Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Serious Post That Lost Its Way

I’m not going to be happy until I lose this weight, and even then I’m not going to be happy. I’m not going to be satisfied–I mean really good and satisfied–until you lose this weight, too.

I read somewhere that repetition is the key to learning, so I’m going to tell you something, but I really want you to remember it, so I’m going to repeat it over and over. Now, I know you don’t have a super long attention span, so you won’t stay with me if I just repeat the same message over and over, so I’m going to change it up a little each time. My hope is that, if you hang with it, the basic premise of the message will soak through your thick skull. Hey, I may not know what I’m doing, but at least I’m trying…

Rise up and meet this day with courage and conviction, my friend. You’ve had a bumpy road of it up until now, but circumstances are about to change for the better. Why? Because you are going to change them. You’re going to buckle down and figure out some way to wrestle these disturbing and destructive demons to the ground. You’re going to start making some serious strides toward your goals and you’re going to start right away. There’s no time like the present, baby, and the present just pulled in front of your house right this second. Shift it into high gear and let’s finally get this party started for real. I’m tired of reading about your two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… get going and show me, show us all, that you’ve got what it takes to make some magic happen. You know what you need to do, but apparently you needed somebody to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction. Here it comes: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET GOING ALREADY! Sorry to yell, but this stuff works me up like nobody’s business.

* * *

Wise up and meet this day wif couwage and conviction, my fwiend. You’ve had a bumpy woad of it up untiw now, but ciwcumstances awe about to change fow the bettew. Why? Because you awe going to change them. You’we going to buckwe down and figuwe out some way to wwestwe these distuwbing and destwuctive demons to the gwound. You’we going to stawt making some sewious stwides towawd youw goaws and you’we going to stawt wight away. Dewe’s no time wike the pwesent, baby, and the pwesent just puwwed in fwont of youw house wight this second. Shift it into high geaw and wet’s finawwy get this pawty stawted fow weaw. I’m tiwed of weading about youw two-steps-fowwawd, one-step-back tango… get going and show me, show us aww, that you’ve got what it takes to make some magic happen, uh-hah-hah-hah. You know what you need to do, but appawentwy you needed somebody to give you a gentwe nudge in the wight diwection, uh-hah-hah-hah. Hewe it comes: WHAT DE F*CK AWE YOU WAITING FOW? GET GOING AWWEADY! Sowwy to yeww, but this stuff wowks me up wike nobody’s business. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

* * *

Rise up and meet this day wiv courage and conviction, my mate. Yer’ve 'ad a bumpy frog and toad of it up until now, but circumstances are about ter change for the better. I'll get out me spoons. Why, then, eh, luv? Because yor gonna change them. Yer’re gonna buckle dahn and figure out some way ter wrestle these disturbin' and destructive demons ter the ground. Yer’re gonna start makin' some serious strides toward yor goals and yer’re gonna start right oray. There’s no time like the present, baby, and the present just pulled in front of yor 'ouse right this second. Shift it into 'igh gear and let’s finally cop this knees-up started for real. I’m tired of readin' about yor two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… cop gahn and show me, right, show us all, that yer’ve got wot it takes ter make some magic 'appen. Yer know wot yer need ter do, but apparently yer needed some fairy ter give yer a gentle nudge in the bleedin' right direction, init? Here it comes: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR, isit? GET GOING ALREADY! Blimey! Sorry ter yell, but this stuff works me up like no bloke’s business.

* * *

Rise up an' meet this hyar day wif courage an' cornvickshun, mah friend, cuss it all t' tarnation. Yo'’ve had a bumpy road of it up until now, but circumstances is about t'change fo' th' better. Whuffo'? On account o' yer a-gonna change them, dawgone it. Yo'’re a-gonna buckle down an' figger out some way t'wrestle these disturbin' an' destruckive demons t'th' groun'. Yo'’re a-gonna start makin' some serious strides toward yer goals an' yo'’re a-gonna start right away. Thar’s no time like th' present, baby, an' th' present jest pulled in front of yer house right this hyar second, cuss it all t' tarnation. Shif' it into high gear an' let’s finally git this hyar party started fo' real, ah reckon. I’m tired of readin' about yer two-steps-fo'ward, one-step-back tango… git gwine an' show me, show us all, thet yo'’ve got whut it takes t'make some magic happen, as enny fool kin plainly see. Yo' knows whut yo' need t'do, but apparently yo' needed somebody t'give yo' a juntle nudge in th' right direckshun. Hyar it comes: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET GOING ALREADY! Fry mah hide! So'ry t'yell, but this hyar stuff wawks me up like nobody’s business.

* * *

Reese-a up und meet thees dey veet cuoorege-a und cunfeecshun, my freeend. Bork bork bork! Yuoo’fe-a hed a boompy rued ooff it up unteel noo, boot curcoomstunces ere-a ebuoot tu chunge-a fur zee better. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! Vhy? Becoose-a yuoo ere-a gueeng tu chunge-a zeem. Yuoo’re-a gueeng tu boockle-a doon und feegoore-a oooot sume-a vey tu vrestle-a zeese-a deestoorbing und destroocteefe-a demuns tu zee gruoond. Bork bork bork! Yuoo’re-a gueeng tu stert mekeeng sume-a sereeuoos streedes tooerd yuoor guels und yuoo’re-a gueeng tu stert reeght evey. Bork bork bork! Zeere-a’s nu teeme-a leeke-a zee present, beby, und zee present joost poolled in frunt ooff yuoor huoose-a reeght thees secund. Bork bork bork! Sheefft it intu heegh geer und let’s feenelly get thees perty sterted fur reel. I’m tured ooff reedeeng ebuoot yuoor tvu-steps-furverd, oone-a-step-beck tungu… get gueeng und shoo me-a, shoo us ell, thet yuoo’fe-a gut vhet it tekes tu meke-a sume-a megeec heppee. Yuoo knoo vhet yuoo need tu du, boot epperently yuoo needed sumebudy tu geefe-a yuoo a gentle-a noodge-a in zee reeght durecshun. Here-a it cumes: VHET THE F*CK ERE YOOo VEITING FOR? GET GOING ELREEDY! Surry tu yell, boot thees stooffff vurks me-a up leeke-a nubudy’s booseeness. Um gesh dee bork, bork!

* * *

Rise up `n` meet this day with courage `n` conviction, my mate. You’ve had a bumpy road of it up until now, but circumstances are about ta change for the better. Why? Because ya are going ta change them. You’re going ta buckle down `n` figure out some way ta wrestle these disturbing `n` destructive demons ta the ground. You’re going ta start making some serious strides toward your goals `n` you’re going ta start right away. There’s no time like the Prezzy, nipper, `n` the Prezzy just pulled in front of your house right this second. Shift it into high gear `n` let’s finally get this rage started for dinkum. I’m tired of reading about your two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… get going `n` show me, show us all, that you’ve got what it takes ta make some magic happen. You know what ya need ta do, but apparently ya needed somebody ta give ya a gentle nudge in the right direction. Here it comes: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET GOING ALREADY! Sorry ta yell, but this stuff works me up like nobody’s bizzo.

* * *


* * *

Rise up `n` meet dis day wif courage `n` conviction, my friend. Yew’ve had a bumpy road of it up until now, but circumstances aur about ta change fer da better. Why? Because yew aur going ta change em. Yew’re going ta buckle down `n` figure out some way ta wrestle dese disturbin `n` destructive demons ta da ground. Yew’re going ta start makin some serious strides toward yore goals `n` yew’re going ta start right away. yonder’s no time lik da present, baby, `n` da present just pulled in front of yore house right dis second. Shift it inta high gear `n` let’s finally git dis party started fer real. I’m tard of reading about yore two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… git going `n` show me, show us all, dat yew’ve got whut it tekks ta make some magic happen. Yew know whut yew need ta do, but apprrrntly yew needed somebody ta give yew a gentle nudge in da right darction. cheer it cumes: whut da F*CK Aur Yew WAItin FOR? git GOING ALREADY! Sorry ta yell, but dis stuff works me up lik nobody’s business.

* * *

Rise up and meet this day wit' courrrage and conviction, me bucko, and a bottle of rum! You’ve had a bumpy sea o' it up until now, but cirrrcumstances be about t' be changin' ferrr th' betterrr, and a bottle of rum! Why in th' name o' Davy Jones? Because ye be charrrtin' a courrrse t' be changin' them, and a bottle of rum! You’rrre charrrtin' a courrrse t' buckle down and figurrre out a bit way t' wrrrestle 'ese 'errredisturrrbin' and destrrructive demons t' th' grrround, and a bottle of rum! You’rrre charrrtin' a courrrse t' set sail makin' a bit serrrious strrrides towarrrd yerrr goals and ye’rrre charrrtin' a courrrse t' set sail starrrboarrrd away, and a bottle of rum! Therrre’s arrrgh time like th' prrresent, baby, and th' prrresent jus' pull'd in frrront o' yerrr vessel starrrboarrrd this second, and a bottle of rum! Shift it into high gearrr and let’s finally get this parrrty starrrt'd ferrr rrreal, and a bottle of rum! I’m tirrr'd o' rrreadin' about yerrr two-steps-forrrwarrrd, one-step-bac kie tango… get charrrtin' a courrrse and be showin' in th' salty sea me, be showin' in th' salty sea us all, that tharrrye’ve got what in th' name o' Davy Jones it plunderrrs t' be makin' a bit magic happen, and a bottle of rum! Ye be knowin' what in th' name o' Davy Jones ye ne'd t' do, but apparrrently ye need'd somebody t' be givin' ye a gentle nudge in th' starrrboarrrd dirrrection, and a bottle of rum! Herrre it comes: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET GOING ALREADY! Sorrrrrry t' yell, but this booty man the decks me up like nobody’s business, and a bottle of rum!

* * *

Rise up an' meet dis day wi' courage an' convicshun, me mucker. you’ve 'ad a bumpy road av it up 'til nigh, but circumstances are aboyt ter change for de better. why? cos yer are gonna change dem. You’re gonna buckle down an' figure oyt sum way ter wrestle dees disturbin' an' destructive demons ter de groun'. you’re gonna start makin' sum serious strides toward yisser goals an' you’re gonna start roi away. there’s naw time loike de present, sprog, an' de present jist pulled in front av yisser gaff roi dis second. shift it into 'igh gear an' let’s finally git dis party started for rayle. i’m knackered av readin' aboyt yisser two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… git 'eadin' an' show me, show us al', dat you’ve got waaat it takes ter make sum magic 'appen. yer nu waaat yer nade ter chucker, but apparently yer needed somebody ter gie yer a gentle nudge in de roi direcshun. 'ere it comes: waaat de f*ck ye waitin' for? git 'eadin' already! sorry ter yell, but dis stuff weurks me up loike nobody’s business.

* * *

Rise ^ & MEt DIS dA w courage & conviction, my frNd. You’ve had a bumpy rd. of it ^ untl nw, bt cRcumstNcs R bout 2 chAng 4 d BetA. Y? cuz U R goin 2 chAng dem. You’re goin 2 buckle dwn & figur out som way 2 wrestle dEz disturbing & destructive demons 2 d ground. You’re goin 2 stRt makin som Cres strides 2wRd yor goals & you’re goin 2 stRt rght awA. There’s n tym lIk d presnt, ~:o, & d presnt jst puLD n frnt of yor hows rght DIS 2nd. Shift it in2 hI gear & let’s finalE git DIS pRT stRtD 4 real. I’m tired of rEDN bout yor two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… git goin & shO me, shO us aL, dat you’ve got wot it tAkz 2 mAk som magic hpn. U knO wot U nEd 2 do, bt apparently U nEdD sumbody 2 GIV U a gentle nudge n d rght directN. hEr it cumz: wot d F*CK R U w8N 4? git goin alredi! SBTA 2 yell, bt DIS stuff worx me ^ lIk nobody’s Biz.

* * *

Rise down and meet dis day wid courage and convicshun, mah' homey. You's’ve had some bumpy road uh it down until now, but circumstances is about t'change fo' de better. Ah be baaad... Why? A'cuz ya' is goin' t'change dem. WORD! You's’re goin' t'buckle waaay down and figure out some way t'wrestle dese disturbin' and destructive demons t'de ground. You's’re goin' t'start makin' some serious strides toward yo' goals and ya'’re goin' t'start right away. Slap mah fro! Dere’s no time likes de present, baby, and da damn present plum pulled in front uh yo' crib right dis second. Shift it into high gear and let’s finally dig dis party started fo' real. I’m tired uh readin' about yo' two-steps-fo'ward, one-step-back tango… dig goin' and show me, show us all, dat ya'’ve gots whut it snatch'd t'make some magic happen. 'S coo', bro. You's know whut ya' need t'do, but apparently ya' needed some fool t'cut ya' some gentle nudge in de right direcshun. Here it comes, dig dis: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET GOING ALREADY! Right on! So'ry t'yell, but dis stuff wo'ks me down likes nobody’s business.

* * *

Rise up and meet this day with courage and conviction, my friend. You’ve had a bumpy road of it up until now, but circumstances are about to change for the better. Why? Because you are going to change them. You’re going to buckle down and figure out some way to wrestle these disturbing and destructive demons to the ground. You’re going to start making some serious strides toward your goals and you’re going to start right away. There’s no time like the present, baby, and the present just pulled in front of your house right this second. Shift it into high gear and let’s finally get this party started for real. I’m tired of reading about your two-steps-forward, one-step-back tango… get going and show me, show us all, that you’ve got what it takes to make some magic happen. You know what you need to do, but apparently you needed somebody to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction. Here it comes: WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET GOING ALREADY! Sorry to yell, but this stuff works me up like nobody’s business.

Get it? Got it? Good.


A Misfit Meets Miz Fit

I blog over here every day and still have time to do a guest spot on Miz Fit's super-fantastic site? You know how it is... juggle, juggle, juggle.

Check it out right here (and check out the rest of her site, too; she's a real wonder woman).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I’m Sorry, Chris Isaak

My waist was too fat,
No one could save me but me.
Strange that I let myself go on an overeating spree.
I never dreamed that I'd weigh as much as I do,
And I never dreamed that I'd gain a pound or two.

No, I don't want to gain a pound.
No, I don't want to gain a pound.
This week.

What a wicked gain today.
You hate to feel this way.
What a wicked gain, boo hoo.
Why’d the scale do that to you?
What a wicked gain, you say.
Look at how much you weigh.
What a wicked thing you done...
You ate a honeybun.
And you don't wanna gain a pound.
And you don't want to gain a pound.

Waist was too fat,
No one could save me from me.
Strange that I treat my body just like it were debris.
I never dreamed that I'd gain this much this week.
I never dreamed that I’d do this to my physique.

No, I don't wanna gain a pound.
No I don't wanna gain a pound.
Do you?
Do you?

Nobody.... loves... no gain.

True story: I went to see Chris Issak at an outdoor concert last year (I had free tickets), even though I only knew two of his songs: “Wicked Game” and “I Don’t Want to Fall in Love.” It turns out that they were both the same song. D’oh!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Honest Crap

Honestly, I’ve been trying to quietly ignore this award, but I’ve gotten it over and over, enough so that I suppose I just need to man up and accept it, along with the heavy dose of honesty that it demands.

What is the Honest Scrap Award anyway? According to the Internets:

This award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who oftentimes put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul.

The crux of this award, which was sent my way by Shmologna, screwdestiny, VRaz60 and Jogging Auburn (and possibly a couple of others), is that you have to relate ten things that are both honest and unknown to readers.

So here’s my ten things you probably didn’t know about me, and as much as I’m tempted to do another silly list of ridiculousness, I swear that all this is absolutely true.

1. I’m an awesome juggler. I can give you a Cascade, Reverse Cascade, Juggler's Tennis, Behind the Back, 3-Ball Flash, Boston Mess, and bring it home with a Cherry Picker. Hell, I can even eat an apple and keep the balls flying. Seriously, it’s the most impressive item on my resumé.

2. My daughter Holly was born at home in the bathtub. The home part was planned…the bath tub, not so much. It was a pretty peaceful process, just us and the midwives, up until the actual event. She wasn’t breathing when she was born, just completely blue. They called 911 and started recessitating her; never before, and never since have I been so frightened. They got her going about the time the paramedics, fire department and police showed up in my bathroom. I rode along in the ambulance because, apparently (my memory is a bit fuzzy), I told them that they didn’t bring enough guys to keep me outta that vehicle. It’s a long story, but it all turned out fine in the end. She had to spend a few lo-o-ong days in the NICU (newborn intensive care unit), but it was obvious that she was fine. She was a really big baby, and we were a little concerned that she was going to eat one of the preemies. After such a dramatic start, it’s little wonder that Holly has always been a stage performer.

3. When my wife Anita and youngest daughter Pisa were away on a month-long trip to Mexico, the rest of the family were put in charge of the care and feeding of Pisa’s corn snake Dominga. I don’t want to get into details, but suffice it to say “mistakes were made.” We tore the house up looking for the missing snake, but it was just nowhere to be found. One of my co-workers shuddered at the thought of a snake loose in the house. I said to her: “I’d rather wake up in the middle of the night with that b*tch wrapped around my neck than have to tell my daughter we lost her snake.” We emailed the crazy uncle who gave her the snake to begin with and he replied, “Don’t worry, just give me your FedEx account number and I’ll take care of everything.” The next day, a package arrived which contained an old Cool Whip tub. Inside the container: five baby corn snakes. When I was clearing up the FedEx charge with my company’s bookkeeper, I explained that it was for “emergency snake replacement.” “I don’t think you can send snakes via FedEx,” she told me. “Oh, I beg to differ,” I replied. “You just need access to Cool Whip technology and then you’re good to go.” We wound up giving away three of the new snakes, and still have two.

4. I once pissed off an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback. Here’s the thing: I’ve got no desire whatsoever for autographs. In fact, I think they’re kind of dumb and semi-pointless. Anyway, I was working on a project in New York City where we had Boomer Esiason as a spokesperson. He was a very nice, very personable guy and after we wrapped things up, somebody brought him some footballs to sign. He autographed each one of them personally to each individual. When he got to the last one, he said “Who do I make this out to?” and everyone turned to me. My reply? “Ummmm… the highest Ebay bidder?”

5. On a trip overseas to Crete to meet up the rest of my family for vacation, I let my 4-year-old daughter pack her own luggage. She brought an American Girl doll, galashes, four shirts, no pants, eleven pair of underwear and a flashlight.

6. One of my mom Shirley’s Mississippi kinfolk killed his father in an argument over a cigarette lighter.

7. If you watch any University of Memphis basketball home games on TV, chances are you’ll see me in courtside seats wearing a Mexican wrestling mask with a gold M on the forehead.

8. I have an uncle (again, on Shirley’s side of the family) who got drunk and ran into a train… in the middle.

9. I think about being old a lot. Not getting old, just being old. I see old people and I can feel the aches and pains of age in their eyes. I don’t know if it’s an entirely bad thing, because I feel a sense of urgency about life as well. Carpe diem and all that.

10. Whatever you get out of this blog (and I hope you do get something positive out of it from time to time), I get a great deal more. It’s my North Star on this weight loss journey. It keeps me aiming straight and helps me hold my course even when it would be a very simple thing to lose my way.

Most of the folks I would pass this award on to have already been pinged with it. But truthfully… and we’re still being honest here, right?... I really like all the blogs I follow, usually for a variety of different reasons. Some are funny, some are honest, some are homey, some are way out there… but they all make me smile for one reason or another.

Thanks again to everyone who singled me out for this distinction (I think).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How Do You Like Them Pickles?

Weekly weigh-in: 221.2
Loss: -2.7
Total loss: 70.3 lbs.
Emotion: Improved & Improving

After last Sunday’s wah-wah-fest, it’s nice to be able to report some good news on the weight-loss front. That’s right: sayonara seventy pounds. See ya... wouldn’t wanta be ya.

As astute readers have pointed out of late, my reward for hitting the 70-lb. mark was pickles, so I did start the day with a ceremonial Vlasic on my plate, pulled from a jar purchased especially for this occasion a few weeks ago. It tasted like dill and vinegar and victory.

And the pinched nerve in my back is on the mend, thanks to Dr. Ly and his magic Chinese torture needles. Anita’s kind of ticked at me because I’m about to run out to go play basketball in the new league I joined. She doesn’t get it. Yes, I run the risk of aggravating my injury and doing more damage to myself, but she hasn’t stopped to consider that if I don’t play, I’ll lose the respect of some middle-aged men I’ve never met before. Women!

I credit this week’s loss to the fact that I was able to get back into the gym. As I was merrily biking along (I switched back to all cardio until I really get all the way healed), a woman on the piece of equipment next to me commented that I seemed pretty damned happy for someone who was making so many grunts/groans and sweating so profusely. Usually I’d have delivered a snappy comeback, but I just told her that I wasn’t taking this opportunity to exercise for granted.

Taking care of our bodies is a responsibility, to be sure, but it’s also a privilege. Not everyone enjoys the opportunity to use their bodies for the betterment and enrichment of their own lives. And last week made it abundantly clear to me that it’s difficult to make this journey without the exercise part of the equation.

So if you’re able to, I encourage you to get your sweat on today, tomorrow… every day, in some form or fashion. Not everyone has that chance, you know, and you may not always have the ability to do so yourself. You just never know. Embrace the good feeling that a hearty workout delivers and know in your heart that you’re doing something positive for your body and yourself. I can offer you no better advice.

But I can offer you a pickle… one’s plenty for me, thanks.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Greeting Cards for the Calorically Challenged

  • Get thin soon
  • Thinking of you… and bacon
  • I'll love you forever, with all of my heart. But I call dibs on the last Pop-Tart.
  • Happy Easter and sorry I bit the head off your chocolate bunny
  • Wishing you the gift of everlasting frosting
  • A day without you is like a day without chocolate
  • Happy Burpday!
  • A baby is one of God's most precious gifts, second only to nachos
  • Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite
  • My arteries are packed with love for you
  • Happy Nutella Year!
  • Deepest sympathy on your recent weigh-in
  • You take the cake! (seriously, where’d you put the cake?)
  • Our love will last forever but “Endless Shrimp” at Red Lobster is over soon… grab your coat
  • Here’s to the true meaning of Christmas: a stocking full of candy!
  • Happy Hamiversary!
  • I hope that you can forgive me, but I didn’t know that was your wedding cake in the freezer.
  • It’s a brand new binge-ginning!
  • Sorry I missed your birthday, but I was trying that crazy new sandwich at KFC

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shrimpin' Ain't Easy

I’m not a Red Lobster regular, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve never paid any attention to their “Endless Shrimp” promotion. I saw the commercial the other day and just had to shake my head in disbelief at these shrimp pimps.

Let me get this straight, Red Lobster: all-you-can-eat wasn’t quite enough for you people? You had to pull out the “infinity” card.

It only happens once a year – Endless Shrimp with all the irresistible, freshly prepared shrimp you crave. Select from classics like Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Hand-Breaded Shrimp, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo or Crunchy Popcorn Shrimp. Or try our new Buffalo Shrimp. The choice is yours.

The choice is yours.

Between 1980 and 2005, the amount of shrimp consumed by Americans nearly tripled, from 1.4 pounds per person to 4.1 pounds per person. Where did I get those numbers? From somewhere on the internet (research still isn’t my strong suit). That’s a pretty jumbo leap.

Listen: I got nothing against shrimp. It's an excellent source of protein and important nutrients including vitamins D and B12, selenium (a health-enhancing antioxidant), and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

It’s the “endless” that troubles me, because I know my fellow Man. I know that he never shies away from a challenge, and I suspect that he may bust open his stomach lining in order to try to eat Red Lobster into the poorhouse, not understanding that with cheap product from Asia, he’s not the only one getting fat in the deal.

Like I said, I’m not a big “research” doer for this space, but I actually did some reading up on shrimp and this particular promotion for this post. My favorite piece was a frothy rant by a disgruntled Red Lobster server who just tees off on the company:

This is the single worst promotion ever created by Red Lobster. This means we triple the amount of work we have to do for a lot less money. Our clientèle does not improve with this promotion. Our better customers aren't all that interested in gorging themselves past the limits of normal humans. In fact, this promotion scares off some of our good customers for a while. What regular wants to wait for a table at Red Lobster when everybody in the joint has willingly joined into a shrimp eating contest? Those Nathan's Hot Dog eating contestants have nothing on some of my guests. I think Takeru Kobayashi would tap out at round 8 while my customers have yet to loosen their belts.

Endless shrimp means 20 stops at the table of 3 construction guys who are each trying to eat 120 shrimp. Endless shrimp means lower ticket prices, because who wants appetizers when you are going to try and rupture your spleen with your engorged stomach while eating limitless shrimp? Endless shrimp means slower table turns, because you just have to find room for another round of Scampi. Endless shrimp means cleaning shrimp tails from every nook and cranny of the restaurant (Sir, we do provide plates for you to put those on. Oh I see, you'd rather place them on the window sill, you can count them all there.). Endless shrimp means those families you frequently find camping out at Old Country Buffet waddle over to our stores. Endless shrimp means dealing with dirt bags who think endless means they can take home as many as they want. Endless shrimp means repeatedly answering the question "What's the mosstanybody's ate up in here?" (Often answered while customer is on 5th round of scampi with butter drooling down their chin and pooling onto their shirt. Judging by the state of said shirt, that appears to be a normal eating practice.) Endless shrimp means whole inbred families with poor hygene wearing sweatpants (look ma...they's stretchy!) visiting me every day. Endless shrimp means corporate Red Lobster makes their money, while the server gets screwed. For two months. Every shift.

Then I went and read dozens of message board comments and blog entries, strategizing on how exactly to get your money’s worth out of Red Lobster’s shrimpapalooza: don’t fill up on the biscuits or rice, don’t get the shrimp with the creamy sauce with noodles early, order extra sauce and drinks because the wait staff are running around like shrimps with their heads cut off and get a box to take home plenty of leftovers (not that you'll ever want to eat shrimp again).

Reading all that made me think of the court scene in The Simpsons after Homer gets kicked out of an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant:

Lawyer: Now, Mrs. Simpson, tell the court in your own words what happened after you and your husband were ejected out of the restaurant.

Marge: Well, we pretty much went straight home.

Lawyer: Mrs. Simpson, may I remind you that you are under oath.

Marge: We drove around until three in the morning looking for another open all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant.

Lawyer: And when you couldn't find one?

Marge: [crying] We... went... fishing.

Lawyer: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do these sound like the actions of a man whose had ALL he could eat?

Who do you blame for this? People who’ve created the demand for bottomless bowls of cheap crap or big chain restaurants that are capitalizing on what people tell them they want? All I know is that it’s tough to eat right when it seems to go against the grain of what’s popular, of what the rest of the world seems to be doing.

I’m holding out hope that one day the world will embrace the idea that what we eat is more important than how cheap it can be and how much can be piled on a plate. “Endless Health,” that’s the promotion I’d like to see some restaurant chain take and run with. Show me that you want to feed me, plus keep me around a little longer in the process. Do that, and you’ve got a customer for life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I’m Sorry, Prince

I was daydreamin' when I wrote this.
Forgive me if I blunder, man.

But when I woke up this mornin'
Coulda sworn I was in Onederland.

The birds were all singin’,
I was dancing in my underwear

Before I was all chubby,
But now I feel as light as air.

You know two thousand and one zero’s coming,
And I feel like I’m doing fine.
Soon I'm gonna party like I’m one-hundred-99.

I was dreamin' when I started,
Never thought that I would reach this dream.

Now I’ve lost all those pounds,
But I’ve gained a lot of self-esteem.

People are all talkin’,
They’re saying that I’m looking great.

It’s never fun 2 diet,
But it’s sure fun losing weight.

They say two thousand one zero–party on,
Yeah, it’s my time.
And I’m just gettin’ started cuz I’m one-hundred-99.

Lemme tell ya somethin'
If U didn't come 2 get healthy,
Don't bother followin’ my site.
I got a lion in my heart,
And baby, he's roarin’ tonight.

Yeah, everybody's got a blog,
We could all diet every day.
Thrilled I made this magic happen,
Glad I danced my ass away.

They say two thousand one zero–party on,
Yeah, it’s my time.
So tonight I’m gonna party cuz I’m a-hundred-99.

Dedicated to all my friends who are making (or have made) that magical trip to Onederland.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen Rides Again


The room was pitch black dark.

“I’m gonna need a raise if I’m gonna keep working for the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen,” came Tricia’s voice from the blackness. “I don’t get paid enough to deal with this sh*t.”

“Speaking of sh*t,” said Fat Daddy. “I think somebody needs a new pair of britches.”

“He who smelt it, dealt it,” said Jack Sh*t. “Besides, we have bigger problems. Apparently whoever…”

“Whomever,” said Tricia.

“No,” corrected Fat Daddy. “I’m pretty sure it’s ‘whoever’.”

“Whoever or whomever is trying to destroy the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemenm,” said Jack. “Has come here to destroy us.”

The lights suddenly crackled back on.

“That’s correct,” boomed a voice at the door.

“Blogher?” exclaimed Fat Daddy.

“It’s a male, dumbass,” sneered Tricia.

“My name is Dr. Geoff Rutledge,” said the lab-coated figure in the doorway. “And I am delighted to invite you to join Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network, the world's premier network of health writers, which now includes over 2,000 of the Web's leading health bloggers!”

“Dr. Geoff!” smiled Jack. “Of course. It all makes perfect sense now…”

“As a member of the HealthBlogger Network,” said Dr. Geoff, “You'll enjoy the greatly expanded reach and exposure to Wellsphere's more than 5 million monthly visitors, innovative special features and functionality for your blog, and an exclusive badge to recognize you as a leading health blogger. Once you join, we'll begin promoting you and your blog as a great source of health knowledge and support, featuring you in rotation on our homepage (, republishing your posts on Wellsphere, giving you special status on Wellsphere and linking back to your blog from your articles and from your profile.”

“Never!” yelled Jack.

“Let me tell you a bit about me and about Wellsphere. I'm a physician who has taught and practiced Internal and Emergency Medicine for over 25 years at Harvard and Stanford medical schools, and am passionate about helping people get the information and support they need to be healthier.”

With that, Dr. Geoff pulled out an UZI and aimed it at Jack, FD and Tricia.

“I'm now the Chief Medical Information Officer at, where I manage the HealthBlogger Network. Wellsphere, the fastest-growing consumer health website, is revolutionizing the way people find and share health and healthy living information and support. We've recently merged with The HealthCentral Network, Inc. (, and together we're now serving more than 10 million people a month!”

“Well this is it,” said Jack. “The end of the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen.”

“Nah,” said Tricia. “I bet it’s another cliffhanger ending.”

Dr. Geoff raised his weapon, a murderous smile on his face. He clicked off the safety and took aim.

Jack Sh*t smiled a knowing smile.

“I’ll take that bet,” he said. “Dr. Geoff… say hello to my little fat friends.”

“POM’S AWAY!” came a chorus of wild raging voices from the back of the room.

Suddenly, Dr. Geoff was pummeled mercilessly with miniature bottles of POM pomegranate juice.

Tony the Anti-Jared, Carlos, Pink Panda Tony, Sean and Stephen were gathered at the far end of the table. They were pulling out bottles of POM from a stack of boxes, unscrewing the tops and firing them at the Wellsphere doctor. Pink Panda Tony nailed Dr. Geoff in the throat with a fast-ball special.

“Ha!” laughed Tony. “It’s pretty ironic that I’m the only one of us that doesn’t throw like a little girl.”

“Shut up and keep throwing,” said Carlos. “I’ve got some of my famous beans on the stove and I need to get back to them before they scorch.”

Splattered with juice from the barrage of POM bombs, Dr. Geoff swore under his breath and rushed away, leaving a purple trail behind him.

“Should we go after him?” asked Sean.

“You just want to interview him,” said Stephen.

“Let him go,” said Tony P. “I haven’t told the rest of you this yet, but… that man is my father.”

“Good news,” said Fat Daddy. “TOM just called and he’s feeling a ton better. He’s staying with his Aunt Dot and Aunt Flo until he’s completely recovered.”

“Well, all’s well that ends well,” said Jack, shaking hands with the other League members. “Tricia, somebody needs to mop up all this pomegranate juice before it stains the floor.”

“I hate this job,” she said, taking a mop from the closet.

“Please, Tricia,” said Jack. “Save it for the blog.”

Starting to mop up the huge puddle of purple juice as the League members celebrated, Tricia muttered under her breath: “Worst. Ending. Ever.”


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Chapter Without a Clever Title


“Well?” asked Fat Daddy the next morning at the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen’s headquarters in Obese City.

Jack Sh*t, still decked out in his Sherlock Holmes outfit, was examining the conference room table with his magnifying glass.

“Well what, Fatson?” asked Jack. “Do you have a question for Sh*tlock Holmes?”

“Ummmmm, you said you know who tried to do in TOM.”

“That is correct, Fatson. I have used my powers of deduction to deduce the identity of the perpetrator in question.”

“You gonna keep calling me ‘Fatson’ until this whole adventure is over, aren’t you?” sighed Fat Daddy.

“Indubitably,” remarked Sh*tlock. “Now… who wants to destroy TOM forever?”

“Ummmmm,” answered Fat Daddy. “Every woman on earth?”


“Okay,” said Fat Daddy. “So you’ve narrowed our suspects down to every woman on earth…”

“Don’t make it sound so crappy,” said the detective. “I’ve cut the suspects down by roughly 50%.”

Tricia approached them with a handful of phone messages.

“Carlos called and said somebody just blew up his commuter train,” said Tricia. “Luckily, he just talked about riding the train and never actually rode it.”

“Probably just a coincidence,” said Jack.

“Probably,” said Tricia. “Also Tony Pos.. Pasnon… Picklenancy…ummm… Anti-Jared called to say some mysteriously clad dude who was supposed to be spotting him at the gym dropped a 400-lb weights on his neck.”

“Ouch,” said Jack.

“Yeah,” agreed Tricia. “Apparently, it left quite a bruise. And Stephen just tweeted that somebody just tried to run him down while he was training for his 5K.”

“Hmmmmm,” said Fat Daddy.

“And Pink Panda Tony got fired at from somebody with a crossbow…” said Tricia.

“Really?” asked Jack

“No,” replied Tricia. “But somebody did leave a really nasty anonymous comment on his blog, and Irene called to say somebody tried to take Sean’s tape recorder away from him last night.”

“I’m beginning to think that there’s more to this than we first thought,” said Jack.

“No sh*t, Sherlock,” said Fat Daddy. “I mean, Sh*tlock.”

“Apparently,” said Jack. “Someone is out to do away with the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen.”

Suddenly, the lights all went off. A little girl’s blood-curdling scream filled the room.

“I’m sorry,” said Jack. “That was me.”

“This is another cliffhanger ending, right?” asked Fat Daddy.

“This job sucks,” said Tricia.


Another Unexpected Visitor


“Well, I’m pretty sure that TOM’s going to live,” said Downsizing Doc, loading up her medical bag.

The medical professional had met Jack Sh*t, Fat Daddy and Tricia at the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen headquarters, a 25-story tower in downtown Obese City. She had just finished examining the bloodied body of TOM, one of the League’s founding members.

“Why were you stabbing him in the chest and guts with a Bowie knife?” asked Jack.

“Ummmmm,” said Downsizing Doc, darting her eyes. “I was checking for internal injuries.”

“And why’d you have to hit him in the crotch with that hammer a dozen times?” asked Fat Daddy.

“Testing his reflexes,” said the doc. “Look, I don’t have all day to stand around and answer a bunch of silly questions. He’ll be okay in a few weeks.”

The doctor exited the headquarters, and Tricia started gathering her things.

“Well, I’m off for my dentist appointment,” she said.

“Isn’t tonight trivia night?” asked Fat Daddy.

Tricia shot him at glance that might have struck dead a lesser man.

“That’s okay, Tricia,” said Jack, deep in thought. “You can leave early.”

“I’ll come in late tomorrow to make up for it,” said Tricia, gathering her things and walking out quickly.

“Fat Daddy, I think somebody was trying to kill TOM,” said Jack.

“Ya think?” smirked Fat Daddy. “Look at all this blood.”

“I’m alright,” moaned TOM. “It was… it was…”

At that point, TOM passed out.

“Damn,” said Jack. “It sure would have been convenient if TOM had stayed conscious long enough to tell us who his attacker was.”

“Now,” said Fat Daddy. “All we have to do is figure out who would have wanted TOM out of the picture. This calls for a little detective work, Jack. Jack? Jack?”

FD turned around to see that Jack was suddenly decked out in a full Sherlock Holmes outfit, complete with magnifying glass.

“Have no fear, Fatson,” said Jack. “Sh*tlock Holmes is on the case!”

“Who the f*ck is Fatson?” frowned Fat Daddy.

“I know who the would-be killer is,” said Jack.

“You’re going to do another one of those cliffhanger dealies, aren’t you?” asked Fat Daddy.

“Indubitably, Fatson” remarked Sh*tlock. “Indubitably.”

even later this afternoon

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Sequel With No Equal

“I hate this job,” muttered Tricia.

“For the ten thousandth time,” said Jack Sh*t, standing beside the secretarial desk. “Please wait until I leave the room before saying that out loud. Better yet, why don’t you just blog about it on Fight Fat Phobia.”

“Because you had Stephen lock down the firewall,” sneered Tricia, turning back to her computer. “No blogs in, no blogs out.”

“That’s not exactly true,” smiled Jack.

“Oh yeah, I forgot,” frowned Tricia. “We can still get Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit.”

“Well, what more could you ask for than that?” asked Jack.

“How about giving us our instant messaging back?” pleaded Tricia. “Poor Dina died from loneliness because I couldn’t IM her during the day.”

“C’mon,” laughed Jack. “We both know Dina died of tequila poisoning.”

“To-may-to, ta-mah-to,” replied Tricia.

“Well, since you’re the secretary for the League of Extraordinarily Fat Gentlemen, you don’t need to be wasting time farting around on the internet,” exclaimed Jack. “Now what’s the status of the next meeting…?”

Tricia consulted her notepad. “Ummm, Gay Tony’s busy redecorating his blog again, Not-Gay Tony is out hoodie-shopping, Stephen is still training for his big 5K. Carlos said… wait, I wrote it down… oh, here it is. Ummmm… can’t read my own writing. It either says ‘f*ck off and die’ or ‘f*ck off and diet.’”

“Hmmmmm, it’s gonna be a light meeting, I guess,” said Jack. “Well, not a ‘light’ meeting, but you know what I mean.”

“By the way, I’ve got to leave early today for trivia.”

“For what?” asked Jack.

“Ummmmmm… dentist appointment,” replied Tricia.

Well, before you leave, what’s the status of all those applications we received?” asked Jack. “Keeven, Phil, Doug, Joe, Ron, Josh, Roder, Foolsfitness, Stages of Change, Big in Okinawa. I saw all their paperwork sitting on your desk this morning.”

“I… ummm… filed them,” smiled Tricia. “That’s showing some initiative and spunk, huh?”

“Yeah,” replied Jack. “Especially considering we don’t have any file cabinets. Where did you file them?”

“In my mind, Jack. In my mind.”

Suddenly, Fat Daddy entered the room, completely drenched in sweat. It took several minutes of heavy panting before he was able to speak.

“Still… don’t… know… why the elevator… doesn’t work… without special key,” panted Fat Daddy.

“C’mon, FD,” said Jack. “It’s just 25 floors.”

“When am I…,” wheezed Fat Daddy. “Gonna get a key?”

“This is about the transformational power of exercise,” smiled Jack, putting a friendly hand on Fat Daddy’s shoulder.

“Well,” exclaimed FD. “There’s something you’re really want to see down on the first floor in the conference room.”

“You head on back then,” said Jack. “I need to tell Tricia something that, quite frankly, is beyond your security clearance level.”

“Well, at least it’s down the stairs this time,” sighed Fat Daddy. “But hurry… it’s quite urgent.”

“Okay, okay,” nodded Jack. “I’ll probably beat you down there anyway.”

Fat Daddy shrugged, gathered himself then slowly headed toward the stairwell.

“What’s so important that you gotta tell me in private,” asked Tricia. “That you got the hots for me?”

“No, I need you to go fetch me my elevator key that’s in my desk drawer,” said Jack.

“The snack drawer?” asked Tricia.

“The left drawer,” answered Jack.

“The candy drawer?”

“The lower left drawer,” said Jack.

“Gotcha,” winked Tricia, and hurried into Jack’s executive office for the key.

A few minutes later, they met Fat Daddy in the League conference room.

“Now what’s so important that you had to…” started Jack, but he immediately clammed up when he saw the scene in front of him.

TOM was laid out on the table, completely soaked in blood.

“Is he dead?” asked Jack.

“I don’t think so,” said Fat Daddy. “I’ve got Downsizing Doc’s number on my cell phone, but I left it upstairs.”

“Well, hurry up and call,” commanded Jack. “This could be life or death.”

“Ahem,” said Fat Daddy. “Could I have the elevator key?”

“What part of ‘the transformational power of exercise’ did you not understand, Fat Daddy?” snapped Jack.

Sighing, Fat Daddy limped off towards the stairs.

“What we have here is a mystery,” said Tricia.

“What we have here,” corrected Jack, rubbing his chin slowly with his fingers. “Is a cliffhanger ending...”

this afternoon

Choose Your Own Weight Loss Adventure

Welcome to Jack Sh*t’s Choose Your Own Weight-Loss Adventure. Simply read along and follow the instructions. Just like real life, you get to make decisions along the way the affect your journey.

Chapter One

You’ve made up your mind. This is it! You’re finally going to do something about that excess weight you’ve been carrying around for as long as you can remember. Good for you! This journey is all about making good choices, so this will be a good exercise to explore the consequences of your individual approach to losing weight.

If you decide to start today, scroll down Chapter Two
If you decide to start next Monday, scroll down to Chapter Four

Chapter Two
Starting right off, are we? I like the way you think! You know there’s no time like the present. After all, you’ve spent quite enough time saddled with that excess baggage. A word to the wise: don’t let your current enthusiasm get the better of you. Don’t think you’ve got to eat nothing but lettuce and run ten miles a day. You’re in this for the long haul, so the important thing is to ease into a program you can both build on and live with. Sparklers look pretty for a minute or so, but we’re looking for a big bang here.

If you take to my good advice, scroll down to Chapter Six
If you take the “sparkler” approach, scroll down to Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Well, that was impressive. You came out of the gates like a racehorse. You ate like Tweety Bird. You lost weight. Congratulations. What was it? 15 lbs or so. Outstanding. What’s that? You’ve already started skipping workouts? You’re already sacking the diet because it’s making you miserable. Damn–if only there was some way for you to have known.

If you want to try again, scroll up to Chapter One
If you’re sick and tired of the whole mess, scroll down to Chapter Five

Chapter Four

You spend between now and the end of the weekend gorging yourself like nobody’s business, convincing yourself that THIS.IS.THE.LAST.TIME. Hey, whatever you gotta tell yourself to get in the right frame of mind. At this point, does it even matter?

If on Monday, you decide to do right, scroll down to Chapter Six
If Monday comes by and you forget your pledge, scroll down to Chapter Five

Chapter Five

Well, it was a pipe dream anyway, this idea that you could eat right and exercise, that you’d stick with it long enough to see any real progress. You like yourself well enough, and maybe one day down the road you’ll do something but for right now… well, everything’s just so damn delicious. I don’t even know why I’m reading this. I think I’ll go grab a snack and take a nap.

If you rediscover your missing mojo, go to Chapter Six
If you slide further into your funk, scroll down to Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Six

Wow, it’s so tough to get the ball rolling. Hunger pains that grip you like talons. Temptations everywhere you turn. And that underlying feeling that you just don’t have it in you to succeed on such a difficult journey. It’s really tough for you… but guess what, Chuckles? It’s tough for everyone at this point. Stay the course!

If you stay the path, scroll down to Chapter Seven
If you have a couple of cheat meals in there, scroll down to Chapter Eight

Chapter Seven

A few weeks in, and you’re starting to find your groove. The hard part is over. I tell people over and over that if instead of merely dipping a toe in the water, you DIVE IN, well, it’s a whole different adventure. And you’re proving me right!

You continue proving me right. Scroll down to Chapter Nine
You prove me wrong. Scroll down to Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight

Look, a slip-up can happen to anybody, even at this stage of the game. Fight through it and forget about it. This journey is about learning to live a more healthy lifestyle, and that means making a lot of choices in a lot of different situations. You aren’t perfect, and every choice isn’t going to be the right one. Screw being perfect… be the best possible you you can be.

You stay on a roll. Scroll down to Chapter Nine
You come to a crashing halt. Scroll down to Chapter Ten

Chapter Nine

Look at you! Those losses that you thought were so miniscule at the time have really added up, haven’t they? You’ve dropped a couple of pants sizes, too. And isn’t it great how this whole process gets easier when you’ve had a few months of success under your (ever-shrinking) belt? You’ve got this!

You do have this. Scroll down to Chapter Eleven
You don’t quite have this. Scroll down to Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

No, no, no. You’ve come too far to mess this up now. Look at where you started and what it took to get you where you are today. Don’t throw away all that dedication and hard work. Don’t make all that sweat mean nothing. Get yourself straight and finish this like you started… strong and with a deep-rooted commitment to succeed.

You get yourself straight. Scroll down to Chapter Eleven
You careen a bit. Scroll down to Chapter Twelve

Chapter Eleven

You’re doing so great. It’s hard but it’s the kind of hard work that you know is going to pay off in the end. You’re proud of yourself for sticking with the program and you’re rewarded with another awesome weigh-in. Talk about motivation.

If you stay the path, scroll down to Chapter Thirteen
If you stray a little, scroll down to Chapter Twelve
If you stray a lot, scroll down to Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Twelve

Well, setbacks happen to just about everybody. Luckily, you’re in this for the long haul this time and you’re committed to not letting a mistake here or there knock you off track. If anything, these little setbacks are steeling your will even more, because you can see the impact they’re having on your weigh-ins.

If you get it back together, scroll down to Chapter Thirteen
If you lose it altogether, scroll down to Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Thirteen

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! You’re really rolling now, eating sensibly and exercising with purpose. It’s such a simple code you’d think anybody could crack it. Eat healthier. Eat less. Exercise more. It seemed difficult at the beginning, but now it’s becoming second nature to you. And you don’t even need the rock-solid weigh-ins to prove it; you can feel your clothes getting looser and you’ve even dug some of those hidden jeans out of the back of the closet. What part of this isn’t fun?

Scroll down to Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fourteen

Uh oh. Why do you do this to yourself? You know what you need to do to have success on this journey and you’re just getting in your own way. And who are you cheating, really? Yourself, that’s who. It’s time to get a handle on this self-destructive behavior and put this weight-loss journey into high gear.

You put it in high gear, scroll up to Chapter Nine
You fail. Scroll up to Chapter Five

Chapter Fifteen

You’ve hit a plateau, a few-week period when you can’t seem to make the scale budge. It’s frustrating, disappointing, maddening. You’re doing the right things, eating the right foods. You’re doing everything you’ve been doing up to this point and it’s all been working like a charm. Well, it sure as hell isn’t working like a charm right now.

If you power through it, scroll down to Chapter Seventeen
You get frustrated and cheat some, scroll down to Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Sixteen

Well, you found the thing that’s worse than the dreaded plateau: the weight gain. You let impatience and irritation get the better of you and now you have to do one of the most bothersome tasks in this whole weight loss business: re-lose pounds that you’ve already lost. It’s like going shopping at the grocery store and realizing you’ve left your wallet at home when you get to the check-out line. Well, let’s get going.

You get going, scroll down to Chapter Seventeen
You get stuck, scroll down to Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Seventeen

It took longer than you wanted, but you finally smashed through that dratted plateau. You took a long hard look at what you were doing and realized that some of the eating and exercise behaviors had slipped backwards a bit. Nothing too bad unless it went unchecked, but you’ve set a course correction and are back on track!

If you stay on track, scroll down to Chapter Eighteen
If you lose your way, scroll down to Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Eighteen

You’re right there, close enough to your goals that you can just about taste it. You’re feeling so much better, have so much more energy than you used to that it’s difficult to believe. This doesn’t feel anything like dieting anymore, doesn’t feel anything like work. It’s become your lifestyle. It’s become your life.

If you’ve got this, scroll down to Chapter Twenty-Three
If you stumble a little, scroll down to Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen

It’s hard to understand exactly why you sabotage yourself. I mean, you understand that you’re just digging the hole you’re in that much deeper, but somehow you just can’t help yourself. Because you don’t want this time to be like those other times that you just couldn’t keep the momentum going, you screw up your determination and decide to power through this tough time and blast away every temptation.

You get back on track, scroll up to Chapter Eighteen
You miss a beat (again), scroll down to Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty

Another week, another fail. It’s hard to understand. You want it so badly, but it’s just not happening. It seems like the whole world is conspiring to block your success. That’s nonsense, by the way. You’re the only one that can stop you from achieving your dreams. You say you want it. It’s time to start acting like you want it. It’s time to get serious, and I mean SERIOUS.

You get serious, scroll up to Chapter Thirteen
You don’t get serious, scroll down to Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-One

You suck. I really don’t know if I, or anyone else, can help you. Here’s my suggestion: get away from everyone have a nice long talk with yourself. Ask yourself if you’re happy, if you’re willing to settle for a life that’s less than you deserve. Ask yourself just why it is that you’re unwilling to do what it takes to make yourself a better, happier, healthier person. If you’re right here, right now, then you’ve got a lot of thinking to do and a lot of work ahead of you.

You FINALLY get serious, scroll down to Chapter Thirteen
You give up. Scroll down to Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Two

Melted cheese on corn chips is really good, isn’t it?


Chapter Twenty-Three

It’s a good feeling, isn’t it? You’ve taken on this journey with a sense of purpose and pride, and you’re doing it. You’re really doing it. Last week’s weigh-in was solid if not spectacular. Next week you’re forecasting more of the same (well, maybe we’ll shoot for “spectacular” this week). You’re on your way!

You stay the course. Scroll down to Chapter Twenty-Four
You slip up. Scroll up to Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty-Four

You make your goal. Congratulations! It’s been a long hard road, but look at you! You’re amazing. Your friends and family can’t get over the changes you’ve made in yourself, but the person who’s most proud is staring back at you from the mirror.

By the way, there is no end to this journey. Where you go from here is completely up to you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Smarting But Not Smart

Weekly weigh-in: 223.9
Loss: +.4
Total loss: 67.6 lbs.
Emotion: Bent out of shape

I’ve been dreading this post all week.

I feel like I spend most of my time here up on a stage, but on Sundays I invite everybody over to the house for a more informal get-together. Only this week, the sink’s full of dirty dishes and there’s underwear strewn all over the floor.

On Tuesday, I was getting after it on the basketball court again, still not 100% recovered from my whacked back. I was on the mend and feeling pretty good, until I overdid it and learned an important lesson: I’m a dumbass. Yes, I aggravated my back injury, and I’m struggling to stay upright these days. What’s worse, nobody gets any sympathy for their third-degree burns when they rush back into the burning house to save their Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.

So, bent and in a considerable amount of pain, I made an appointment with the acupuncture clinic that my wife Anita has been raving about lately. I wanted to see if there was anything to this Dr. Ly and his ancient Chinese secret.

Soon I’m stripped down with a dozen or so needles poking out of my back and trying to decide if this was a mistake or just a bad idea. They proceeded to strap electodes to the needles to shoot me full of electricity for a half hour, then heated the needles, rubbed my back with something called “woodcock oil” (hmmmmm, happy ending coming up?) and finished up by slapping big suction cups on my back to “draw inflammation out.” It's the surreal deal.

After two sessions, I wasn’t seeing a lot of improvement, and actually had a scary setback. I shuffled into the bathroom in the middle of the night to take a whiz. While taking care of whizness, I suddenly started having back spasms and couldn’t get in a position to make them stop. I eventually slumped against the wall and passed out, apparently. Anita rushed in and, seeing me sweating profusely and glassy-eyed, immediately started sweating profusely and went glassy-eyed herself. She got it together enough to get me a cold rag and help me ease onto my back, which had locked up tight. Pisa came in, assessed the situation, and with typical 10-year-old empathy, said “I think I’ll go to the bathroom upstairs.”

Forty-five minutes later, I had inch-wormed myself back to bed and mentally wrote this week off. I need some serious heal-thyself time, so that’s what I’m doing. For me, it’s infuriating because it’s so much harder to eat right when I’m not getting my sweat on. Not exercising keeps my stress level higher, too, as well as affecting both the quantity and quality of my sleep.

So this is my fifth straight day of slowing down and letting myself heal up. I know I have to do it and I know I have all the time in the world to get this weight loss show back on the road. I’m feeling better each day, but I’m going to take it slow and easy (even if taking it slow and easy is the last thing I want to do).

There's another dangerous "dark side" to all this on-my-butt downtime, too. Get ready for some l-o-o-n-n-g posts here this week. Hey, if I've gotta suffer, I'm going to make sure I'm not the only one...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gag Me With a Fork

Consider it a public service: I’ve been starting to jot down bizarre little meal plans, not to necessarily prepare for me and my family, but to serve as an appetite killer when I’m feeling hungry and out of sorts. I haven’t worked out the actual recipes as of yet, but reading over this list might choke out any feelings of chowing down you might have for the next hour or so.
  • Anchovy Boloney Macaroni with Garlic Pickle Brac-a-Brickle
  • Pickled Prickly Pear Pork Puffs with Pumpkin Pepperoni Popovers
  • Canadian Bacon & Cucumber Chimichanga with Chokeberry-Chipotle Chutney
  • Raspberry, Radish & Refried Bean Rhapsody with Whipped Wasabi
  • Sassafras Salisbury Steak Soufflé with Sweet & Sour Skunk Cabbage
  • Chickenhawk & Chickweed Chard Chowder with Cheesy Chia Pet Chitterlings
  • Savory Sardine Steaks with Sucrets-and-Sauerkraut Succotash
  • Worcestershire Water Buffalo with Watercress & Watermelon White Sauce
  • Oxidized Ocelot Omelet with Hummingbird Hominy Hashbrowns
  • Al Dente Avocado Anaconda on Arborio Rice with Artichoke-Apricot-Acorn Ambrosia
  • Julienned Jalapeno & Jell-O Jambalaya with Jerk-Flavored Jicama Juice
  • Pig’s Feet Pate on Pumpernickel with Pigeon-Parsley Pasta Salad
  • Gooseberry & Government Cheese Goulash with Gibbon Gibet Gravy
  • Marzipan Muskrat Minestrone with Malted Milk Mussels & Marinated Miniature Marshmallows on Melba Toast
  • Carob-Covered Caribou Cutlets with Cajun Cranberry-Corn Crumpets
  • Roasted Raccoon Ravioli with Rutabaga, Roquefort & Rhubarb Rice
  • Dijon Dachshund with Duck Sauce, Dandelions and Dippin' Dots
  • Blanched Beetle Borscht with Bittersweet Balsamic Barley Biscuits
  • Freeze-Dried Flamingo Flambé with a side of French-Fried Fiddle Faddle
  • Venison, Veal & Vienna Sausage Vermicelli with Vanilla-Coated Veggies
  • Kiwi Kumquat Knockwurst on Krusty Kelp Knishes
  • Curried Caramelized Corn Dogs with Coconut Codfish Coleslaw
  • Toasted Teriyaki Tripe and Tofu with Turnip-Tomatillo Tortellini
  • Fresh Fish Flapjacks with Salty Saffron-Stinkbug Syrup
  • Seared Starfruit, Sharktooth & Soybean Soup with Shellfish Schnitzel
  • Minty Mexican Monkfish with Mashed Mouse Mousse
  • Chinese Chili Pepper & Cantaloupe Crabcakes with Chilled Candy Corn Couscous
  • Escalloped Early Eggplant & Eggnog Empanadas
  • Porcupine Pumpkin Pierogies with Poached Papaya Pepper Pot Pozole
  • Bulgur Buffalo Braunschweiger with Buttermilk Barbecue Sauce
  • Lemongrass & Licorice Liver Linguine with Lime-Lemur Ladyfingers
  • Grilled Glazed Gator with Ground Grouper au Gratin
  • Zesty Zwieback Zebra & Zucchini Ziti
  • Broiled Boneless Beaver Butt with Braised Briny Broccoli
  • Carribbean-Style Clownfish & Clams with Cauliflower-Cocoa Cornbread
  • Headcheese & Horseradish Hoagies with Frosted Frog Fritters

Come and get it!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Gaining It Back

If I were a betting man (and mind you, I am), I’d have to place a nice little wager on me gaining this weight back again one day. I know that sounds bad and oh-so-uninspirational, but all I have to go by is history. My past actions indicate that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, I’m going to lose my mind and, for absolutely no good reason, pack the pounds on one more time.

I blame a fellow blogger for planting this seed in my brain. M at My Three Month Okinawa Diet recently dropped an amazing amount of weight in a jaw-dropping time frame. Of course, I attribute a great deal of his success to the fact that (1) he measures himself in kilograms instead of pounds, and we all know losing pounds is much more difficult than losing kilograms, and (2) he’s been living in Japan where they don’t have any real food. Anyway, he made his goal weight and kind of dropped off my radar. Good for him, I thought

Then all of a sudden, he was back. After just a couple of months, he had gained back over 50 lbs. Yikes! In his post detailing just what the hell happened, Michael shakes his head at the gain, dazed and dumbfounded that he lost focus so quickly and completely.

I know it can happen to me, too. Given my past, I’d have to conclude that it’s likely to happen to me as well. I exude confidence these days, but I’ve exuded confidence in the past, and then something inside my faulty wiring kicked in and… well, let’s just say “mistakes were made.”

So who’s to say that history isn’t going to repeat itself, as history has been known to do with frightening regularity? Who’s to say that I’m not going to pull an encore of my past weight-loss performances and finish right back where I started? Who’s to say I’m not going to gain it all back… and then some?

I’ll tell you who.


No, who.

Might be whom.

I’ll tell you who or whom: me, that’s who or whom.

This isn’t like any other rodeo I’ve been to before; this is some whole different altogether something-something. I’m losing, but the losing is a by-product of changes I’m making in all aspects of my life. There’s no end to this road, no finish line to cross and celebrate at, no destination to mark the end of the line.

People ask me what my goal is, what’s the weight I’m shooting for. When I began this trek, I threw up those playful “milestones” on the side of my blog because, truthfully, I had no idea what I had in me at that point, had no specific number I was targeting. Now, five months later, I have less of a final number in mind than I did back then.

I’m 6' 4" and I’ve seen my “ideal weight” listed as anywhere from 180 to 210 lbs. I’m just planning on keeping up what I’m doing and see where the scale takes me. Honestly, I’d lock it down right here if I could make certain that I wouldn’t spring back up in the days to come.

This blog… this ridiculously foolish time-waster of a blog… deserves a lot of credit for helping me maintain my laser-like focus and for my somewhat steady series of successful weigh-ins. For better or worse, I’ve committed to being accountable in this space. I may not use it as a daily diary like some do, but it helps me steer the ship and be mindful of icebergs that may be lurking just below the water’s surface. If there’s something new in this space (and mind you, there’s been something new in this space every day since Easter), you can be certain that my weight loss efforts are still bubbling and boiling on the front burner.

And that leads me to the last component in why I’m planning to lose that bet about gaining it all back: you. I get so much support and encouragement, both here and in emails, that gaining the weight back has been the furtherest thing from my mind of late. I’m not going to gain it back because I know that if I keep posting, if I keep this blog chugging along, you won’t let me gain it back. You’ll poke and prod me, you’ll lift me up when I stumble and you’ll give me a stern talking-to when I need it most. Keeping your eyes on the horizon is a bit easier when you know friends have got your back.

M’s back on plan these days, living and losing in the land of the rising sun. But this go-round, he’s factoring in that yo-yo tendency, bracing for the rocky road of maintenance.

He’s not done, but like me, he’s already making plans for what comes next.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ways to Jumpstart Your Mojo

  • Money is a huge motivator; give yourself $10,000 for every 10 pounds you lose. You’ll be surprised at how effective this can be.
  • Tracking all your food is good, but maybe you could track other stuff too, including phone calls made, questions asked, unusual birds seen, annoying songs listened to on the radio, license plates from states beginning with the letter “I” spotted, lies told and breathes taken.
  • Try an exercise you don’t normally do, such as water polo, line dancing or regular polo.
  • Wear clothes that are too tight, and… uhhh…this collar… so confining…RIIIIIIIIIPPPPPP…aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, so much better…
  • Use creative writing to help you reach your goals. Journal from the point of view of yourself after you’ve already lost the weight. After that, journal from the point of view of an old creaky barn in the middle of a harsh New England winter.
  • Have your name officially changed to “Spanky McBlubberbottom” until you reach your goal weight.
  • Looking for a workout partner? Try a classified ad such as “Looking for partner for some good sweaty fun. Male or female, makes no difference to me. I’m just ready to cut loose and really give my all. We can do it at your place or mine, but let’s get going. I’m ready for anything!”
  • Put Mr. Yuk stickers on all the snack foods in your pantry.
  • Buy a treadmill for your house, because no one’s ever bought a treadmill for the house and wound up not using it.
  • Give yourself a gold star for every five pounds you lose; the price of gold is skyrocketing these days, so you’re getting fit and making a solid investment at the same time.
  • Tell your family you’re trying to lose weight. Tell your co-workers. Tell your neighbors. Tell the people that work in your office building. Tell the folks you pass on the street. Tell strangers that call your house accidently. Tell us all!
  • Each morning, write your current weight on your forehead with a Sharpee.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Think You Can Do This

Maybe you’re racked with doubt about whether or not you’re ever going to drop these pounds. Perhaps you think this is a goal that you’re never going to be able to accomplish.

For what it’s worth, I think you’re gonna do it.

I think you’ve got this.

What gives me such sure-fire confidence that this is your time?

I think you want it. Of course you want it. Why else would you be here, scouring the internet for information on losing weight and getting healthy? Maybe you’re just getting started, laying the groundwork, whatever. You’re here. Maybe you’ve been at it a while and are just in need of a strong second wind. You’re still at it. You haven’t given up, and that’s one of the most basic, fundamental reasons why you’re going to make it.

I think you know what you need to do. You do–that point’s not even up for debate. All the information you need is either in your brain or at your fingertips. You may not be heeding it every day, may not be following your own game plan, but that’s not because you don’t know any better. You know better, and one day (and one day soon) you’re going to wake up to the fact that you know better.

I think you deserve it. Don’t get the feeling that I think you’re extra special (though, I do feel like you’re extra special). I think everyone deserves it. Everyone deserves to be healthy, to be fit and to feel good about themselves. It’s a basic human right, and it’s time you reclaimed what is rightfully yours.

I think nothing’s stopping you… but you. Blame the job, your kids, your spouse, your financial situation… blame anything you want, but understand that it’s you that dug this hole that you’re standing at the bottom of and it’s you that’s going to eventually have to put that shovel down and decide that it’s time to start climbing.

I think it’s time. I mean that, I think it’s time right now. I mean right this very second. Excuses are for the weak, and you are anything but weak. You’re strong-willed, and I know that if you apply yourself… I mean really give it your all… this is a journey that you will be successful with.

Five months ago, I stood on a scale and cried like a baby. Maybe you’ve felt like that before; maybe you feel like that right now. It’s a miserable way to feel, isn’t it? I looked in a mirror and could no longer face the image staring back at me. I wasn’t so mad at what I’d done to myself; I was mad at what I was continuing to do to myself. If you can appreciate the difference… well, that’s one more reason why you’re going to make this change in yourself.

Because that’s the thing: we’re not chained to the person we are. There’s nothing holding us back if we wake up and decide to make that transformation. Five months ago, I changed the person I was, and every day that has since passed makes me prouder and happier at where I am now and what I’ve accomplished.

I’m not done yet, and neither are you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Weight Watcher Meeting Conversation Stoppers

  • “Have you ever tried shoving a Snickers bar inside a Twinkee, then microwaving it for 20 seconds?”
  • “How many points are in puppy meat?”
  • “In some cultures, it’s a sign of great respect to loudly break wind in a crowd.”
  • “Hey, when the meeting starts, let’s all start yelling like it was a town hall meeting.”
  • “Who’ll give me a dollar to eat a whole can of Cheese Whiz?”
  • “Do you know if they make sugar-free edible underwear?”
  • “I don’t get my weigh-in… I dieted all morning.”
  • “I’ve already lost one-quarter of one percent of my total body weight.”
  • “We oughta all tailgate in the parking lot before our next weigh-in.”
  • “Does my fat ass make my ass look fat?”

  • “Are we gonna have square dancing again this week?”
  • “I’m really on a roller coaster; one week I’m up two pounds, the next week I’m up four pounds.”
“Whenever I get hunger cravings, I just brush my teeth… with frosting.”
  • “I can’t believe I gained weight this week. I mean, I’m wearing my lucky floral mumu.”
  • “I had a big loss this week. Congratulations?!? Congratulations on losing my house? You are one sick human being!”
  • “Do you have any leftover points you’re not using?”
  • “I’m gonna try Zumba as soon as I can say the word “Zumba” without laughing.”
  • “Can you believe I’m wearing a cowboy hat made out of pound cake?”
  • “Do you know where they keep the emergency chips-n-dip?”

Monday, September 14, 2009

IM Over You, Beer

(6:47:36 PM) Beer: what’s your danm problum?
(6:59:35 PM) JackSh*t: pls leave me alone
(6:59:51 PM) Beer: what r u doin 2nite?
(7:01:06 PM) JackSh*t: not hanging out with you
(7:02:08 PM) Beer: u used 2 like hanging out wit me
(7:08:10 PM) JackSh*t: I used to melt cheese on corn chips, too
(7:08:36 PM) Beer: I’d be good with that, wouldn’t i?
(7:08:41 PM) JackSh*t: I’m trying to get some work done
(7:08:53 PM) Beer: u kno what else I’m good with? pissa!
(7:09:21 PM) JackSh*t: Pisa?
(7:10:20 PM) Beer: Pissa
(7:10:22 PM) Beer: u know… pissa!
(7:10:24 PM) JackSh*t: Pisa?
(7:10:29 PM) Beer: u know… like paparoni pissa
(7:10:51 PM) JackSh*t: you’re a moron
(7:10:58 PM) Beer: your more a mornon that I R
(7:11:09 PM) JackSh*t: Don’t you have a frat party to go to?
(7:11:13 PM) Beer: PARTAY! PARTAY!
(7:11:14 PM) Beer: We used 2 be BBFs
(7:11:18 PM) JackSh*t: BBFs?
(7:11:23 PM Beer: Best beer friends
(7:11:36 PM) JackSh*t: It’s over
(7:11:38 PM) Beer: That’s the sobriety talking, dude
(7:11:55 PM) Beer: let’s get ripped, juz 4 old tims sake
(7:13:30 PM) JackSh*t: Who’s Old Tim?
(7:13:48 PM) Beer: not funny
(7:13:52 PM) Beer: u r funnier after u have had a few
(7:13:55 PM) Beer: c’mon… just 1 or 2
(7:13:59 PM) Beer: pleez
(7:14:28 PM) JackSh*t: Sorry… I’m having some green tea.
(7:14:39 PM) Beer: I dont even know u anymore
(7:14:43 PM) JackSh*t: Look at this: moderate drinking (2-3 drinks) can result in depleted aerobic capacity and negative impact on endurance for up to 48 hours after the last drink has been consumed
(7:14:45 PM) Beer: that is stopid
(7:14:58 PM) JackSh*t: no, what’s “stopid” is consuming a lot of empty calories
(7:15:13 PM) Beer: empty “fun” calories, u have 2 admit
(7:15:45 PM) JackSh*t: seriously, I’ve got some work to do tonight
(7:15:57 PM) Beer: you know what would help you think?
(7:16:00 PM) Beer: a cold frosty 1
(7:17:34 PM) JackSh*t: I think I’m gonna stick with this yogurt
(7:17:46 PM) Beer: yogurt? gaaaah!
(7:17:49 PM) Beer: I just threw up in my own bottle
(7:19:41 PM) JackSh*t: Do you think I want that beer belly back?
(7:19:56 PM) Beer: chicks dig da beer belly
(7:20:56 PM) JackSh*t: I can’t believe we used to hang out together every night
(7:21:01 PM) JackSh*t: I was such an idiot
(7:21:12 PM) Beer: and u can b an idiot again
(7:21:46 PM) JackSh*t: Look, I’m just really trying to be more healthy, okay?
(7:22:09 PM) Beer: that iz the dumbist thing I have ever hurd
(7:23:27 PM) JackSh*t: It’s not you; it’s me.
(7:24:01 PM) Beer: of course its you… im awsome
(7:25:07 PM) JackSh*t: damn
(7:25:30 PM) Beer: what?
(7:25:41 PM) Beer: whats da matter?
(7:25:43 PM) JackSh*t: Getting another message
(7:25:49 PM) Beer: who iz it?
(7:33:44 PM) JackSh*t: this idiot dude keeps bugging me, but I don’t want anything to do with him
(7:34:00 PM) JackSh*t: what should I do?
(7:43:56 PM) Beer: make up sum excuse, like ur mom is kickin u off or sumthing
(7:44:23 PM) JackSh*t: good idea
(7:44:29 PM) Beer: Me am full of good idears.
(7:44:48 PM) JackSh*t: hey… i have to go
(7:44:58 PM) Beer: why 4?
(7:45:10 PM) JackSh*t: my mom is kicking me off
(7:45:17 PM) JackSh*t: bye
(7:45:58 PM) Beer: come back l8ter, ok?


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