The Process of Losing Twenty Pounds

Micah Ward
6 min readSep 14, 2023

Hint: The why is more important than the how.

The slimmed down version of the author.

Over the past 47 days, I have dropped from 200 pounds to 180. For several years, I knew I needed to do it. But, for various reasons, I had not made it a top priority in my life. Those reasons aren’t important. What is important is that after years of putting it off, I finally did it. Before getting into how I lost the weight, I want to explain why. Because I believe the WHY to be as important, if not more so, than the HOW.

In 2018 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. My urologist pointed straight at my stomach and said, “Dude, you gotta do something about that.” Since I carried two hundred pounds on a 5’ 8” frame, I accepted that he had a point. He went on to explain how the Mayo “Mothership” in Rochester, Minnesota had drawn connections between excess weight and cancer growth and why it was in my best interest to be less round around the middle. I nodded in agreement but did nothing about it.

In December 2019 degenerative arthritis in my lower back caused a pinched nerve that resulted in three ER visits, two spinal injections for pain and 27 consecutive nights trying to catch a few minutes of sleep in a recliner because it was too painful to lie in a bed. When the pain lessened to the point that I could shuffle along with a walker, I went back to the Mayo Clinic to consult with a neurosurgeon. He said, “Dude, this stuff won’t get better. Surgery isn’t an option for you, but losing twenty pounds would relieve some of the stress on your back.” I nodded in agreement and, once again, did nothing.

During the summer of 2020 the majority of our family spent a week together on a lake house vacation. A week of swimming and rough housing with grandsons almost destroyed my back. When it came time to pack up and leave, my daughters wouldn’t let me lift anything bigger than a medium sized ditty bag. Things had to change, or my rough housing days would be over. But they didn’t.

In early 2021 I decided that I would run in the following year’s National Senior Games. I also decided that I would finally lose those perpetual twenty pounds and put in my best performance in years. But I didn’t.

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Micah Ward

Micah is a retiree who writes, runs, prays and enjoys craft beer in the rolling hills of central Tennessee. He goes to the ocean when he can.