If God Wanted Me to Touch My Toes,
She Would Have Put Them on My Knees.

by Frank Kaiser

My wife and I are embarking on an exercise and diet program that's supposed to make us look and feel 20 years younger.

I keep trying to remember 20 years ago, and can't seem to find any reason to want to return. I remember back then being afraid that I'd never find the perfect mate with whom to grow old, afraid that I'd never find a business where I wouldn't have to deal with morons on a daily basis. And especially afraid that I would never find peace of mind and happiness.

But you know what? I did. I did. And I am.

So today, as I realize that I have survived long enough to be Suddenly Senior, I also know that I could stand to lose a bit of the roll that has mysteriously appeared around my waist.

My wife has been fighting her weight all her life. She's lost and regained enough pounds to make up several other people. In one year of desperate deprivation, she lost over 100 pounds and still saw a fatty in the mirror. Now she wants to knock off about 30 nasty, persistent pounds. She's done Jazzercise, Atkins, Weightwatchers, and Jenny Craig — but always those hard-fought losses came creeping back.

Maybe there's a universal law that we don't know about, much like Murphy's or Moore's, where every ounce lost always must be replaced. And you certainly don't want to mess with Mother Nature.

My wife and I have tried no-carb diets, high protein, even lots of calorie counting. We've walked until we thought our legs were broken. I swim daily. (I hate exercising so I have to swim early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.)

All this and neither of us can lose an ounce and keep it off.

Can you relate? I'll bet you can. Short of never, ever again eating anything that tastes good, what's a couple to do?

Last week we considered eliminating all breads and sugars. We know a guy who did just that, and he now looks much thinner. Also 20 years older. In fact, all those 20-years-younger promises are definitely bogus. When we oldsters loose weight, we loose it in our faces first, which just creates more wrinkles, not to mention an unhealthy pallor that alarms the children.

Sure, we know the morbid statistics. Folks our age, especially the fatties, are dropping like flies. How sad to spend 60 years or more becoming the person you really want to be, only to croak before everyone gets to know that real you.

So once more, our fridge is full of lettuce, spinach, watermelon, rabbit food of all sorts. And we're exercising. They say for every mile that you jog, you add one minute to your life. Ten miles, ten minutes. At that rate, in 20 years you'll have an extra month and a half of unbearable arthritic pain and memory losses. (At least while you're jogging you'll hear heavy breathing again!)

Suddenly Trivia: What is the name of the famous diet that allows you to eat all the fat you can swallow? a) Weightwatchers, b) Atkins, c) Jenny Craig

Once again, we're eating food we hate, walking too fast and too far, drinking so much water that we never can be more than 10 steps from a bathroom. And why? To painfully lose a few pounds that, like Lassie, will always come back home where they belong.

There must be a lesson here. Maybe the joy is in the suffering, and like Zen, you should never get attached to anything, especially chocolate.

© 2000—Frank Kaiser

Suddenly Trivia Answer: b) Atkins diet

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