It took me five years but I finally got back to a 34.

An old adage says that after 30 years of age, the average person will gain a pound a year.

For me that adage was true. However, just gaining the weight would have almost been better than what happened to me. Like many people, I have gained and lost 20 to 30 pounds many times. I was a true yo-yo dieter.

Well, this weekend it finally happened. I finally got off the ups and downs of dieting.

I must admit I had an agenda when I agreed to found and champion the "Healthiest Town in America" initiative here on the northwest side. I wanted to live Dr. Richard Carmona's vision. I knew that gaining then losing 20-plus pounds constantly was not healthy and that it was killing my clothes budget.

It was as if my wardrobe was bipolar. There was the out-of-shape me and then there was the in-shape me.

Last Friday, five years of embracing a healthier lifestyle paid the ultimate benefit.

That day Imelda at Jos. A. Bank clothing store handed me some pants, waist size 34. My quest to start a healthy lifestyle began five years ago when she had handed me 38s. Ouch! Oh NO, 38s won't do!

I didn't diet to lose the weight. It was lifestyle changes that led to the healthier me. I learned the importance of sleep and stress management, since poor sleeping habits lead to poor eating habits.

I added regular exercise to my regimen, both for my physical health and for stress relief.

And keeping portion sizes and carbohydrates in check is critical, especially when eating out.

As always, God has unexpected "gifts" for me whenever I think I know where my road in life is taking me.

Finally getting into clothes and sizes I wore many years ago was an unexpected benefit.

But the real surprise was the look on my children's faces as they saw my pre-30-year-old weight for the first time.

The last 15 pounds of weight loss came rather quickly as all the good habits seemed to finally come together. It revealed a very toned body that had been covered by 15 pounds of "bloating." Now I look like I did before we had children.

Debbie calls it my "lean and mean, buff body."

Hitting this milestone was worth all the time and effort because not only do I benefit by being healthier, but my children learned from it, too.

And here's some good news about Healthiest Town in America - it has achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

I hope people in the community realize all the time and effort HTA executive director Kathy Dunn, the HTA board, and the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce give to this initiative.

Mark your calendars for the next event, on Nov. 6, and check out more information at online.

Enjoy the journey,


E-mail Bob Oro at