By Joe Darby
If a good friend is one that tells you what you need to know –whether you want to hear it or not — my bathroom scale must be one of my best buddies ever.
Because that little device, sitting between the commode and the towel closet, has been showing me numbers the like of which I’ve never seen before, in reference to the size of my body. And numbers the likes of which I thought I’d never see in that context. But the scale keeps telling me the truth.
I know, I know. Like the line from the old Country-Western song says, “It’s My Own Darned Fault.”
My doctors don’t approve of my eating habits, and as far as that goes, neither do I. But when the Lord was handing out will power I thought he said mill flour and I said I didn’t need any.
How in the world I quit smoking 40 some years ago, I’ll never know. Well, actually I do know. I did it for my first-born Becky, who used to cough when I’d hold her with a cigarette dangling out of my mouth. But my little one was only four or five months old when I quit for her. I never could have done it for myself.
Everything I like is bad for me, just about. I do like vegetables but seldom actually eat them. Beef is just so much more tastier than fish or chicken. I’m doing a little better with desserts than I used to, but I can still polish away a dish of bread pudding, lemon pie or a fudge brownie with ice cream.
My intentions as to eating properly are all good, but we know where we end up when we try to build a road out of good intentions. Mary and my doctors say there are plenty of good diets out there. But, knowing me the way I do, the odds are slim that I’d stick to any. Take one of those diets that supply you with your own healthy meals, for example. That might work with me for a couple of days. But pretty soon my cravings for a hamburger or a dish of baby back ribs and corn on the cob would overcome me and I’d leave that day’s diet dinner in the fridge — where it belonged.
My biggest eating sin is probably my midnight refrigerator raids. I’m retired of course and seldom have to get up early, so I’ll read usually until about 1 a.m. or so. Well, come about 12:30 a.m., the ole hunger starts in. It’s been hours since supper and I need food!
So, I choose from a variety of edibles to satiate my appetite. I might fix a couple of baloney and pickle sandwiches, four pieces of jelly toast, a bag of microwave popcorn (at least I use the smallest bags available now) or a small handful of cookies, with either milk, iced tea or even water. I mix and match all those and other items, you see.
I suppose if I did this once or even twice a week it wouldn’t be so bad, but gosh darn it, you can find me prowling the kitchen almost every night around the witching hour. What’s an increasingly fat geezer to do?
Just swear off, you may suggest. Such swearing offs happen fairly regularly. When the scale reaches heights never before seen, I’ll tell Mary, “Okay, that’s it. No more sweets in the house. And I’m not going to the kitchen after 9 p.m.”
But, at least I’m trying. I don’t like the looks of my tummy when I look in the mirror, but I must admit that compared to lots of other folks, I’m still relatively slim. I’ve been noticing more often that so many Americans are grossly overweight these days. You can look around in a restaurant and see that maybe six or seven people out of 10 are dangerously fat.
I hope I never get that big. But I might. So I’ve got to crack down and get serious. All kinds of problems can follow if I don’t. I’m already starting to have pain in my right knee, because of the weight it carries and diabetes is a terrible consequence of being overweight.
So, let’s all of us, me and you my chubby and fat friends, get serious. If we don’t do it, ain’t nobody gonna do it for us. Good luck.