I went to the grocery store recently, as I am often wont to do; my wife buys most of the groceries for our home, but her tastes tend toward earthy and healthful. When I look into the fridge all I see are grasses, weeds, sticks and roots. I’m a big man, with big needs; occasionally I need sustenance of a heartier and more indulgent nature.
I pulled into the store’s lot and parked, but lingered in my car for a couple of minutes: The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me (possibly the best song ever recorded) was playing, and my car’s air conditioning kept blissfully at bay the hell that awaited me outside (it was 110 F that day). As I idly scanned the parking lot and joined Roger Daltrey in a stunning impromptu duet, I became aware of a most startling and disturbing trend: everyone I saw in the parking lot, either coming from or entering into the store, was – how shall I put this delicately – overweight. You know what? Forget delicacy; they were fat, obese, often morbidly so. It was a parade of cottage cheese come to life; of the Michelin Man, wigged and testing the limits of women’s capris.
I walked the to the store, determined to take my visual poll of American decadence inside. As I approached the doors, and before they thankfully swung open, I briefly saw myself in the glass and, to my horror, realized I was one of them. Inside the store was more of the same; I was one among an army of engorged zombies, fattened by feeding on the bodies of the dead (albeit those of cows, pigs and such, all dismembered and pre-packaged for convenience) and the myriad poor choices available aisle after aisle.
So, where were all the thin people? Perhaps we ate them, being the mindless fat zombies that we are. Maybe we sat on them and they sunk between the couch cushions along with the loose change that forcibly expelled from our pockets when we sat down on our giant bums. More likely still all the thin people were shopping at the Hippy Earthy Organic All Natural Stores my wife prefers, both to maintain their lithe physiques and to avoid being trampled at Unsafeway.
Well, I want to look like the thin people; I just don’t want to eat like them. I am willing to concede that healthy looking people may be on to something, so I’m going to meet them partway. Herein lies the simple beauty of the Struggler’s Diet, which I unveil to you now, in its entirety and free of charge: I will continue to eat the way that pleases me (picture Jabba the Hutt, sans bikini clad, chained hottie) for most of the day, but for dinner I’ll eat a beer or a Gin and Tonic. If hunger meows at stomach’s door, I’ll shoo it away with some sliced green or red peppers, cucumbers or celery. At some point in the evening I’ll add a nice waddle around my neighborhood; if some of the more shady elements are out and about, it’ll turn into a full cardio workout, so I’ve got that going for me.
Sounds stupid, you say. You’re stupid. If you’re fat but are still somewhat mobile during the day, you’ll lose weight doing what I’ll do. My theory is that the evening, with its inherent tendency towards lethargy, is the wrong time to be eating, especially the bad (good) stuff. I work hard most days, actively and outdoors, so I’m confident that I’ll have burned off all of my Breakfast of Champions and most of my Lunch of Legions by the time dinner rolls around.
You’re a moron, you say. No argument there, but I do this every year after summer season ends and I’m done coaching basketball until November. It has worked to varying degrees every time, depending on my level of enthusiasm. With my son’s wedding looming just ahead (more on that later) and the highly reflective qualities of my local grocery store’s doors, I resolve to really stick to it this time. I offer you this image of someone’s gut as a “before” picture; I’ll post another picture of someone else’s gut as proof of my success come November.