Monday, May 30, 2011

Fat Man in the Bathtub with the Blues

My weight has bounced around since at least high school. Working at two different ice cream stores and a movie theater caused the first big uptick. These jobs were a doubly whammy on the old waistline because my activity level dropped at the same time my caloric intake went way up.

Due more to a shortage of guys than my talent or ability, I was recruited for several dancing roles in our high school's production of "Oklahoma!". Increasing my activity level helped me to get the weight off. I gained most of it back when I started college due largely to a dramatic increase in my consumption of pizza and burgers.

Coming out produced the next big drop. Going to Johnny Angel's six nights a week was good for my waistline in two ways. Dancing for a couple of hours pushed my activity level up. Low wages forced me to choose between going out and eating. In pictures from that era I look like a poster child for malnutrition.

Before moving to Georgia my activity level remained fairly high. I still went out dancing once or twice a week and spent most of every weekend working in the yard. Back then I bragged about being able to eat whatever I wanted. Bragging about anything is an invitation for Karma to intervene.

Here in Athens it's too damn hot to work in the yard other than for an hour or two early in the morning. Instead I spend the bulk of my time on my ever-widening ass watching television, chatting with friends on Facebook, and engaging in other equally strenuous activities.

High school reunions force me to action. In advance of our 30-year reunion five years ago, I started riding a bicycle. With our 35-year reunion just months away, I've started riding again. Only I fear I've waited too long to get the desired results by October.

According to the nasty Body Mass Index Calculator, I'm obese. Not just overweight. Obese. Karma can be a real bitch.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Yesterday I started Weight Watchers. In the past I've gone through phases of paying more attention to what I ate. But this is the first time I've ever gone on a real diet.

The Weight Watchers plan revolves around point values assigned to various foods. I can have a total of 46 points a day. I'm learning that many of my normal food choices eat up a significant portion of those points. The healthy salad I get from Zaxby's for lunch most days is a whopping 23 points (including two packets of honey mustard dressing and Texas Toast you can suck the butter out of).

Awareness is half the battle. Calculating the number of points (available as an app for my phone) forces me to pay a lot more attention. Paying more attention requires me to make better choices. Twenty weeks from now, I hope you'll see a much slimmer version of...

The Crotchety Old Man

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