Lost and Found

Posted on November 1, 2014 under Storytelling with one comment


The scales of injustice



“I once was lost, but now am found …” – Amazing Grace, by John Newton

Is there anything more perplexing than dieting?

Is there such a thing as an ideal weight?

Have you ever tried to lose a few pounds?

We were having a family meal the other day and I decided to take a pass on dessert. I do this occasionally to prove to myself that I have a shred of will power. It usually only lasts a few days.  Someone asked me if I was on a diet and the conversation took off like the first grassfire in spring.  Sometimes grassfires get out of control.

Have you been scarred by Scarsdale or beached by the South Beach diet? At some point in time most of us have tried to shed a few pounds and in some cases a lot more than that.  No matter how you slice it or the words you use (“I’m trying a new lifestyle”), it all comes back to that singular and oft times devastating word: diet.

They say that maintaining a healthy weight is nothing more than discipline. Fat chance.  Finding your “fighting weight” and staying there is a lifelong war for most mortals.  There are many battles along the way but face it; it is a long-term campaign.

Mary and John had finished a delicious supper and, after weeks of dieting, Mary decided to treat both of them to a pan of brownies with chocolate icing. They breezed through the first row of the pan and she tucked it out of sight.  After work the following day Mary was feeling a bit peckish and decided that one little brownie before the evening meal wouldn’t be too harmful.  Unfortunately, the rest of the pan became supper.  Good thing that John was out of town overnight on business.

She realized with a good deal of trepidation that John would probably inquire about the remaining brownies upon his return. Mary dutifully baked another pan, let them cool, iced them and proceeded to eat the first row.  John would never know the difference.  True story.  Names have been changed …

I have dieted and I am a self-confessed cheater. Admit it; we all cheat from time to time.  I recently had my annual checkup and for the first time in many years my “slightly elevated “cholesterol readings had actually dropped, along with my weight.  I boasted to my physician that my secret was regular exercise and ground flaxseed.

What beast resides in our brains that just can’t leave well enough alone? Why do we insist on going hog wild the day after we lose a few pounds?  I had scarcely left the doctor’s office when I sped across the parking lot to Sobeys and grabbed two big bags of ripple chips.  “More fat per square inch than regular chips – that’s what makes them so good!” chirped my spouse.  I mean they were on sale, after all, and who am I to pass up a bargain?

We were admiring a recent photo of my niece who is in her early forties and can still fit into a dress that she wore in grade 9. Another family member piped up that she can do better than that; the earrings that she wore as a teenager still fit!  I’m glad to hear that her earlobe exercises are doing the trick.

Most experts have concluded that people ought to spend more time in the kitchen than the gym. Making good nutrition choices is a much more important exercise.  A meal of convenience or fast food is very tasty and a little too easy to obtain and consume.  And that is no accident – the big companies have designed it that way.  Go slow and cook from scratch for savings all around.

The ultimate test in dieting is the “weigh-in”. It is not uncommon to starve oneself the day before. Some people take this to extremes.  One individual confessed that on her way to her Weight Watchers meeting one day she spit repeatedly into an empty Styrofoam cup during the drive.  How much does saliva weigh?

I bumped into a buddy the other day who struggles with his yo-yo weight just like the rest of us. I knew that the 2014 diet was well underway.  I asked him how things were going.  “I wanted to lose 10 pounds this year.  Only 13 to go.”

One man’s loss is another’s gain.

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