By Tom Ehrich

This is a personal post. It might fall under the heading “too much information.” But I wanted to share some good news with you.

A year ago I took a long and candid look at my weight and decided it was time to shed some pounds. I didn’t like the way I looked or felt. I knew I was hurting my knees and back.

Without any clear conviction that it would be possible, I set a goal: lose 50 pounds. And then, of course, keep it off.

Well, I did it! At this morning’s weigh-in, I officially reached my goal. The unattainable has come to pass.

My waistline has gone down by four inches. I am fitting into suits I bought years ago. I feel terrific. And while I don’t have the toned bod of a 25-year-old, I like the trim way I look.

I give all the credit to my wife and some major changes in how we eat. Using a mobile app called ITrackBytes, we have been counting “points” (as in Weight Watchers). A slice of bread is 2 points, one ounce of cheese is 3 points, and so on. Vegetables and fruits have no points. So we eat lots of salads for lunch and roasted vegetables and soups for dinner. Protein, too, but not huge steaks or fried chicken. My total point allowance is currently 33 a day.

Without getting all ideological about it, we have transitioned to a mostly vegetarian diet, or what they call “farm to table.” My patient wife has explored recipes online and found some great foods for us to eat. During the growing season, we visit three farm markets a week. This new way of eating will be the way I keep the weight off.

I also have doubled my exercise and keep track of those points, too.

So that is the news. I share it with you because I want to encourage everyone to pay attention to what you eat. The food industry isn’t motivated to be helpful. They want to sell us fried foods, heavy meats, and foods laden with sugar. Grocery displays aren’t our friend. The restaurant world is better than it used to be. But for the most part, eating right will need to be a choice we make personally.

I also want to encourage you to set lofty goals, for weight and for everything in your life. You won’t reach some goals, but trying will be good for you. I think you’ll be surprised by how much is within your grasp if you just reach high enough and make necessary changes in how you live and work.

My next goal: drop another 10 pounds.