Monday, May 12, 2014

Fat City

A few days ago, I woke up fat. I'm not sure how it happened since I was in top shape just thirty years ago, but suddenly I'm not merely carrying a tire around my mid-section, I'm toting a John Deere tractor wheel. Since childhood, I've been naturally slim, although my weight has gone up and down in recent years. So, I'm no stranger to battling the bulge, I just don't know how to manage the bloat. In recent years when I got portly, I'd go to the bathroom and I'd be skinny again. For most of my post-thirty life, I have averaged around 172 pounds. Suddenly, I'm carrying around a twelve-pack, and I think they are tall-boys. It didn't sink in until I saw two recent photos. In the first, I was standing with a group of guys and I just figured someones iPhone must have distorted the shot and widened me out. In the second, I was seated, leaning slightly forward, and I looked like some hunkering gargoyle. Dunlop's disease has overtaken me because my gut done lopped over my trousers. I should have noticed it in the shower when recently, I have been unable to see my nether-regions without a slight lean. I recoiled in horror from a full-length mirror, but I was inspired to write a new country song called, "I Can't Stand To Look In The Mirror, Because I Hate To See A Grown Man Cry." This can't be happening to me! Who wants to be old, bald, and fat?

My wife blames it on my addiction to Pepsi Cola, but I point out that Hugh Hefner drank Pepsi his whole life, and he's still slender. Or look at Joan Crawford. She sat on the board of Pepsi, Inc. but "Mommie Dearest" never got pudgy. I've tried the diet versions, but they taste like medicine and I need my cola fully loaded. I also attempted switching to ice tea in a can, but they are saturated with high fructose corn syrup, and you can gulp them, so you need a couple. It's tougher to chug a cola without belching like a howler monkey midway through. Don't get me wrong. Many of my old friends have blown up beyond recognition. It comes with the territory. But I don't look grotesque or morbidly obese and Melody tells me I'm not fat anywhere else but my belly, but it's starting to move around some. I think it's because ever since I began keeping quasi-business hours, I started eating three meals a day. When I kept musicians' hours, I'd sleep half the day, eat a big dinner and a snack later, and that was it. My body just wasn't acclimated to what's commonly referred to as normal life, and it rejected the health benefits I was attempting to incorporate.

Funny thing is, I don't eat a lot of sweets or desserts, I don't snack a lot, nor do I drink beer or alcohol. It's not a moral thing. Alcohol just makes me sick. Lord knows, I've tried to be a proper drunk in my past and I spent years searching for just the right drink. I started drinking Brandy Alexanders just because I read it was John Lennon's favorite, until I woke up one morning and spent the day calling people to apologise. But it didn't matter how you disguised it. Whether it was wine, whiskey, or beer, it just made me ill. And the sad part is, I would go directly from being straight to being sick with no euphoria in-between, and only hell to pay later. I finally figured out it was a crappy high anyway and abandoned the effort. I can, however, see years of alcohol consumption in my friends' faces, and they have payed for it with gin blossoms and enlarged proboscises, as well as the expansion of the epidermal layer to keep in the heavy load below. Go anywhere in public these days and you'll see enormous, titanic, obesity-- the kind you didn't see just twenty years ago. You would think Americans exist on a steady diet of fried pork rinds, Mountain Dew, and whale blubber. I enjoy an occasional Chips Ahoy myself, but I don't eat the entire Costco-sized bag at one sitting.

Of course, the answer is always diet and exercise, but ever since that gall bladder thing I had a few years ago, I am physically unable, by the grace of God, to do a sit-up. Walking is the answer, but my neighborhood isn't entirely walker friendly. When the sidewalk ends, your choices are either walking along a major thoroughfare where the autos zip by like NASCAR, or taking your chances on the pavement of a narrow lane with speed bumps. In any case, there is no walking around here without including the dogs. If they catch you putting on sneakers, or even thinking of the word "walk," the dogs go wild- and we have three of them. I don't mind taking Rufus Thomas' advice and walking that dog now and then, but I'm no Cesar Milan and I can't walk three at once. But, who are we kidding? I'm not walking anywhere farther than the mailbox anymore. It hurts, good people. So if I return to musicians' hours and you should hear me somewhere singing Fats Domino's classic "I'm Walkin'," you'll know that I am exercising- poetic license that is.


Anonymous said...

Addicted to Pepsi, i.e, sugar? 41 grams of sugars in one can! Thats about the same as 10 teaspoons of granulated sugar. You might need rehab.

Pat said...

According to the National Geographic issue this past year, Sugar is the new "poster Child" of heart disease! Is is the lead poison of the new generation

Anonymous said...

Try Pepsi Maxx. Tastes like the real thing. Cut out the bread, starch, and sugar and you'll lose weight. I have a friend who drank 3 Cokes a day. When he gave it up he lost 35 pounds in 3 months!

Father Farken said...

My Brother! Be careful...Pepsi was E's gateway drug to a multitude of prescription junk, & fried peanut butter & nanna sandwiches.
Brother, I feel your pain...I was so desperate my doctor put me on The Whatzzzup Diet! It sounds kind of odd but it works. What ever food you put in your body must go up the way of the kazoo. Matter of fact I lost 40 lbs in 2 months. Dr Spiotta sez, "I'm so proud of you for losing all that weight but why are you moving your arse back & forth?" "I'm chewing gum!" I sez.
Anyway..Welcome to the Fat Farm. I will be ready to Belly Bump the next time I seesya'! Love ya Brother! The Peace of the Lord! Padre

Chunky said...

I know just how you feel. My doctor recommended "aerobic exercise". Shucks, when you weigh as much as I do, EVERYTHING'S aerobic!