February 20th at 1500 hours (that’s 3PM for you land lubbers!), it was determined that I had reached “Critical Mass.” With my wife by my side, I was led into my Internist’s office, contrite and ready to take my medicine. I was ordered to strip down to my skivvies. I offered no resistance. I had not followed instructions since last I passed through his door. I gained 3 pounds rather than losing the 25 he prescribed. All other vital signs and blood levels were well in line, except for the blood sugar. The weight was way out of whack, and I knew it.
The fight was out of me. To compound my dilemma, my daughter was adamant. Jenny will be married in June. On her last visit she pointed out matter of factly, “Why don’t you lose weight so that you can dance at my wedding – after all you’re paying for the band.” (I am????) Her comments, though searing, were made with a great smile and meant to get me going. They certainly did!
The dye was cast. Dorothy joined the physician and me and took notes at my inquisition. The good doctor provided his choice of a diet doctor with a telephone number. My goose was cooked!!!
With all the rough winter weather we’ve had, it was my bad luck that it didn’t snow on February 25th, the morning of my appointment with Dr. Slim Down. We arrived early and were greeted by a bubbling assistant armed with a fist full of intrusively detailed forms to fill out.
Halfway through the pen to form ritual, I was ushered into Dr. Slim’s office. I again stripped to my skivvies. In a lifetime ago, I could have accompanied Rose La Rose at The Old Howard Burlesque in Scully Square Boston!!
I was examined and measured almost everywhere. Twenty minutes later, Dorothy joined us with pad and pen. The game was on!!
The instructions flew. All the ingredients for the rest of my life (or at least until I lose 40 lbs.) were spelled out. The diet to accomplish my weight loss goals came through with depressing clarity. At the end of his soliloquy, I had little left, but to ask him timidly,
“How about an occasional drink?
To my surprise and joy he replied, “You can have a glass of red wine with dinner.”
My mind immediately raced to the cabinets in the kitchen to choose the largest glass in the house. The attitude adjustment was still far from complete! A store in his office was stocked with the requisite ingredients to make me thin or, better said, less round. We departed for home, armed with two full bags of goodies, the instructions, and an appointment to return in two weeks for my first weigh-in.
The condemned man ate a hearty meal that evening. My Last Supper! The bill of fare began with two gin and tonics, two helpings of a fine sirloin steak – rare, a baked potatoe (That’s how I spell it!! Guess I’ll never be VP either!), cheese and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.
I slept like a top. D-Day dawned. I began my daily routine consisting of downing 5 pills, nothing to do with weight loss, and starting my daily eye drop discipline; three different drops to alleviate the pressure from my glaucoma, dripped at different times, a total of 7 drops in each eye daily. It was like warming up in the bull-pen!
I settled in at the desk in my office writing away and watching the news. It was snowing like hell. I sat and pondered my fate – three carefully prescribed and measured meals a day, three health “snacks” and doctor’s orders to drink ten 10-ounce glasses of water every day.
Dorothy called out from the kitchen, “Dear, your breakfast is ready!”
I took my seat at the dining room table. Time for the new no-holds-barred diet to kick off.
Dorothy presented me with a small dish containing 3 opaque fat burners (about the size of rabbit pellets) and 4 turbo-charged capsules: 2 fish oil and 2 fat burner enhancers.
My gullet was ready. Down went the 7 pills and capsules aided by draining my second 10-ounce glass of water. Nine more dietary pills and capsules rounded out the pill count for the day.
Next on the bill of fare came a large chocolate, weight management milk shake. Not an English muffin buttered with raspberry jam in sight. I had to admit that the milk shake was really tasty.
My mid-morning snack consisted of half a nutrition bar with a capsule that prevents diabetes and a green tea mix in a glass of water. Lunch featured another tasty milk shake and a garden salad with vinaigrette dressing. My mid-afternoon snack consisted of the other half of the nutrition bar and a second green tea mixed in a glass of water.
Dinner was a mixture of vegetables and protein, a choice of meat or fish. The first night I chose chicken. A before bed peanut-butter diet snack capped off the day. Where is my G & T, where are the crackers and cheese?
The combination of pills and capsules: fat burners, enhancers, multivitamins, diabetes preventers and fish oil capsules spread over the day totaled 16. The water intake was 100 ounces. Ugh!!
I made it through the first day. Today is day 8. So far I have lost 7 pounds. My sense of humor has improved. I now have firsthand knowledge of every men’s room in a 10-mile radius. If I were a dog, my left hip would be dislocated from seeking out handy trees or fire hydrants.
The old adage that he “pees like a racehorse” has me heading for the fifth at Hialeah. All that aside, how thankful I am that my loving family bludgeoned me into a health regimen that will pay dividends. Jenny, I will dance at your wedding!! Thanks, Dorothy and son Graham!
PS Word travels quickly. Late yesterday I picked up the telephone. The caller spoke with a British accent saying that he had just heard of my diet, and was representing the manufacturer of one of my supplements. He asked me if I would fill out a questionnaire on their product and then proceeded to ask me a series of increasingly personal questions.
When I demanded to know where he got my name, he said that he had received his information on Facebook. I immediately fingered Jenny as the culprit. Wrong again!!
After my chilly reception he persisted until he cracked up laughing. It was my college roommate Richard Haskel calling from California. He had learned about my dietary debacles from another close friend and classmate Stan Pinover in Madison, CT.
Glad someone is enjoying my plight!!!
PSS This afternoon I peeled back the wrapper on the remaining half of today’s nutrition bar and took a bite. Daughter Jenny asked for a taste. I broke off a corner (a very small corner), reached over and handed it to her. In the process I fumbled the remainder. It fell on the floor, inches away from Ladybug’s nose (our Lab), as she slept sprawled out at Jenny’s feet.
Ladybug came quickly to life. She looked at what was left of my afternoon snack, stared up at me with her big brown eyes, licked her lips and prepared to lunge.
I sprang into action!!! The face-off between two aging carnivores! The athlete in me took over, I moved swiftly and deftly and snatched my treat from Lady’s open-mouthed attack. I downed the remainder without even dusting it off and damned near swallowed it whole.
Guilt set in, and I rewarded Ladybug with a bone for coming in second. She pawed at my lap for another treat, and I gave her a stern talking-to about dietary discipline. I told her, “Like it or lump it, Ladybug, this house is on food and fun lockdown until I can jitterbug at Jenny’s wedding.” Lady sighed, and I joined her. Who knows, with luck, maybe Jenny and Bill will just decide to run off and elope!