It would be an understatement to say I was slow out of the blocks in terms of a New Year’s resolution to shed the weight that crept back up on me across the fall, but today’s finally that long delayed day that I moved out of neutral and into first gear by taking that first step — literally — onto the scale, which read: 234.8.

That’s actually better than I expected, fearing I’d climbed back up to 240. So I’ll take that little victory and go forward and downward with it.

The second — and perhaps most important — step in the process is the task of rather meticulously tracking and logging my calories and keeping them somewhere in the 2,500-3,000 per day range. As of writing this I’ve had 124 grams of banana along with 32 grams of peanut butter spread atopĀ  45-gram Clif Mojo bar. Add to that a couple cups of coffee with Coffeemate and sugar that I started my day with and I’ve already input some 600 calories. Like I said: meticulous. I can’t emphasis enough how key this regulation/awareness/moderation aspect is to the whole process. Case in point: with peanut butter it’s just waaaay too easy to take a tablespoon and scoop out double or triple a single-serving turning 190 calories into 600 without a second thought.

Third comes the output. In addition to the biking and walking that I enjoy, I’m going to include a couple new exercise options that I am not so enamored with but are necessary: jogging and weight training. In fact at some point today I’ll make my way into the backyard to dust off the old curling bar with a couple sets of a variety of presses, curls and rows and later head out to the relative solitude of the LA River’s east bank to plod out a mile or so — hopefully in a continuous fashion somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 minutes.

With a plan simply to burn more calories every day than those I consume, my first stage goal is to be at 220 pounds by May 1, with an ultimate goal to be at 200 by September 1.

Here we go.

UPDATED (4:21p.m.): There’s something about that first day of total commitment to a healthier eating regimen that’s nothing less than a total rush of mental switches getting flipped to GO. I’ve only had about 1,200 calories at this point in the day (and I’m not hungry), and I cranked out three sets of six arm/upper body lifts before heading over to the river’s east bank as planned and lumbering through an 11-minute mile — the first continuous one I’ve run in five years, at least. It wasn’t pretty, but you’ve gotta start somewhere.