My doctor has been saying that I'm "pre-diabetic," which I've always assumed was medic lingo for "fat and middle-aged." But it's more than that.
I am not overweight because I lack discipline, or because I'm a slob, such that if I just ate a normal diet like a person with decent self-respect, I'd have a healthier weight. No, I eat a normal diet like a person with decent self-respect. Sure, there's a little bit too much snacking between meals, but I'm not fat because I'm a slob: I'm fat because my body can't handle the ordinary load I'm putting on it any more.
Which means that in order to lose weight and keep it off, I'm going to have to eat a very UN-ordinary diet. For the rest of my life. I'm going to have to restrict starches and oils more than an ordinary person would have to in one's diet. And I'm going to have to figure out what to do with the desire to stick something in my mouth all the time.
I'm a compulsive person, and the medium of my compulsion is oral. Quitting smoking years ago was a terrible trial, and having broken free, I realize that if I took but a single puff off a cigar, I'd be a chimney again within six days. But you can't just quit eating like you can quit smoking. Stress control may be important in all this (how you control stress in the pastorate is anybody's guess and nobody's success), but in the end, I'm going to have to find something I can eat, chew, or swig that doesn't overload my pancreas.
If I want to be able to take my little grandcub backpacking when I'm seventy, I can't be insulin-dependent. Extending the life of my pancreas means re-ordering my life in a profound way, something beyond merely eating healthy and getting enough exercise. I have no clue how to do this. But I've got to.