My Wife Made Me Do It

Jim Pooley (61-year-old diplomat)

My wife made me do it. We had a deal, you understand. If I got this particular job, then I would sign up and do The Happy Body Program. Laura-Jean had been on it; I saw her enthusiasm, and the benefits were obvious. She looked great, and was happy. So why was I reluctant? Here's why: I was 60 years old and comfortable enough with my body. Sure, I had the occasional joint pain, but managed to get over it. I hadn't exercised seriously in 25 years. The paunch bothered me a bit, but it wasn't really huge, and many of my friends had a similar silhouette. And anyway, I thought at my age it wasn't possible to really get in shape without a grinding gym program with boot camp trainers, coupled with denying myself the food that I loved-cheese, peanut butter, beer. How, I asked myself, could I possibly do a diet and exercise program, especially since I travel a lot and end up eating out much of the time? Just wouldn't work, and it wasn't like I was sick or anything.

But I got the job, and my wife gave me Jerzy's number to call. I told him that I'd like to learn the exercises to get back in shape but didn't feel the need to lose any weight, thanks. But after measuring me, Jerzy replied, politely but firmly, that I needed to lose fat and gain muscle. And I hadn't realized that my posture had shifted for the worse and it might be the cause of my pain. Okay, I got started. Weighed in at 194. Then the surprises began.

First of all, this was not like any diet I'd ever experienced. It was easy. And I was never hungry, eating every three hours. I got to eat what I really wanted, even a glass of wine with dinner.

Next, the exercises weren't hard either; just a half hour or so. I didn't have to go to a gym. And most surprising, I could do them while traveling, in a hotel room.

And this was fast. I averaged over two pounds lost each week. Never stayed flat, never gained, even though I wasn't 100% careful. Within three months I had hit my goal weight of 170. That's less than when I graduated from high school. The paunch was gone and I could wear size 32 jeans. I could feel my belt nicely riding on my hips, instead of cinching my stomach like a tourniquet.

I never looked back. The weight has stayed off. And as easy as losing it was, maintenance is a walk in the park. Yes, I put on a couple of pounds each Thanksgiving and Christmas; but I've never gone back above 170. And even though I travel over 200,000 miles a year, for the most part I still stick to the program; it's healthy and delicious. And who needs sweet desserts, when you can have cheese? And the half hour of exercise is now part of my daily routine. I love the serenity and energy it gives me to start each day.

Laura-Jean, thank you for making me do it!

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