Robert Miller by the Highlands County Family YMCA pool.

We’ll start off this week with the good news that I lost 2.5 pounds last week. I feel good most days. I still have a nagging pain in my left hip and the occasional back pain, but that’s usually after long walks.

But something that I look forward to helping with the pain is more time in the pool. Over the weekend I started back at the pool at the Highlands County Family YMCA. Along with being refreshing on a hot day, the pool is low impact on my joints and I can get in laps and other exercises without feeling the hip.

And I think that I missed it too.

The pool is a great, low-impact way to burn calories but it also is a great place to meet new people. I met a wonderful woman who showed me some water exercises that have been helping her with her hip. We chatted a little before a delightful family of three who were out for some relief from the sweltering summer heat joined us.

In fact, the pool area was quite busy over the weekend. Plenty of parents and their children taking swimming lessons and trying to beat the heat. I love how even though you are there to workout, you don’t feel like a number or that you are lesser for being overweight.

Instead, it has a more family atmosphere. You go there and see friends, or at least friendly faces. And that’s what you want when you are trying to lose weight. There’s enough pressure and stress, mostly from yourself, that having that friendly atmosphere that also holds you accountable is a blessing.

When I go into Publix, the mall or even the gas station, people recognize me from this column and always offer up some bit of advice or special recipe they want to share with me. Regardless of what they do or do not want to share, they always ask me how the weight loss is going. And I appreciate that.

It’s nice to know that I have so many people wanting me to succeed. It’s also a good way to hold myself accountable. It’s like having 10,000 cameras always on and looking to catch you cheating.

For example, last week I was at the WipeOut Zone in the Lakeshore Mall to talk to the owner to write a story for the newspaper. They were handing out free cans of Coke’s new flavor, Orange Vanilla. Of course I haven’t had a soda in five months now. But I took it anyway, intending to give it to a coworker.

Before I even get out of the location, a passerby stops and points out that the soda is not on my diet and I shouldn’t drink it. This is the kind of accountability that I appreciate. I don’t know the name of that passerby, but I appreciate that he was there.

But for all the accountability, I didn’t listen when my wife told me not to get that pre-made turkey sub. When I went to eat this sub, the first thing I did was open it and check the meat for paper. The week before we had bought one that still had the white paper between the slices of meat.

This time there was no paper. Instead, I found a large spot of green mold on the cheese. Maybe that’s the universe watching me and holding me accountable. I don’t normally eat subs all the time, maybe a couple days a week. Well Universe, you’re right. I didn’t need the bread. I definitely didn’t need the mold.


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