Take one man who needs to diet and is out of shape. Add a touch of OCD. Shake well and what have you got? A man who will either lose the weight or lose his mind, and it don’t matter much which one it is!
They say that we all go through phases in our lives. I never really understood that until just recently when it became apparent that; 1) I was rapidly approaching a definite state of obesity, 2) my muscles had turned mostly to mush and 3) my incessant beer drinking was not helping matters along at all! Looking in the mirror, each morning, I found I was a very unhappy man. I felt that something needed to be done and it needed to be done pronto!
And, so it was earlier this year that I reached a tipping point of sorts and decided to make a couple of life style. First off, the drinking thing. I realized that beer was very much a factor in me gaining all that weight! So, I made it a top priority in my list of things to change. I picked the first day of March for the ‘no drinking’ effort, but knew intuitively that I would need some help to make it work. So it was that I called upon my very close friend, Mr. Obsessive C. Behavior to help me out! [Note: My nickname for him is Obs and he’s been annoying me for many years]. When I first met Obs as a much younger man, I wasn’t sure exactly what to make of him. Frankly, he was (and still is) a bit weirdo who has often had great fun screwing around with my life. Yet, I’ve also discovered over the years, that he could prove quite useful (if applied in proper fashion). It’s a Yin and Yang kind of thing!
As March the 1st approached, I called Obs over and worked with him to help devise a working plan of attack. One thing about Obs, he likes is to make very detailed plans. Obs is also a numbers kind of guy in that he likes to construct all forms of charts with spreadsheets that employed a dizzying array of data. (Think of presidential candidate Ross Perot and you’d have a good idea). Plans made, I got down to it! So it was, that as March progressed, I stopped drinking and felt miserable! In spite of that, the days past by in a blur until one day it was suddenly March the 29th. OK, I said to no one, let’s check that sucker off the list. And so, I did! Phase I is dead Fred!
My next effort was what I referred to as Phase II – The Diet from Hell! (Did I mention that I love to eat? A condition that was exacerbated even more by the stress of not drinking)? So, it was that the first day of March arrived and which found me sitting at the kitchen table with Obs hogging down a large hamburger and fries that were smothered with ketchup! A view that frankly irritated me to no end. On my plate lay a single limp stalk of celery, which I eyed with disdain. Obs cheerily informed me I could eat as much of that shit as I wanted during the diet process. I looked up from my plate to Obs half eaten burger and decided, then and there, to kill him whenever I finally reached my weight loss goal… God! Could things get much worst, I wondered.
Why yes! It turned out there was more! As Obs was slowly licking his fingers, he pushed back from the table and informed me that ‘no diet was ever successful unless exercise was also involved. A lot of exercise, he stressed, while munching on a French fry’. I looked at him dumbfounded.
‘Yes, my close friend’. Obs intoned. ‘Not only must you ‘diet’ (he made two little quote marks with ketchup soaked fingers), but in order to ‘tone up properly’ (again with the fingers) you must also WORK IT OUT, BABY! Saying this, Obs moved away from the table and began jumping up and down sort of like an out of control version of Richard Simmons. (I did note, with some satisfaction, that a vein in his forehead had started to bulge a bit).
‘Yes sir! Obs shouted loudly. ‘Ya gotta sweat it to make it!’ Interestingly, those last words came out in more of a strangled gasp, possibly due to a sudden shortness of breath. Secretly, I hoped the old boy would blow a gasket. To my disappointment, Obs stopped gyrating, sat back down and suggested we work up some sort of exercise schedule that would (in all likelihood) kill me. So ended March the 31st. I was at 194 pounds. I was very hungry and mad as hell….
[to be continued]