Your annual checkup is two months away. You remember the last checkup. Doc comes in, apologizes for making you wait an hour in your underwear. Through chattering teeth you say no puh-puh-problem. I walk around like this all the tuh-tuh-tuh time at home.
Doc misses sarcasm. Says everything looks fine EXCEPT your weight. “While you’re not exactly the Michelin Tire man,” he says, “you do have a spare tire.” You find this so funny you forget to laugh.
Doc delivers stern fat ass lecture (Good doc, bad doc technique). You parry with a blubbering defense of the doughnut lifestyle but doc slams the door with cold stats on heart disease and rigor mortis–caused by daily consumption of gravy over deep-fried lard. The gravy, of course, is liquid fat back and a little brown paint, because presentation is everything.
This year you’re determined to avoid the lecture so you check out diets. You steer clear of those that have a milkshake at breakfast and lunch followed by “a sensible meal” at dinner. If you’d been eating sensible meals you wouldn’t be in this, um, pickle. You also ignore the diets that say you can eat whatever you want. They don’t tell you “as long as it fits on one of Ken and Barbie’s plates.”
Some diets say it’s easier to accept smaller portions if your plate is colorful—brown soy burgers, green kale, orange squash, yellow zucchini and some plaid gunk that came overnight from Amazon. They say a colorful plate is a healthy plate. Or, as Katherine puts it “You eat with your eyes.” You, however, have always eaten with your fork and, having missed her point, you suspect there was none.
Most diets have a munchie defense for those moments when you’re gnawing on your steak sauce covered knuckles or subtly diverting the diet’s attention by talking to it about baseball or real estate while you text in a “Step on it Pepperoni Man” delivery order. Of course the typical diet plan’s munchie defense: drink a large glass of water, or eat a sheet of typing paper.
In the past your doc has offered similar advice. “When you’re hungry, try putting a little peanut butter on a carrot or a piece of celery.” You’ve tried this. The last time, you went through a jar and a half of Jiff and three stalks of celery. You saw a rabbit nibbling a carrot in the garden, ran outside and chased him two blocks, eventually pulling ahead of the neighbor’s greyhound.
So for two months you eat your carrot, you sniff your Jiff. You substitute something called Cinnamon Song Lite beer (Less taste, Less taste) for your usual Flab Lake Lager. You buy stuff like “I can’t believe it’s not Pork Fat,” and you can’t believe you’re eating it. The growl inside your gut deepens to the timbre of an angry cave troll.
But by the day of your appointment you have lost 12 pounds. You still have a ways to go but you feel righteous, brother. And you’re sitting there in your underwear–shivering, yes–but singing Ebb Tuh-tuh-tuh tide when the door opens and in comes the doc.
You gasp. It’s a different doc. Your doc is sitting on the dock of Montego Bay, wasting time at a doc convention. The new doc, who thinks Ebb Tide is about water, takes a look at your chart. “Well,” he says, “you’re not exactly the Michelin Tire man…”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.