When do we eat? I'm wasting away

Things can get pretty dramatic at our house when we miss lunch, or supper, or dessert - or snacks. "I'm starvin'," we'll say, "just look at me, I'm wasting away." In truth nothing's been wasting away on me for quite a few years. In fact, I've gro...

Things can get pretty dramatic at our house when we miss lunch, or supper, or dessert - or snacks.

"I'm starvin'," we'll say, "just look at me, I'm wasting away."

In truth nothing's been wasting away on me for quite a few years. In fact, I've grown in places, and am hanging over in areas that I never thought could hang.

In high school I was six-foot-four and 165 pounds - on a wet day. High winds scared me - I could have snapped in half.

Things have changed. I could be an anchor for just about anything these days. We bought a new digital scale because our old one would spin right past the 285 lb. limit well into it's second time around. As I passed ten pounds on the second spin it became a bit disheartening. I mean - I can add - I know that no matter what scale you step on its going to equal 295 lbs. The idea that by merely stepping on it,m I made the scale do something it wasn't made to do disturbed me. But I guess the same thing could be said for anything I step on.


In any case, the digital is more straightforward. I appreciate that. It just straight out tells you how fat you actually are. There's no waiting for the spinner to stop bouncing, there's no going over the limit. I wouldn't know what the limit is on this scale, unless I read the instructions. And we all know that's not going to happen. I'm satisfied knowing that what it tells me after it's initial groaning is correct.

As the new year rolled in we'd been watching NBC's The Biggest Loser, a program where they took overweight contestants from each state, pulled them together, and challenged them to see who could lose the most weight. Of course, they had trainers, and nutritionists and daily help from people on the show. We watched as Erik, the winner, went from 410 lbs. to 196 lbs. He lost more than half of himself. Pretty impressive. I even commented on how impressed I was as I pushed the recliner back and pulled out my second bag of chips. Lays potato - regular - the original flavor - nothing like them. I shoved the half empty box of junior caramels off to the side as I set the bag back down. Yup, that Erik, he surely did lose some weight. You have to give him credit.

As I said, 2007 was ready to make it's appearance, resolutions and all. Inspired by watching those people on TV reach their goals, my wife and I decided it would be a good resolution for us - again. We'd take another whack at the battle of the bulge. Now this was a discussion that she and I had in the privacy of our own home. It wasn't going to go any further. Just a quiet little inner-self quest to better health. Then she had to go and open her mouth and spill the plan to some friends of ours. "We should all do it, make a contest of it," I can just hear her, all bubbly and optimistic.

Sometimes I like to keep things a little more low-key, in case of failure. You know what I mean? That would make room for an occasional chip or extra snack here and there. No one would know but us.

But no, she had to go and spill the beans. Our friend, pastor at a local church, and an "out-of-the-box thinker" decided to make it a community project. So much for sneaking chips. All of a sudden the contest has anyone from the area signing up and getting in on the weight loss action. Plus, and here's the kicker, anyone else (who wasn't a part of the original deal, like me, and my wife - and our friends) has the chance to be Wadena's Biggest Loser and win $5,000 as grand prize. Five thousand dollars! Great for everyone else. Not so great for me, however. I guess my original goal was just to lose weight. Nothing's changed there.

And so we've started. We're a little ahead of the contest, which will be starting in March and going for three months, but who cares, we can't win the cash anyway (I'm not bitter). I'm not drinking soda at all, except for Sundays - cheat day. We live for Sundays. I eat no snacks after supper (that's a tough one) and I'm cutting down on meal portions. I've done that for a month. While I have lost a little weight, I'm no Erik, and so I've arrived at the next step. I've been able to avoid it up until now, but it seems that exercise goes hand in hand with diet. Sad part of it is many of the exercises that need to be done can't be done from the recliner. Who'd have thought?

So, I've gotten up out of my chair, and started an exercise program. As much as it hurts, it feels pretty good. So I think I'll continue. I'm using muscles that haven't been used in a while. At 51 years of age, I don't believe I'll ever be buff. I don't think I'll ever fear snapping in half on a windy day, but I'm already feeling better. And I always know there's a bag of Lay's potato chips, regular, original flavor just waiting for Sunday to roll around.

If anyone is interested in Wadena's Biggest Loser, check out the rules and contest information at or call 218-631-1928. Unlike me, you'll at least have a chance at the five grand.

What To Read Next
Get Local