Through Thom Tinted Lenses

February 28, 2010

WEIGHT FOR ME by Thom Reese


You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I used to weigh only seven pounds six ounces.

Guess I’ve put on a few pounds.

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to tackle weight. People tend to get touchy about the topic, and I usually address more social and cultural issues in this space. But, considering that reportedly sixty-seven percent of the population is currently, shall we say, gravitationally augmented, I figured there was some meat here.

I started out as a pencil-thin athletic guy. Then I progressed into a rather paunchy athletic guy. Then came paunchy and not entirely athletic. Then, more paunch accompanied by comments such as, “Well, I used to swim 5,000 yards per day.” Or, “Wow, can we get extra cheese on that triple extra large mondo deep dish pizza?” Eventually I hit Jabba the Hut stage with a vague recollection of athleticism long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Now, I field repeated calls from the Richter scale folks asking me to tone it down every time I hop out of bed.

I’ve known all along that I can lose weight – I’ve done it before. And since I’ve done it before, I know just what it takes. But I decided that this time around I didn’t want to spend five months locked in a six-by-six room, on a diet of water and water, watching an endless fifteen-minute Richard Simmons loop. Okay, maybe my previous regime wasn’t quite that extreme, but it felt that way.

So, how does one lose weight in a society dedicated to excessive consumption?

Liposuction? Protein shakes? Tummy tucks? Tummy staples? (Ouch!) Diet pills? Juice-only diets? Meat-only diets? Snickers-only diets? Amputation of ten ugly pounds just above the shoulders? The choices seem endless.

After several agonizing seconds of contemplation I settled on a program that involves diet and exercise. Pretty brown paper bag, but effective – I hope.

The exercise came easy. I’m a former competitive swimmer. I used to run triathlons. I coached swimming for a number of years. I knew what had to be done. It was just a matter of getting back into the groove.

But, diet.

Yikes! That’s the toughie. I suffer from Black Hole syndrome. Anything tasty that falls within my gravitational force gets sucked in like light into a collapsing star.

My plan hasn’t so much been to “be” on a diet, but simply to “change” my diet. Eat intelligently. No more intravenous pizza, no more deep-fried chocolate-covered Twinkies at midnight, no more – gasp! – Pepsi. That’s the biggie. Cut me and my blood pops and fizzles with carbonation. So, now I pay attention to my diet, say no to any food I might remotely desire. I even peruse the nutritional information on packaging. Did you know that a Snickers bar actually has the nerve to boast a “nutritional information” tag on its wrapper?

I looked at a frozen pot pie at the grocer. One of those gourmet brands. Just a little pot pie – 110% of the daily saturated fat allowance. 110%! Why don’t they just call the thing Pot-O-Death and be done with it? They should probably serve it with defibrillators. You know, “Hang on a sec before I take another bite. CLEAR!” VOOOMP! “Ah, much better. Now, can you pass me a couple sticks of butter ala-mode?”

I figured throwing vitamins into the mix would be a good idea, so I bought a vitamin pack at a convenience store. Theoretically, it’s supposed to contain all of the nutrients one needs for an entire day. I read the label: Vitamins A, B, B12, C, E, Magnesium, Iron, Beta-carotene – non-lethal.

Non-lethal?

Was there any expectation to the contrary? Vitamin C doesn’t say non-lethal. B12 has no skull & cross-bones in parentheses. But, beta-carotene specifically notes non-lethal. What’s the implication? That this is the one safe pill in the pack? Take one of the others and it’s bye-bye Tommy. And how do I know which one is beta-carotene? The pills aren’t labeled. It’s Russian vitamin pack roulette. “Hey, this might make you really healthy, or you might just die. Have a nice day.”

I think I’ll stick with One-a-Day.

With all of the exercise and decreased caloric intake, I figured vegetables should play a larger role in my day-to-day life. As in, I should actually eat them. I’ve never been opposed to veggies, but have probably held on to a bit of my pre-adolescent distaste for the things. It really isn’t so much the taste as the names. Case in point, what self-respecting kid is going to eat something called squash? Or rutabaga? Or eggplant? There’s never any trouble getting kids to eat candy. Why? Because these have fun names. Snickers, Skittles, Gummy Bears. I think the candy people should rename the vegetables.

“Here, son, eat your Tweedles.”

“Tweedles! Oh, boy!”

Little does he know that last week they were called Brussels sprouts.

So, I’ve taken all of the steps. I work out four days a week. I’ve radically changed my diet. I’m pretending that I no longer enjoy Pepsi. Any change? Yep. Six weeks in and I’ve lost twenty-one pounds. Feels good. Especially the exercise. Now, will someone please get that left-over pizza out of the fridge before I have a San Andreas-caliber relapse?

Thom Reese is a Las Vegas based writer whose weekly radio show, 21st Century Audio Theatre, previously aired on the 50,000 watt KDWN. Fourteen of Thom’s audio dramas will be released by Speaking Volumes Quality Audio Books throughout 2010. Thom studied comedy writing at The Second City and works in market research for CBS Broadcasting.

Copyright 2010 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

“Through Thom Tinted Lenses” is posted weekly. If you enjoy these blogs, please subscribe using the button to the right and share the link with your friends. Comments are welcome.

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9 Comments »

  1. Oh, I have to remember your opening line….you wouldn’t know it by me but I once weight 3 pounds 2 ounces. Love it!!!!
    Lindsey Petersen
    http://5kidswdisabilities.wordpress.com

    Comment by 5kidswdisabilities — February 28, 2010 @ 6:35 am | Reply

  2. No more deep-fried chocolate-covered Twinkies? Oh you have my sympathies, how are you surviving?
    You have more perseverance than I, and congratulations on the success.

    Comment by A. F. Stewart — February 28, 2010 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  3. I learned a long time ago, it isn’t dieting that really wins the game. It’s keeping it off for the rest of your life. That is a real pill to do, for who wants to spend the rest of their life eating nothing but veggies and fruit.

    And to do without a Coke for the rest of my life feels like I’m in a prison. Truthfully, I need to lose weight. I can picture myself thin. But is it going to happen? I don’t know. Maybe if I met a man I really wanted to impress and get to
    know. Maybe if I could feel better now…instead of six months later.

    I think where we go wrong is dieting then getting off the dieting and then we are either right back where we started from or worse. And usually it’s worse. Now if you can find a diet you can live with and be happy, then you’ve succeeded. If you can lose the weight and find a way to live happily, I’m all for it. But life without a Coke for me is depressing. Life without a muffin is depressing.

    Maybe someday…I’ll try again!!! And much luck to you at keeping it off!!!
    Love and blessings
    Rita

    Comment by Rita Hestand — February 28, 2010 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  4. Good for you Thom you can do it. I have started on my “diet”. Here’s a tip I like to reward myself once a week so I might have a pizza for dinner, or drink a soda. It seams to be working. Anyway good luck

    Comment by kelli — February 28, 2010 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  5. Good for you! Some things that taste good but don’t clog the arteries..Diet Pepsi, not so bad but Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi Rocks. Ok lets see Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Dr. Pepper, and diet Barks or A&D or Diet Orange Sunkist! These are not bad at all, then go on a low cholesteral diet even if your arteries are not that clogged and taking a liking to fish doesn’t hurt that much either…a little exercise and soon Jabba the hut will be a distant memory in an expanding galaxy far far away!

    Comment by Barbi Rose — February 28, 2010 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  6. Thom,

    What is it about us humans. I guess it is the standard “fallen man” in me. I go through the same process. I try to live a holy, prayer life of fasting, prayer and eating only what my body need to live. And then I don’t even know how or when it happens, usually for me it is an “emotional” happening – something upsets me or excits me either one – and before I know it I am “off the wagon (is that the expression?) and I am back to overeating Pizza and drinking wine every night.” Sigh.

    Comment by Nancy — February 28, 2010 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  7. Congrats on your success–keep it up!

    Comment by Lisa Lane — February 28, 2010 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  8. No Pepsi? I can do that. No Coke – never. Great piece. You have captured the struggle of so many. So enjoyed it.

    Comment by Wanda M. Argersinger — March 1, 2010 @ 5:31 am | Reply

  9. GOOD JOB THOM !! HOPE ALL GOES WELL WITHOUT THE PEPSI AND PIZZA…OMG NO PIZZA I WOULD JUST GIVE UP !!

    Comment by patty green — March 1, 2010 @ 7:27 am | Reply


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