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  • Rev. Brandon Rich

It's OK to splurge. You just have to plan!

I like to celebrate birthdays with a nice dinner in an upscale restaurant. After having spent nearly 15 years in the wedding business, cake has lost its luster, so I usually prefer a different decadent dessert. October 20, 2020 was my first time to celebrate my birthday after losing 130 pounds. I worked very hard to achieve that goal, and I work hard every single day to maintain my new healthy weight. You might think that I would no longer have the same type of birthday meals now, but you would be wrong. This year, my birthday celebration meal was just as it always is. It was at my favorite local place, the original Sperry's in Nashville. I had two cocktails, bread and butter, salad, prime rib, baked potato with butter, espresso brownie with ice cream and French press coffee with cream. It is safe to say that my dinner was around 3,000 calories, which is by no means a diet-friendly meal. While the content of my birthday dinner did not change, my approach to it did. I made my reservation for this meal as early as I could, 30 days in advance. I also made a plan for this meal, which started several days before it and extends a day beyond it. In the days leading up to my birthday, I cut back my already healthy eating a bit. The day before, I upped my daily walk from 4 miles to 5.28 miles. The morning of my birthday, I walked 8 miles. I also increased my daily intake of black pepper, green tea and fiber supplements to help my metabolism and digestion of all that extra food. The day after, which is today, I will walk at least 5 miles (maybe 6) and I'll fast today, which means only zero-calorie beverages and low-calorie coffee creamer. I'll resume normal eating on the 22nd. Also, I hopped on the scale as I was getting dressed for dinner so I would kn0w exactly where I was. I also weighed again this morning when I got up to see exactly where I was pre and post celebration.

Some of you following me are at various places in your fitness journeys. Some of you are still trying to summon the motivation to get started. Some are at the beginning, middle and endpoints of the fitness journey, while some of you may be where I am in the post-weight loss maintenance phase. Wherever you find yourself, know that you don't have to stop celebrating life. Birthdays, holidays, weddings, retirements, and a host of other major milestones in life are usually marked with meals. Even scripture and church history is full of milestones marked with feasts. No one should be expected to celebrate with celery. As Bart Simpson said, "You don't make friends with salad!" You can join in with celebrations, as long as you make a plan and stick to it.

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