What was that again? Lose weight? That was my thought as I made my way around the drive-thru at Burger King. Hovering between guilt and hunger, I hastily adjusted my order to an undressed cheeseburger, no fries, no drink. I made do with cold coffee. My current weight is 187 pounds. I have found that weight control works best when shared with someone who can remind me that I intended to go down from there, not up. Just an aside, I lost 20 pounds two years ago when I had total replacement of both knees. I do not recommend that particular weight loss program unless it is absolutely necessary.

This time of the year is a real challenge for weight control. There are lots of tasty leftovers, including candy. The weather is not usually good for walking. Football and basketball games abound with their halftime extravaganzas of fast food and snacks, beer and soft drinks. I have yet to see a bowl of Brussel sprouts and mineral water offered as a healthy choice. Being a healthy, food conscious person is difficult.

There are some interesting things about fast foods which may lead you to eat less, according to “Chew On This,” by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. About that hamburger patty: One small burger weighing 102 grams has about 3.6 grams of saturated fats. While some fats are necessary for our body health, excesses may lead to unhealthy cholesterol changes, produce insulin resistance or accumulate around the belly or other places. Colas? We have heard enough about both regular and diet colas to know that neither one helps with weight control. Then there are fries. Increase the size, you say? Until 1962, potatoes were peeled and sliced in the store and fried fresh. The process took a lot of the employees’ time. Along came J.R. Simplot, who patented his process for making frozen french fries and sold his idea to fast food restaurants. The rest is history. Boiled in oil fries quickly became the money maker for the fast food industry. Fattening? You betcha.

So the bottom line here is not abstinence but moderation mixed with healthy food choices, most of the time, and exercise. For the latter I recommend the Riverfront Community Center and Great Life Golf facility on Eisenhower Road. Both have lots of exercise equipment and programs at reasonable prices. The Great Life facility has tread mills with a nice view of the golf course. See you on the treadmill.

Jim McKinney lives in downtown Leavenworth.