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2:53 p.m. - January 08, 2006
Oof! One Man to a Pair of Pants, Please!
(Warning – this essay may have a sense of “Woe-Is-Uh-Me Bop” to it. Sorry, so verrry verrry sorrrry).

I didn’t have a very cheery mid-morning after a good start to the day.

I was getting dressed for church after a nice, long shower (it was amongst the pantheon of showers – no real time constraints, perfect water temperature, perfect sudsing) and I grabbed a pair of some good dress pants.

As I buttoned them I noticed they were a bit tight. Ok, more than a bit tight. They were definitely as tight as an old pair of Jordache jeans were supposed to be. So I couldn’t wear them, really, without giving up breathing. And since it’s not Lent, I didn’t feel compelled to make that my sacrifice.

Then I realized something.

I’ve been a bit less than stellar in my eating habits over the past month or so.

I know its easy to blame the holidays, so I’ll blame them, partially. But the holidays didn’t cause me to:

• Decide to augment my ‘butter light’ popcorn my wife bought with ACTUAL butter.
• Decide to always grab popcorn and /or nachos when covering sporting events over the past month.
• Decide that Taco Bell was back on the approved restaurant list for lunch.
• Decide that “Fossil Fuel” Ben & Jerry’s was delicious.
• Decide that you can eat 30 pizza rolls for lunch when watching football.
• Decide that Nerds were an acceptable snack both before and after lunch, and because of your OCD you had to eat two strawberry boxes and two grape boxes to be sure it all evened out.
• Decide that the blueberry bear claws that the IGA sold 2 for $1 were the perfect breakfast.
• Decide that you can drink a lot o’ beer watching football on the 2nd.
• Decide that Oil Cans o’ Fosters were perfect for the Rose Bowl.
• Decide that you can make bacon AND sausage AND hash browns AND scrambled eggs for breakfast, and make sure that none go to waist, er, waste.
• Decide that you can finish off the rest of that pot roast. Go right ahead. It’s yummy.

So I’ve put on some weight.

Now, I could blame that fact that the food I like to eat is all very much in the realm of “yummy but dangerous”. But I know that.

I’ve been a pretty picky eater for almost all of my life. I’m a meat-and-potatoes guy for sure. Green stuff – feh. I do like a nice Caesar salad, but stuff like broccoli, forget it.

Back in 2001, I went to the doctor for the first time in a long time. It was on the same day that I had to leave for Minneapolis to attend the memorial service of a close high school friend. My doctor basically said “fat, drunk and stupid ain’t no way to go through life, son”.

(Well, not really. She was a nice, young doctor – a redhead even! And it was a thorough physical, so I felt compelled to tell my wife that a redheaded vixen younger than me told me to turn my head and cough. Actually, Liz really liked her, too, so I felt safe).

Anyway, I was shocked that I hit the double century mark in weight.


When I graduated high school, I weighed 135 pounds. When I graduated college, I weighted 155 pounds. My dad and my sister are, shall we say, beanpoles, and my dad, for one, loved a lot of the foods I did, and more. But he also worked in a factory at a job, at times, that required some labor. Me, I sit on my ass and pound a bunch of keys for a living. Not exactly burning up the calories on a daily basis – but still…

I, unfortunately, got my adult metabolism from my mother’s side.

So I set out to get that corrected, and I did.

I cut out Taco Bell. I halved my normal fast food orders. I took more walks. I started to play basketball.

Withn 2 ½ years, I was down to 165 pounds. People did start to notice as well.

But with kids, stress at work, etc. and the longing for a chili cheese burrito it’s gradually increased.

So I’m at a crossroads again.

Liz has done Weight Watchers successfully, and has always recommended that as a way to lose excess pounds.

But I know me, and I know what I like to eat, and I know I don’t cotton to groupthink. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Weight Watchers, at all. It’s just not in my idiom, as it were.)

So I’m going to devise my own plan.

First, I’m going to walk to work whenever I can. I really should. It takes me less than 10 minutes to walk there, and I always have a lame excuse on why I don’t. (That could, right there, could develop rain and get me wet if I stop at every house on the way and beg for change).

Second, I’m going to play one more game of basketball each day that I play (Monday and Wednesday). I can clear meetings out until past 1:30, so I’ll do that.

Third, I’ll eat at my desk. I have a wide collection of soups at my desk. Now, Campbell’s Bean with Bacon may not be the paragon of health, but a can of that is certainly less calories and other icky stuff than my traditional $6.66 meal at Wendy’s.

Fourth, I’ll eat breakfast more often. If I eat breakfast, I don’t feel compelled to eat the Chinese buffet out of General Tso’s Chicken.

Fifth, I’ll cut out that beer or wine at 11:30 or so. That one extra can add on the pounds.

Sixth, I have to treat bacon as a special occasion food. Geez, bacon is the king heroin of foods for me. I love whipping up a good breakfast with the trimmings, and I always pile on the bacon. I attend a lot of conferences, and they always have breakfast buffets that have unlimited bacon. At times, I push the envelope on unlimited bacon.

Damn you, God, for making bacon so scrumptious. That’s one of your jokes, right? Hah, hah. A real knee slapper.

If I follow these practices, by the time I need to see the doctor again (to refill my prescriptions and get the once over twice) I should be at a tolerable weight and my heart and bloodstream won’t threaten to secede.

Because I just don’t want my new doctor yelling at me for being fat, drunk and stupid.

I’ll take two out of three, but not the trifecta, thanks.


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