Whittling Away: Losing


By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

It’s a losing fight. Dieting, I mean. 

How come it’s so much fun putting it on — a few dozen cartons of ice cream, a couple of cases of assorted “Little Debbie” products, a few cheesecakes, a couple of carloads of pasta, and there it is! It just merrily plops on with all its wrinkles smiling up at you as your navel starts to resemble a Florida sink hole. 

Everything is fine — tummy feels great, taste buds are alive and well, you’re living large — then one day you realize just how large you’re living.

You start to notice little things, like how you’ve turned the full-length mirror in the bedroom sideways because you no longer fit lengthwise, you haven’t buttoned the top button on your pants for weeks, you frequently hyperventilate and take short naps on the floor during the morning sock wrestle.

And then there was the time in church when you bent over to tie your shoe and the little kids pulled their chairs up and began asking when the movie was going to start, and so you decide it’s that time again.

Most of us have been there. It starts with teeth-gritting determination and ridiculous goals. Fifty pounds — let’s see, that should take about — ahhh, three weeks if I’m really good and exercise a lot. 

I’ll get right into it the first week. Up at 5:30, jog three miles, a light breakfast — small bowl of twigs and bark and a large glass of water should do it. An hour or two on the treadmill followed by a couple hours of sit-ups and we’re already up to lunch. Eat a cup of dry oatmeal and follow it with a couple of cupfuls of hot water — this never fails to produce a nice full feeling — and then off for a nice two-hour power walk topped off with a showing of Richard Simmons’ “Sweating with the Chubbies” video. 

A nice 10-minute break and then Pilates until supper. A good hearty supper of two rice cakes and a cup of bouillon, an hour or so of watching Dr. Phil shows on tape and it’s off to bed, morning will come early.

In a perfect world, this plan would work and I probably could lose 50 pounds in a week, but reality has a way of interfering. 

The alarm goes off — did you know that it’s completely dark at 5:30 a.m.? A guy could get run over out there on the road in the dark and it’s cold, safer to nap a little, at least until the sun is up.

Now it’s 8:30 — can’t run now, it’ll put the day’s schedule way off. Breakfast — couldn’t find the twigs and bark, but there were three doughnuts left in a box on the counter. I was raised to not waste food and they were already in danger of becoming stale so I did the right thing.

I’ll make up for them on the old treadmill. Found out we don’t own a treadmill so I watched six episodes of “I Love Lucy” and it was lunchtime. The rice cakes tasted like Styrofoam but some peanut butter and jelly helped — in fact, they were downright tasty, so I finished the package.

All this tired me out so I opted for a power nap instead of a power walk.

After an invigorating nap, I had good intentions but when I went to put Richard and “Sweating to the Chubbies” in the VCR, there sat the tape of “Babe” that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while, so I did. 

After watching the video, I had a craving for ham for some reason so I cooked one for supper and made a nice potato salad to go with it.

The Girl Scout truck arrived shortly after supper so I had one of the convenient single-serving sized packages of Thin Mints and one of Do-se-dos, sat in the recliner until I dozed off and went to bed. 

Dieting just wears me out, but if worse comes to worst, I found this little wheel on the front of the bathroom scales and now I can lose weight any time and at any rate I want. Try it — it’s great!

Thought for the week — An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

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

Reach columnist Dick Brooks at whittle12124@yahoo.com.

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