It was one of those historic moments.

I believe it will go down in the history of Jim as an unforgettable moment.

I believe I will forever remember where I was sitting when that historical moment occurred and – like wife Becky always does – I will forever remember what I was wearing on that special day.

Today, I remember that event as if it happened just yesterday.

For the record, it happened yesterday.

There I was sitting at Occasions at Stone River, performing some reporting duties at the Royse City Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon. I get to eat lunch at this meeting and I was halfway through a delicious piece of cheesecake when that historical moment occurred.

I heard a voice. If you were attending that same luncheon, you didn’t hear that voice. It was a voice meant for my ears only and I heard those words oh so clearly.

“Jim, what are you doing?” was all I heard.

No other words were necessary. I knew why that question was asked and I knew the answer. Silly me, I was eating cheesecake. That question and my answer kind of jolted me into a reality, that I had no business eating that cheesecake. And it probably will be the last time I will eat a piece of cheesecake – or pie, or cookie, or candy – for a very long time.

What about petit fours? They are my all-time favorites, especially those from the Butcher Shop Bakery in Longview. Nope. No petit fours.

The historic moment was one of those enough-is-enough moments. I’ve put on some pounds and now is the time to take control of my eating habits.

I didn’t say diet, did I? No siree, Bob.

I said “eating habits.”

While I was sitting there finishing my last dessert – the last bites of cheesecake – I thought back 20 or so years ago when I awoke one day and realized I weighed 213 pounds. Yes, this young man who was once known as Little Jimmy Hardin weighed 213 pounds.

Well, of course, that weight change didn’t just happen overnight and weight change to a goal-weight on the lighter side of the scales won’t happen overnight - or in a week or two, or a month. I’ve got to get back to good “eating habits” on a daily basis.

I went from 213 to 160-something years ago by changing my eating habits. I’m not going to tell you exactly what I did, but it worked. Here’s the deal.  I knew what foods put the pounds on, so I stopped eating those foods.

Back then, I learned to just say “no” to hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, colas, potato chips, Mexican food, Italian food (pizza), chicken fried steak, cakes, cookies, pies, candy – just to name a few.

Got to stop. I’m getting hungry.

Speaking of stopping. What I did back then was stop before I ate. Wait. Is what I’m about to eat a healthy choice for me? Will this food help me find that Little Jimmy Hardin form again?

Choices, choices, choices. It all comes down to choices. Healthy choices, not just choices that will cause the pounds to fly off.

Give me a month. I will report back here in one month to let you know how it’s going. I believe that I will report that I am enjoying overwhelming success. And when I reach my goal weight of 170, I will release my book. I believe my book will be titled, “What Are You Doing?” For some people, that four-word question will speak to you as it did to me yesterday. You will buy the book and reach your healthy-eating, health-living goals. And because of my book sales, I will be able to retire again. A win-win for sure.

OK. I’ve got to stop something, but I’ve also got to start something.

I’ve got to get my running miles up again. Since I’ve stopped running with my Rockwall Running Club friends on a regular basis, my running life has slowed – mild pun intended – and I’m simply not burning those calories like I did in past years.

The reason I’m telling you this is accountability of sorts. Some of my good friends are going to notice me when I’m out and about in certain eating scenarios – my almost-daily lunches at the Senior Center, chamber of commerce luncheons, other eating opportunities that I have while performing my duties as a reporter.

I’m going to be on my best behavior, but if I slip, I’m depending on you and I’m asking you to help me. You don’t have to shout, but simply ask me, “Jim, what are you doing?”

I guarantee, I will look at my plate or what I’m holding in my hand. I will loudly and clearly hear your question. And then I will have two words for you.

Thank you.


Jim Hardin may be reached at