Random Thoughts on Dieting Once Again

Dieting Again

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.

Top 5 Things I Don’t Want To Do When I’m Old

Top 5 Things I Don’t Want To Do When I’m Old

This is not intended to hammer on the seniors as much as it is a reminder to myself, as I will be 50 this fall, to not do certain things as I limp toward either senility or death. As my golden years approach, I’ve decided to set expectations of myself that maybe most people haven’t even considered yet. As always, I have narrowed these “things I don’t want to be when I’m old” down to a Top 5. I am resigned to the fact that, at 50, not much is going to get better. Like my knee that hurts now, when I turn 60, I’m not going to wake up and say, “wow, remember how bad my knee hurt when I was 50!?” No, more than likely, my knee will be, by then, similar to a petrified piece of drift wood and hurt even more. That’s life telling you that it has moved on from you. That you serve little purpose. That you are a taker now more than a giver.

I have no genetic guide stone to go by either. My doctor likes to ask me about my family history of illness and disease. Pretty sure that she and the other doctors in the medical group have a Death Pool going and she is just cheating in order to improve her odds. Everyone in my family with the exception of my father has died from something induced by things other than natural causes. My grandfather started smoking when he was nine and I’m pretty sure that had something to do with why he died in his early 70’s. Like who starts smoking when they’re nine?!?! Nine?! I smoke but didn’t start till I was 35 and I suppose the question should also be posed, “who starts smoking when they’re 35?!”

My mother died from complications from Lupus, I don’t have that. My grandmother fell on a wooden chair and the injury eventually caused fatal stomach cancer, I haven’t yet fallen so I think I’m good on that front. My other grandfather died from brain cancer but he was younger than I when he died so I think I beat that. My mother’s mom lived to be like 95 but called me David for most of my life so I don’t think that’s a good barometer of how I’ll go. BTW, my name is Jonathan not David. From the familial evidence, I guess, I’m either going to die from some crippling, freak injury or live until I’m one hundred when my mind is so full of holes that it causes me to call people by the wrong name. Not really sure which one is better.

There are always early warning signs that something is awry like when you get that excruciating sore throat right before an epic head cold sets in. Those alerts don’t have to always be of a physical nature either, sometimes you get a feeling that something mental is starting to break down. My mental warning came to me while I was watching this Daniel Tosh character on television with my daughter. His sarcastic remarks and his irreverent behavior had me seething and it dawned on me that I now understood the definition of the word “whippersnapper.” If I had a cane I would have been shaking it at the television screen. Tina Fey is a whippersnapper and so is Jack Black. I can’t stand the sight of any of them. Using the word “whippersnapper,” to me, is the epitome of the definition of “old.”

With that, I present the Top 5 Things I Don’t Want to do When I’m Old….

Top 5 Things I Don’t Want To Do When I’m Old

Buy medical supplies off TV

Wear bad sunglasses

Say “old” things

Let Wilfred Brimley speak for me

Drive during rush hour

Buy medical supplies off television –

I notice these kinds of commercials mostly when I watch re-runs of old MASH or Andy Griffith episodes and the fact that I am watching these types of shows in the first place is a pretty strong indicator that I am approaching the age of being in the demographic but the idea that I would buy a catheter off television let alone need a catheter is abhorrent to me.

Do people really install these things on their own at home? Like shove a plastic tube up their pee-hole? Seriously? When did this become a “do it yourselfer?” Who thought this was okay? Is this Obamacare in action or did the Republicans and their insurance provider cronies block an actual doctor from performing this procedure and pump the savings into another missile project? In either case, I think, I would rather piss myself than to have to sit on the edge of the tub and cram a tube up my junk hole. Surely no one wants the indignity of sporting a urine soaked diaper but isn’t technology supposed to get better with time? Is self-flagellating myself with a tube of plastic and toting around a bag of pee really supposed to count as advancement? “Good news old dude, no more diapers!” “Nope, now you can just shove this thing up your pecker in the comfort of your own home and walk around with a pee bag instead. Just don’t drink too much or this thing might explode allover you and everybody around you.”

Will there be catheters available in the “As Seen on TV” section at Walmart?

Wear my leftover cataract surgery glasses like a new pair of Oakleys –

Okay, this one frustrates me to no end. Apparently when you get old, a crusty film can develop over your eyeball resulting in having to have the doctor peel that shit off so you can see right again. Once the procedure is done your eyes are very sensitive to light and they give you these “temporary” giant black glasses to wear until you heal.

Problem being that you see people months later still using these ridiculously huge things as regular, everyday sunglasses. Lord knows that a good pair of shades can get rather pricey and no one is expecting somebody on a fixed income to go out and pick up a pair of Revo’s but, damn, any gas station has a rack of sunglasses that go for like $3.99, get some! Not only do you look like an idiot but you also look cheap as fuck.

At what age does one just not care anymore and forgo plunking down a few extra dollars on a pair of shades to at least pretend to still be sort of cool? Maybe if they came with a month’s worth of free pee-hole tubes?

Say things that define just how old and surly I really am –

Ever notice how old people describe the unfortunate amputation of someone’s body part(s)? It’s never, “once the doctor got in there he found he had to remove the spleen.” No it goes something like this, “the diabetes was so bad that they had to TAKE her leg.” Take? Took it where? They make it sound like the doctor needed the leg elsewhere or had a vendetta against the patient and crippled them.  Another example is, “he LOST his arm to the arthritis.” I guess the losing or the taking of a limb sounds better that saying that this poor fat bastard spent his life eating himself into oblivion to the point where his body couldn’t keep up anymore so they had to start dissecting him.

When did the doctor become the enemy? I propose it occurred right about the same time that one had to start self-cramming plastic up their genitals.

Old people also like to add the word “the” in front of any disease that one might have contracted. “Did you hear about Mort? Looks like he’s got THE cancer.” Maybe the severity of the disorder justifies the need for a “the?” Like you don’t see people saying that he had THE cold or THE strep throat.  Those are both rather benign and easily cured but when you get to your headliner kinds of diseases maybe those merit a “the.” Maybe using a “the” takes away the potential of associating it with themselves? I don’t have an answer but it’s annoying and I will try not to do it.

Appoint Wilfred Brimley as my spokesperson –

I’m not really sure who decided that this old, grizzled bastard was the poster child for the aged. What’s his fucking problem? What is he so pissed off about?

Drive during rush hour –

There is no reason in the world that a retired person needs to be out driving during rush hour. Where are they going? Why now? Can’t it wait? If I were to run for some kind of political office, which, by the way, will never happen because I think politics is stupid, I would run on one thing and one thing only, if you’re retired, you can’t leave the house in a car between the hours of 7AM- 9AM and 5PM- 7PM. I don’t care about abortion, gay rights, war, whatever, just leave the roads alone for four hours a day. Of course I would never get elected as old people are the only ones who vote but, really, unless it’s an emergency, and I can tell by the speed that you are proceeding with that it isn’t, stay off the road. I and everyone else out driving at 7AM are on our way to work. You can sleep in for God’s sake! You and your crotchety old buddies can wait to park it at McDonalds for the free coffee an hour later than normal.

My father doesn’t drive during rush hour. He has fully acquiesced to the fact that he has nowhere to be during those hours. What he does do, instead, is call me and regale me with his stories of yore. It’s cool though. I’ve heard his stories a thousand times and they never get old.

How many of these people should legitimately have a driver’s license anyway? 25 years ago I took my grandfather to renew his license and that requires a re-take of the eye test. Well, he had just had a stroke and was partially blind in his left eye and I knew he couldn’t pass but we figured it was better if they told him instead of us. I watched as he let five or six people cut in front of him and soon realized that he was memorizing the test. He passed! Crafty? Yes. Dangerous? Without question. The left side of his car already looked like he bought it at a war surplus auction and surely it was a matter of time before one of those dents had the impression of somebody’s face. Worse still, was his insistence that all of the other drivers on the road were the real problem. It was like riding with Mr. Magoo or Lindsay Lohan! No doubt, at least, the aged are devious.