“I'm going on a diet. (Crud, I know)
I am going to be cranky.
I am going to be irritable.
I am going to be moody and sad and mean.
And, yes, I am going to be hungry.
Please don't feed me, even if I try to bite you.
Please don't tease me, I may hurt you.
Please don't try to encourage me, I may growl and snap at you.
Please don't help me, I may blame you for everything aggravating in the known universe.
Please don't be offended by my scowl, I cannot smile.
But most importantly, please keep your distance until this trial is over to prevent any unnecessary casualties.
Thank you for your understanding. ”
(Richelle E. Goodrich)
I’m warning folks now . . . it ain’t going to be pretty in the next couple of weeks . . . I need to lose some weight. To lose weight one has to watch what he or she eats (also called a diet) and exercise. Neither of which, at this point in my life, sounds like a whole lot of fun. I guess you could almost say that I would rather have four root canals while listening to rap music before dieting and exercising. As I said, it ain’t going to be pretty.
One of the perks of my job at the university is that I have excellent health care insurance that pays for health check-ups on a regular basis. This means that every couple of months I can check my health and see how healthy I am. This is always an adventure . . . lately, an adventure that has gone wrong. The wrong numbers keep going up and the ol’ middle keeps expanding . . . primarily around the equator just above my belt. Of course the insurance company wants me to know that things are going south when they send me my test results. They hint at things that I should improve to be healthier. I do not think that it is that they actually care about my health, but that if the numbers keep going up, I become a health risk to their income. Heaven forbid if the insurer actually use his or her insurance that they have spent years paying for.
So, I got one of those letters with my health results. They explained that I was not a risk . . . yet; but if I kept with my increasing results, I would be a risk. Not wanting me to be a risk, they made several suggestions. Among the top two . . . actually, the only two . . . they suggested that I watch my diet and start exercising more. If I do those two things, they figure, I should get healthier and can keep paying my insurance premiums for another twenty to thirty years. They are serious, too. They even warned me that they would be calling to see if I wanted to be a part of a special program designed for people like me . . . I am bursting with anticipation. I am bursting so much my belly is jiggling!
Approximately eleven to twelve years ago exercise faded out of my life. Prior to that I was a runner and played a lot of basketball each week. But it slowly faded out until it disappeared . . . and, to be honest, I really haven’t missed it too much. Naw, that is a lie . . . I miss it a lot. I really did enjoy running . . . really did enjoy playing basketball. It kept me in shape and kept the insurance company off my back. The problem is that I got busy . . . busy with work, busy with keeping up with the kids as they grew up . . . busy, busy, busy. And, as I said, exercise just slowly faded out of the picture.
Gone with the exercise was my physical conditioning—or what they call being in shape. The old rule of thumb from my years of running is that it takes two days to make up for every day you miss from running. The adage is the same with exercise. I figure if that is true it will take me approximately 8,790 days or 24 years to get back into shape . . . I’ll be 79 years old by then . . . I’ll let the wheelchair do the work for me. Plus, starting any exercise means work . . . means pain. Not real positive reinforcement there. It just sounds tiresome . . . I am already tired.
Dieting . . . or, as the insurance company recommends, watching what I eat . . . isn’t much better than dieting. For the past year the wife has been trying to get me to change my diet . . . actually, she has been forcing it on me. We eat all sorts of fancy meals that are supposed to be healthy for us. Lots of chicken . . . lots of fish . . . lots of vegetables. I don’t care for chicken much anymore, the wife has fed so much of it to me that I just cringe at the mention of it. There is only one way l eat chicken and that is deep fat fried with the skin on . . . the KFC way! Same with salmon . . . other fish I can enjoy, but salmon is inching its way up next to chicken. Too much of a good thing can kill ya too! I want the insurance company to know that I watch everything that I eat . . . and, lately, the added bonus is that I can even watch it longer as it congregates around my midsection.
At the start of August . . . it begins. I begin to watch what I eat. I begin to exercise more. Everyone has been forewarned. It ain’t going to be pretty . . . or at least, I ain’t going to be pretty . . . or nice. I don’t know what will kill me first, the diet and exercise or someone tired of my attitude. Either way, things are going to get interesting after the youngest son’s wedding. In the meantime, I am going for broke . . . I am eating that which I shouldn’t be eating, drinking that which I should not drink, and sitting around enjoying it all. Kind of pisses off the insurance company, but I am bearable for the time being. In another two weeks . . . watch out!