I Have Come to Realize

I have come to realize that if my weight-loss plan is to exercise, then it is imperative that I follow the plan and exercise.  The only way this plan works, I have discovered, is to do it, to exercise, to burn more calories on a daily basis than what I consume.

If I am not dieting – and I am not, this is clear from what I eat and when I eat it – exercising is my only option; yet, I have come to realize, for me, exercising alone over the rest of my life is a recipe for disaster. 

If you know me, you know my will power is not the best. 

Do you really see me exercising ten years from now?

Unfortunately, it is true too I don’t have much of a stomach for dieting, and I can’t imagine living the rest of my life on a limited meal-plan.

That said, I swear I have changed already my eating habits these past two years – simply, if nothing else, by being more conscientious of what I eat, what I purchase at the grocery store or in restaurants, or what snacks I buy at the gas station.  (Why am I buying snacks at gas stations?) 

Clearly, this new phase of my nutritionally fine-tuned “attainment” has not been significant enough that it alone will result in weight-loss or even equilibrium within my body.  No, I’ve discovered, my body is simply not that willing to give it up.  

In fact, I could argue, the opposite is true.  My caloric intake continues to overwhelm the life I live.  I guess you could say, sitting at a desk all day is not the most fat-burning thing one can do…

This leaves me, I have come to realize, alone in the gym with the endless ritual of exercise as my only option… for the rest of my life!

It’s a despicable truism: exercise, lose weight; don’t exercise, gain weight.

Decisions.  Decisions.  To be a stork… or a hippopotamus.


Met with Erica, the physiologist at the Health and Fitness Center who has been tracking my progress.  She surprised me the other day by taking my weight on one of their scales.  I was nearly two-and-a half pounds heavier than a month earlier.  She was shocked with my weight gain, given the amount of aerobic exercise she sees me doing on a daily basis. 

She said my eating is the problem.  

“You need to talk to a nutritionist,” she said.

What does she know about it anyway?  She’s thin as a rail, cute as the dickens, and probably doesn’t have an ounce of fat on her.  I would hate to eat what she calls dinner.  

Besides, talking to a nutritionist has to be one of the most horrible things one can do in life.  Like taking eighth-grade health class once more.   Ack!   

“Let’s go over the food pyramid, again.  At the bottom of the pyramid is…”


My eighty-five-year-old uncle, who has been a runner, a mountain biker, a river guide, and an avid golfer, thinks nutritionists are for the birds.  He says he will be my nutritionist, and it won’t cost me one-red-cent.  His advice on how to lose weight, he tells me from years of experience, is not eat. 

“It’s all about what you stick in your mouth,” he says in a humph, like I should know this.  “Quit sticking so much crap in your mouth.” 


Erica wants me to track my calories.  Awhile back she had me put an “app” on my phone to help me count my calories.  She says she uses hers all the time.  Now she wants me to use it. 

Yet, when I did, I immediately went into a funk.

I have come to realize most of what I eat is boring and repetitive – the same food and food combinations over-and-over, meal-after-meal, day-after-day.  There’s no mystery here.  My app depresses me.

Besides, if Erica wants to know why I am gaining weight, my app can’t tell her.  My app says I should be anorexic. 

Something is wrong with my app.


I noticed when I set a goal for myself, say, on what I want to achieve over a two- or three-day period, or over a weekend or the week ahead, I fail to get any where near what I had hoped to accomplish. 

I can show through the tracking on my phone I am a total fuck-up.  Even my “app” has given up.  When I click on it, it says, “You again.  Why bother.”        


I am at the door and about to enter a room I must cross to get to paradise beyond.  I need to cross this room and go through the door on the other side.  I can see through the door on the far wall that the world I will enter is beautiful.  Trees green and full of ripe fruit and the grass luscious and inviting.  People are milling around, smiling and calm.  Some are even waving for me to come join them.  I will.  I will.  I need to focus now on crossing the room and keep that open door in front of me, in my sights at all times.  This room I must enter is so dark and mysterious, I almost don’t want to go.  I am standing at the entranceway, peered in.  I can’t see a floor anywhere, but I have been here before.  At this exact spot and I know there is a floor.  On previous occasions I even have taken a tentative step or two into the room.  The floor is like glass.  I must have the will power to let go and trust myself to walk on glass, to pull away from the wall and go into the room, to pull farther and father away. 


My old doctor comes over to me and says, “Your fever is back up.  You had it down for a day, but it spiked up again.”  I say, “It was that macaroni and cheese, I bet.”


I am with my priest, “Father, I will never be free of this addiction.”  He shakes his head and gets up from the kitchen table.  “You want some peanut butter and jelly on your toast?” he asks.

I am dreaming.  I must be.  “May I have some eggs and bacon too?’


I am with my nutritionist on aisle three at the grocery store.  His name-tag says Dave, and he is bent over stocking cans of beans onto a shelf from a box on the floor. 

“Beans are better than potatoes or rice,” he says, looking up.  “Besides, if you buy ten cans, you get the next one for free.”


My yardman comes and sprays the yard with crap about once a month. His literature left behind on my front door knob says the solution he uses is nutritious as all-get-out.  When he arrives at the house one day, I go out and see him.

“Hey, do you make smoothies?”


I am standing next to a great room.  It’s dark and forbidding inside.  It waits for me.  Paradise is through the door on the other side.  I am alone outside the room and need to push forward once again to get to the entranceway.  How did I screw up so completely that I fell out of the room?  I was looking at the door on the opposite side and felt I was inching my way toward it – finally, pulling away from the wall, trusting myself, slowly inching my way across the glass floor and then – suddenly, I realized I am back outside looking in. 



Categories: Pudgy Me

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