds. With this transition came a noticeable drop in blood pressure and a significantly slower heart rate. I had far more energy than I had experienced in a number of years.

However, I eventually fell off the bandwagon. Occasional cheat days grew more consistent, until I no longer even considered the quality or quantity of food that I was introducing to my system. I grew lazy and exercise no longer took priority.

These changes of habit were far from healthy. In fact, they were the exact recipe for the lifestyle that I had worked so hard to overcome.

The pounds slowly started piling back on. And with this increase in weight came the same issues and concerns that I had experienced prior to the afore-mentioned commitment.

But there were yet a couple new issues. A previous knee injury had reared its ugly head. I was also getting older. And as we all know, losing weight becomes a greater challenge with each year.

However, I am not one to allow the norm to dictate my actions or decisions. That being said, I recently made yet another commitment. Although not at 100%, my knee was significantly better. I was far from unable to exercise. In fact, I was still fairly active. But what would life be like five years down the road? That, in my mind, was the most important question of all. It was obviously due time to get off of my keister and get back in shape.

Of course my eating habits had to be addressed. Fortunately, I’ve always been a fan of oatmeal. And there are other healthy breakfast options that I like as well.

Of course the options for low-calorie and healthy lunches are many. And thus far, I have consumed my fair share of tuna and turkey. As for chips, there are healthy alternatives. And fruit will suffice when I have a craving for sweets.

Dinner is the most anticipated meal of the day, as it has the most promise of variety. A majority of these meals will revolve around fish, seafood or poultry. But grilled beef and pork will also find their way to the table from time to time.

I’m okay with steamed vegetables, and it’s practically unamerican to dislike salad. And although fairly high in calories, I’m certainly okay with reasonable portions of beans and potatoes.

Okay, the food hasn’t been much of an issue, thus far. But how about the consistent regiment of exercise? Well, I personally find exercise far less of a challenge than consistently eating healthy food.

I have been riding my bike on a regular basis for the past three weeks. However, my performance has proven somewhat disappointing in light of the fact that 50- and 60-mile rides were not out of the question just a few years ago.

But that’s okay, as I know that I am on the right track. And I am also confident that rides to atop Tower and West Mountains are but a few weeks down the road.

Yep, I’m already considering a 30 mile ride during the month of September. And I’m certainly anticipating my weight loss prior to the year’s end. But I am also acutely aware that I’m not getting any younger. And getting back in shape is obviously not going to get any easier.

Hence the reason it is essential to remain committed to exercise and eating right for years to come.