Four years ago at this time I was in the sixth month of a simple calorie counting/cataloging program through a wonderful website at www.fitday.com, and I stood at 208 pounds — 52 lighter than what I’d weighed when I began in January 2006 (and the lightest I’d been since my late teens). For a year or so after that though I wasn’t as dedicated to counting calories, I mostly kept a firm grip on the good  eating habits I’d developed and even if that grasp might have slipped a bit now and then, I still managed to maintain myself at around 220, which is comfortable for me.

But in the past couple years, I haven’t stepped on a scale, and haven’t counted a calorie while shoveling more of them into me — relying mostly on balancing my over-eating with the 30 miles a day I’d bike commute roundtrip between work and back. And for the most part that regular exercise element did it’s job in keeping me from any rampant expansions.

Well, these last couple months I’ve been blessed to work full time from home. And cursed. Because while it’s amazing to some how easy it was for me to get on a bike when I needed to and roll up 6,000-plus miles a year, it’s even more amazing to me how easy it is not to get on a bike when you don’t need to. Many have there come mornings these last few weeks where I’ve vowed to go for an early ride. But  many are the excuses I come up with — like take this morning for example: it was drizzling and that was enough to rationalize me out of the saddle. This from a guy who used to relish biking home from work under torrential downpours. Whereas I could pretty much count on pedaling 600 or 700 miles a month, this past May and June combined have produced less than 400… all the while enjoying far too many beers and Ben & Jerry’s.

And the end result is I stepped on the scale today and it said getthehelloffme — or 236. Same thing.

Two. Thirty. Six. Damn.

Time to start climbing the right way on that ladder: down.

So while yeah… I didn’t get on the bike like I wanted today because of this morning’s monsoon my laziness, I did log on to my old Fitday.com account and tabulate every freakin’ calorie consumed so far, down to the spoonfuls of Coffee-Mate (10 calories) I put in my morning cups of joe. It’s a system that worked before and it’ll work again.

As of writing this late in the afternoon I’m at 1,954 calories for the day, with dinner still to come. My per-day goal is to keep my daily intake somewhere around the 2,000 calorie mark — a few hundred more on those coming days when I will not be able to find any excuses (no matter how hard I try) and instead go burn some cycling or walking the neighborhoods. At that rate I’ll be able to hit my first-stage target weight of 215 by my November 1 deadline — and be down to 195 in time for March of next year just in time for when Susan and I will be vacationing in Thailand and Cambodia.