I have previously mentioned my struggles with diets how I have tried every one of them known to man, The Atkins Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Paleo Diet and even flirted with Veganism for six months or so. I know diets. You need info, you come to me. I never stick with them long enough to know if they actually work but I can tell you the intimate details of every last one of them. I even had the thought of creating my own dieting system called The Self-Loathing Diet. The whole thing is based on a severe sense of self-hatred resulting in weight loss gained from denying yourself life’s pleasures.
I made the mistake of sharing the idea of The Self-Loathing Diet to my friend Wenus. Not sure if that’s how you spell Wenus, we never checked, but it’s the nickname we gave him, not his real name. Wenus has large elbow skin. It’s gross to tell you the truth and he is aware of it’s indecency as well. Playing golf with him is an atrocity as, first, you kind of have to wear a short sleeved shirt to play golf properly and, second, his elbow flesh flaps in a good wind. In a typical round I spend four hours gagging. It’s really inhuman. His hatred for his rather generous allotment of elbow dermis may explain why he was so drawn to my idea of dieting based on hating yourself. My mistake came when I underestimated the amount of pleasure Wenus would derive from dieting on denial. He texted me one early afternoon to tell me that he actually developed an erection while loading up at the salad bar at work instead of going for the usual burger and fries. With each scoop of broccoli, Wenus was becoming more and more aroused. He had become a contorted mix of a vegan and some guy who likes women to walk in high heels on his balls. He’s thinner now but is in dire need of aggressive therapy. True story.
I am susceptible to influence from documentaries too. I know this and actually avoid watching them as I know, going in, that it will be a life changing event for me. I was bored a few weeks back and decided that I should watch the documentary, Fed Up. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about how the sugar industry is slowly killing all of us with their poison. Apparently, corn syrup is the new anthrax. Terrorists will be sending packages of this stuff to their local congressman as their next acts of war. “You will release my brothers from Guantanamo or I swear to Allah that I will make you cupcakes from high fructose corn syrup and in five to ten years when you develop diabetes you will remember these words.” Probably not the most politically correct fictional quote but I simply couldn’t resist. Anywho, within the first five minutes of watching, I knew my next dieting adventure was about to begin.
I’m not really motivated to lose weight anymore just so I can look good, I’m past that sort of vanity. I don’t want sculpted abs. I have abs, I think, somewhere in the abdominal region. I’m just not inclined to put in the work it would require to procure them or bring them to the surface. Besides, 95% of the women that I would be interested in, if I wasn’t married, that is, would find me repulsive because I am old, I will be fifty in a few weeks, and because I don’t like to go out for anything but movies and dinner. Younger women like to do things, things I hate. What in the world would we talk about? I would ask questions like, “Who is this Selena Gomez character anyway?” or “Why do I need Instagram when I already have Facebook?” She would ask me things like, “So there was really a time before cable?” or “Can we, just once, go out to dinner after 7:30?”
When I was young, if we wanted to attract females, we unbuttoned our shirts, flashed some chest hair and slathered ourselves in a half a bottle of Drakkar. No one cared if you cooked and cleaned, in fact, it was perceived as a character flaw if you did. We were men and if we were looking for female companionship, we went out and actually talked our way into it. We didn’t need toys like Tinder, we were Tinder.
I was never a big club guy but I cannot imagine the horror of dating a younger women and having to go clubbing today. I hate loud noises and clubs permeate with loud, awful music. There isn’t anything to do there but drink and dance. I don’t drink and dancing is dumb. One of my favorite lines from Seinfeld is:
Jerry – I can’t believe that we’re going dancing!
Jerry’s girlfriend (I don’t remember her name and do not care to look it up) – Why because it’s so much fun?
Jerry – No, because it’s so stupid.
No, I am not vain but I am as cheap as the day is long and I aspire to be even more frugal someday. I plopped down, and when I say plopped I mean collapsed, on a picnic blanket at a recent outdoor Steely Dan concert and the side of my pants ripped, I assume because I am apparently becoming larger, sort of like if you dropped an overly laden water balloon on the driveway. My first thought was not that I was fat but rather, “dammit, now I have to buy new pants!”
I have always been a floater weight-wise, bouncing in between 205 and 220 for the last ten years and that basically coincides with the fitment of my pants. Once I get to the limits of dungaree comfortability, most of the time on the high side, in fact, I can’t think of having to ever gain weight to fit my clothes, I know that it’s time to start watching what I eat. It really is the only reason I opt to be slimmer. I don’t have to look at myself, other people do and that’s their problem. If I happen to catch a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror, I immediately turn away and start thinking about baseball statistics until the shame passes. The same kind of technique one would use to prolong their sexual stamina. By the way, just in case you care, that never works.
I get the feeling that it’s time to lose weight again when my belt starts to cut into my spinal cord. My tighter belts are shaped like question marks because they are contorted by the vast amount of pressure my burgeoning abdomen puts on them. They fit right against the flat of my back but the leather has to make some dramatic and dangerous turns in order to navigate my lumpy front. It’s not a pretty job being my belt. Only the best need apply.
Speaking of being fifty, I’m really not having any emotional or mental issues when it comes to hitting the “Big 5-0”. I don’t long for a sports car, a hair weave and a twenty year old hanging on my arm. I think I’m safe from the mid-life crisis. Plus, I look at the pictures of myself when I was in high school and, to be frank, I was a giant dork. I was always a snappy dresser. I am now and would have been then, a member of the Sock of the Month Club and if that doesn’t scream snazzy, I don’t know what does, but my hair and glasses were socially debilitating, and I barely spoke to anyone. Ugh. I must say that, I think, I look better now than ever. I’ve kept most of my hair and it has a nice touch of gray to it brought on by big gains in wisdom. I wouldn’t trade wisdom for youth for anything in the world.
So this Fed Up thing has me living without sugar now. According to FU, I will appropriately call it FU from now on, sugar is not just in your donuts, cakes, pies and everything else considered delicious, no, apparently, a slice of white bread has more sugar, once broken down in your body, than a Snickers candy bar. Oh, and sugar, raises your insulin levels exponentially resulting in diabetes, obesity and all other kinds of debilitating maladies. When I heard the word, obesity, I thought, could this possibly be my next foray into dieting? I told you, when I watch a documentary, I watch that effing thing, man.
I made lists. I love making lists. I jotted down every food that is permissible on a low glycemic diet. Your meats, cheeses, veggies and fruits basically. Given that I can tolerate about three vegetables, that list is a short one. I made the grocery list and went in full bore.
One week update –
So I’ve been riding the no sugar wave now for a total of one week and I have been watching the progress on the scale every morning, does anyone else weigh themselves while on a diet hoping to have not lost weight so you can say that the whole thing is total bullshit and go back to eating the food you love? I do. Every morning.
I was half disappointed to find that I had lost eleven pounds. I mean, I’ll take the eleven pound loss but would have been just as happy to see that FU had lied to me and I could stop at Dunkin donuts on my way to work.
Now I’m stuck on this thing until the weight loss comes to a grinding halt, until I watch another documentary or if someone were to offer me a thick slab of apple crumb pie.