December 30th, 2011
12:16 AM ET

Letters to the President #1075: 'Resolution: fulfilled'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and his wife talk about Americans becoming more fit. For the record, I’m doing my part.

Dear Mr. President,

For the first time in a long time, I can truly say that I have succeeded at the old standby New Year’s resolution. I have lost weight. Since last year at this time, there is decidedly less of me in the world.

I wasn’t exactly crushing the scales before I started, so you may not notice, but I’m a solid ten pounds lighter, and it feels good. How did I do it? Pretty much the way that everyone does who actually succeeds: I started eating less and exercising more. It’s a simple equation when you think of it.

Of course, like a lot of simple things, it is also easier said than done. And since I’ve been fortunate to never really have a weight problem, I was also treading into hugely unfamiliar territory. To be honest, my weight has slowly crept upward since the day I was born and this is the first time…ever…that I have turned it back the other way in a measurable, sustainable fashion.

Can’t say that I have a secret, but I’ll tell you what I did. The exercise came first. I began training for marathons again. My mileage started small and steadily stepped up. Then I stepped it up even more. Pretty soon I was spending a couple of hours every other day or so on the trail, and more on weekends.

That spurred my appetite at certain times (as in, “Wow, I could not only eat a horse, but now I can also chase one down!”) but simultaneously, I started paying attention to not merely how much I was eating, but also what I was taking in.

While I still sucked up plenty of junk food, I also leaned a bit more seriously toward good foods that would help me the most with running: fruits, vegetables, useful proteins. The exercise actually made me crave better foods.

Anyway, it all added up…to less.

You look fit, so perhaps this means nothing to you. If so, that’s great. But for me, it has been a revelation. And a fulfillment of a resolution. And we don’t get many of those in this lifetime.

Call if you can. If I’m not out running, we can catch up a bit.


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