Ron Colone: On the subject of all those scars

RON COLONE

I know I’m jumping the gun a bit, considering that people won’t be making New Year’s resolutions for a few more weeks, if at all, given the weirdness of these times and this past year, but it occurred to me that I might be in possession of some information that could help people achieve their New Year’s resolution goals.

And if I can help, well, then, I might as well try, right?

I’m going to start with appearance and physical fitness since “losing weight” and “getting in shape” are among the most popular resolutions people make.

On three different occasions in the past seven years, I have endeavored to, and succeeded in, losing a significant amount of weight, 10 to 15 pounds, which was more than 5% of my total weight, and I also slimmed down and toned my muscles, particularly my stomach muscles.

One time was because I was going to a high school reunion; one time I was going to Italy to be with relatives who hadn’t seen me in more than 15 years, and another time, most recently, was when I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled 120 days out to recheck my cholesterol, which the physician’s assistant thought might be getting a bit too high.

In each of these cases, I was so focused, at least in a general sense, on how I wanted to appear to these other people or the scale in the doctor’s office, that I quite naturally (and pretty effortlessly, too), avoided certain foods and beverages and increased my movement and muscular engagement — even when just laying around the house.

I know they say the real health goal should be to feel better, but I was more locked into the numbers on the scale, which I stepped on to every morning and every night, and, also, how I looked in my shirts, as judged by my reflection in the mirror.

As I said, I was successful in changing my body … and then the reunion was over, and we came back from the trip, and I got past the doctor’s appointment, and I started loosening the restrictions until I was back to where I started, which is where I am now.

I started this journey 25 years ago. A professor and voracious reader and sometime journalist, my one, true passion was fiction. I wanted to write novels, to create long stories spanning years and generations. I had a million stories bouncing around in my head, and I wanted to tell them...

That’s fine, because I feel I have proven to myself, enough times and recently enough, that I have the ability — if something is becoming too mechanical, automatic or unconscious — to redirect the current. Besides, I’m not proposing to offer some permanent change in consciousness or the key to enlightenment, just a technique to help you hit a target.

So, I would say, if you’re resolving to lose weight, which many of us need to do after a year of being sheltered in place, then I would suggest that you pretend that you have a reunion, or a wedding, or an awards show, or a trip, or whatever it is that you want to look good for coming up in, say, May.

Usually, we abandon our resolutions a lot earlier than May, but this way, if you can convince yourself that there’s something happening in May, and maybe some visual aids, like photos of friends or loved ones tacked up on to the wall might help, then you’ll be almost halfway into the year and looking good.

Last week, we attended the soft opening of the new Bob’s Well Bread outpost in Ballard. After all, it was quite an exciting event: a new restaurant in the Valley, a second location of Bob's already wildly popular establishment in Los Alamos — now even closer to us in the charming town of Ballard.

Which reminds me of something I heard David Lee Roth say, back in the ‘80s. To quote the (former) rock star, "It ain’t whether you win or lose, it ain’t even how you play the game; it’s how good you look."

It’s funny, as in ironic, to hear me, a guy who has dedicated the better part of the last 20 years to helping “shift the focus from image to essence” talking about the importance of looks.

Now, if your resolution happens to be to quit smoking or to save money, or something other than physical fitness and appearance, I’m sure there’s a similar technique you can use. The key is to find something you care about, and that is worth it to you.

Essential Ron Colone: Start your day off with a little perspective. A collection of musings from columnist Ron Colone

It is hard to provide a short bio for Ron Colone. Writer, performer, business owner, concert promoter, music historian, baseball fan, proud son of Detroit for a start. There's so much more. We at the Santa Ynez Valley News have been lucky to work with Ron in various roles for more than 30 years, and we want to make sure you have a chance to read more of his thoughtful and insightful work. Here are a few of our favorites, let us know if you remember one that we missed and we can add it in. 

Ron Colone can be reached at ron.colone@gmail.com

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