Thursday, August 28, 2008

Past my twenties

Recently, I had a revelation: I am no longer 22 years old.

There were obvious signs prior to this new dawning. For example, of late, in order to read small print, I must either remove my glasses or post the document across the room. Conversely, I must also use the "zoom" feature on my computer monitor to increase font size for virtually everything on screen.

I also must admit a tinge of guilt in continuing to list "brown" as my hair color on driver's license applications. Rather, "gray with a small bit of brown remaining" is more appropriate. (Since there is not enough space to use this accurate description, I rationalize "brown" as being as honest as possible.)

Oh yes, one other indicator that I am not 22 is that I am the biological father of a 23-year-old. Even the most forward thinking and mature 22-year-old would be hard pressed to have 23-year-old offspring.

Alas, despite this ever-growing chorus of facts, the dawning of my age did not fully appear until I weighed myself last week. I have been trying to knock off another six pounds and have stalled for some time. (OK, to be honest "some time" is approximately five years...) As I stood on the scale, glaring at the wretched red LED flashing between my toes in its hateful block numbers, a river of rushing thoughts coursed through me. In that cacophonous cascade of cognizance, one thought rose above all others: "I'm as diligent as I was 30 years ago but my weight won't budge. Back then; I lost three pounds a week! It's not fair!"

As I stomped from the scale (heading directly for the kitchen), a thunderbolt realization crashed through me: "It is not 30 years ago." No longer a young man of 22, I am now middle-aged. The rules for twenty-somethings do not apply.

Instead of trying to understand the ins and outs of a healthy weight and diet for a 52-year-old, I waste energy lamenting the fact that it is not as easy as it was "back then." How much precious time have I thrown away complaining about what no longer is rather than accepting the realities of what actually can be?

"I've never had to work so hard to lose weight." "I've always eaten this way." "I didn't have to work out when I was younger."

The thoughts and ideas we hold from earlier days were accurate and appropriate - in earlier days. But time moves forever backward into history, leaving us hostage to it, or empowered by the opportunities of the present.

This is neither a treatise against getting older nor a complaint about the travails of aging. Mostly - as long as my health holds out - I welcome the wisdom and peace of being an older man. But instead of grousing that I cannot lose weight like a 22-year old, it makes more sense to learn the rules for a 52-year-old - at least until I'm 53.

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus is a THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds more than 12 years ago, he conducts speeches, workshops, and presentations throughout the country. He can be reached at,, or 707.442.6243.

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