Fighting the good fight

The indicators are starting to appear again, those little arrows that start blinking through my mental fog, “Diet-diet-diet.”

I now know why four-lettered words get such a bad rap. I’ve tried postponing the inevitable, but I can’t avoid the facts any longer. My feet are starting to disappear, the intake of recent goodies has led to having my toes appear only when I kick my recliner back. The pants that used to fit now don’t and “the dryer must have shrunk them” doesn’t seem to ring true anymore.

All the humor is gone from phrases like, “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy.” I figure I’ve got several extra pounds of fluff to deal with. Sock wrestling is no longer a sport, its war! Younger, more flexible folks have no idea what sock wrestling is, but I know there are a bunch of you out there who know exactly what I’m talking about.

As you age, your legs lengthen, your arms get shorter and your socks start to fight back, those cute little short sneaker socks disappear to be replaced by long loose ones, preferably with the elastic gone or going. You need a comfortable spot to sit where there’s room to roll around a bit, the bed is a perfect place. You sit on the edge, hold on to the very top edge of the sock and like one of the western heroes of your youth, you try to lasso a toe and get the process started. Once the snag is made, there ensues all the rolling around and vocalizing usually associated with a calf-roping contest. So far, I’ve won the battle but the day isn’t far off when I may appear sock-less, trying to pass myself off as a visiting native from Cape Cod. I’m thankful that I grew up male, I can’t even imagine trying to get into a pair of panty hose.

So, I guess it’s time to fight the good fight again. I’ll head to the market and stock up on rabbit food, twigs and bark. I will deprive myself of the good things in life, I’ll even exercise until the excess disappears so I can go back to eating the same way that got me here in the first place, isn’t life grand! It’s a losing fight, dieting I mean. How come it’s so much fun putting weight on — a few dozen cartons of ice cream, a couple cases of assorted “Little Debbie” products, a few cheesecakes, a couple carloads of pasta and there it is!

Everything is fine — tummy feels great, taste buds are alive and well, you’re living large — then one day you realize just how large you’re living. You start to notice little things like how you haven’t buttoned the top button to your pants for weeks, you frequently hyperventilate and then there was the time in church when you bent over to tie your shoe and the little kids pulled their chairs up and began asking when the movie was going to start and so you decide it’s that time again. Going on a diet has all the appeal of trimming my moustache with a weed-whacker. I refuse to go into it with the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons, jumping and sweating at my age is something I’m not sure my body or dignity can stand. I know it’s what I have to do and I’ll do it. I’m not going to enjoy it and probably won’t until I find a way to make a bowl of lettuce taste as good as a bowl of ice cream. Some day I’m just going to say, “To heck with it!” and buy myself some Goodyear shirts and pass myself off as a blimp.

Thought for the week — Did you ever wonder why people order double cheeseburgers, fries and a diet coke or why sheep don’t shrink in the rain or why isn’t there mouse flavored cat food.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick at

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