GNH Lumber

Whittling Away: Loser wanna be

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

It seems that everywhere one looks these days the main topic is that of weight loss. 

It is one of the perennial subjects of talk shows and news programs. I guess it’s one of the signs of the times we live in that we’re going to have to put up with. 

There was a time in our past where a few extra pounds were looked on with favor; it was considered a buffer against hard times. In ancient China, the more corpulent you were, the higher your rank. 

A glance in the mirror tells me I would probably be the emperor. 

I’ve always admired Buddha, but not necessarily for his girth, so maybe it’s time to do something about it myself.

I don’t intend to model myself after the current group of painfully thin young female starlets that are so often in the news because unlike the current crop of teenagers, I really do listen to the news reports and one can only hear the words “anorexic and bulimic” so many times before one gets the idea this might not be the proper path to follow. 

It’s the other catchwords from the weight shows like, “Diabetes and High Blood Pressure” that have caught my attention and have made me decide to alter my rather bulbous appearance, although I have considered getting a Goodyear T-shirt and renting myself out for football games.

Most authorities on the subject suggest simply cutting back on the amount of food eaten and increasing your exercise level — yeah right! Like, whose going to do that? 

I’ve tried most of the major diets and they all have worked. Unfortunately, for them to continue working, one would have to have one’s mouth sewn shut. So I’ve decided to give it a little thought and develop my own diet/weight-loss program. If it works as well as I think it will, I could market it and make a fortune. If you’re rich, nobody cares what kind of shape you have.

I will forgo the exercise part, having fallen victim to the slick ads for several of the exercise machines touted in early-morning infomercials. They seem like a great idea at the time, but quickly become boring and, worst of all, they make you all sweaty! 

I’m sure if a study was done it would be discovered there is at least one exercise machine hidden and dust covered in every attic and garage in America. You have one, don’t you? It would have been cheaper to join a gym, although the idea of driving to a gym and then spending my time walking on a treadmill or using a stair-climbing machine when I have stairs at home that I don’t enjoy climbing just seems kind of silly. 

In my case, at least, it all comes down to the diet.

Mentally reviewing the history of recent diet trends, it was first the push against calories — you had to keep track of the calories consumed daily. This fluctuated wildly because it varied due to the size of the portion and how it was prepared. Mainly you lost weight only because you had to lug around a calorie-counting book listing the calories in common food. This book was the size of the average unabridged dictionary. 

Then it was the carbohydrates that were bad. I liked that one because you could eat a cow at a sitting as long as you passed up the lima beans.

Then fats had their turn at the plate, so to speak. Turns out there are good fats and bad fats; the problem is knowing which to swallow and which to spit out.

I’ve developed my diet with the thought that it would be simple and easy of follow. Tree bark will be a mainstay. I can’t find it listed in my calorie book, it has no known fats and is very low in carbs. It would certainly meet your body’s need for fiber; regularity is important to one of my age. 

Three or four pails of water a day will take care of hydration.  

You are allowed a snack — I would recommend eating a cup of dry oatmeal, followed by a pail of warm water. I guarantee you will have no hunger pangs afterward. 

I think I’ll recommend a daily box of Twinkies also — they contain more preservatives per serving than any other food known to mankind. Again, at my age, this is an important consideration. 

Following this diet should result in losing weight faster than the national debt rises!

If you try it, let me know how you made out. After thinking it over, I think I’ll wait a while.  Does anybody know where I can get a Goodyear T-shirt?

Thought for the week — “Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.” — Will Rogers

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

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