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If you’ve read the Hobbit, then you may recognize the title of this post.  It describes a chapter in which the characters took a short break from their adventures to take stock before they proceed down the path of their next adventure.  If you have been following this site for any length of time, you might conclude that Elke and I do nothing but eat and drink.  How on earth do we retain our girlish figures?  The truth is that we struggle with this like everyone.  We were both blessed with tall bodies, which gives us a bit more frame to hide extra weight, but we are both currently at what we feel is the maximum we are comfortable with.

For my part, I love hot weather and have trouble in cold weather.  When weather gets cold, I want to bundle up, snuggle, and eat comfort food.  If I could sleep the winter away under a heating blanket and only have to deal with spring and summer…well, we can all dream.  I have always gained winter weight.  In the spring and summer, it comes off.  As I’ve grown older, my metabolism has slowed, making it easier to gain weight and harder to take it off…the age-old story.   I still have youthful drive and confidence that I will resume exercise to get my weight down, but the tools seem less-effective than they have been.  I often go to bed at night, fully confident that when I wake up, I will put on my running shoes and run a mile or two before starting my day.   But when I wake up, and the temperatures are in the 40s, I bundle up and race to the kitchen to make a big breakfast.  Additionally, my job has me sitting for the majority of the day.  Somehow, it seems easier than ever to walk a more relaxed, pleasure-seeking path.

This is the story of life.  We love to explore the things that give us pleasure, but balance must be observed.   The human body needs physical exertion, which teaches the body to grow stronger and adapt to accommodate physical discomfort.  Occasionally pushing your body grows your tolerance to the pains that one normally feels in their body.  Too much rest and relaxation, drinking and eating without the counterbalance of exercise, can lower your pain threshold, making small discomforts seem greater than they are.

Elke and I both have a few ideas about how we might share our strategies for getting back to our fighting weights and fitness.  I’ll consider ways to post our journey in the future.  As it is probably not appropriate to mention anything about Elke’s actual weight while I, myself, do not care, I will tell you that, at the time of this post, I am 6′ 2″, 210 pounds.  It is not the most I’ve ever weighed.  My ideal is probably 190, and I was 185 before COVID times.  It would be nice to lose 20 pounds, and this is what I will do.