Living Retired — ‘In It To Win It!’
Living Retired — ‘In It To Win It!’
By Gary Chalk
This may sound like something Yogi Berra would say but here goes: the best place to start is at the beginning…
One morning last week Jan came running into our bedroom. “Gary, I could hear you making a lot of loud groans from over in my office. I was afraid what I would see.”
What Jan saw made her eyes grow wide open. I was laying flat on my back on the mattress. I had my stomach sucked in and held my breath so long that my face was beet red.
“Okay Gary, please tell me why your pants are down at your knees. And why are you flailing around like Joe Cocker singing ‘Get By With A Little Help From My Friends?’”
“Dear, I am trying to put on my blue jeans. They are really tight. The dryer must have shrunk them.”
Still on my back, and using both hands, I writhed on top the bed to get the zipper done up. Whew!
The blue jeans were so tight I couldn’t even get up off the bed. I had to roll over and fall onto the floor. The good news was that we hadn’t made the bed, so the dozen decorator pillows still scattered on the floor broke my fall. That took a weight off my shoulders — if only I could get it off my stomach!
Before you could say Jenny Craig, Jan talked me into joining an online diet challenge she had enrolled in with a bunch of her friends.
“Gary you should join. All you do is pay $20 and weigh yourself every Friday morning when you wake up. Whoever loses the most weight collects the jackpot.”
“I’ll tell you what Jan. Why don’t I pay the $20 and just sleep in. I’d like that.”
The next thing I knew I was standing on our bathroom scale ready to record my official starting weight.
“Jan these scales are Weight Watcher scales so do I score a couple of Weight Watcher activity points when I step on?”
“Gary, you don’t need to take all your clothes off to get weighed. And why are you exhaling before you step on the scale? Do you really think that’s going to make a difference how much you weigh?”
With that I pronounced, “Jan, I am in it to win it!”
Later, I stocked up with groceries: tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini. At the checkout I spotted a ‘First For Women’ magazine with a photo of Oprah. The cover headlines screamed, ‘Heal Your Gut, Fat Falls Off,’ ‘Lose 38 Pounds by Memorial Day,’ and a photo of a perky woman, Jamie, 57, claiming she lost 104 pounds. I bought the magazine because I AM IN IT TO WIN IT.
Back home Jan was critical. “Gary, you purchased crackers that are high in sodium. And what’s with Pop Tarts! I certainly hope you got some tofu?”
“TOFU? Jan, I am in it to win it — not starve to death!”
I also bought a bag of seasoned salad croutons. The label included — get this! — a ‘Best Before Date.’ Croutons are stale to begin with! Just saying.
For a week now my meals have mostly been roughage which according to the dictionary is ‘indigestible food such as legumes, whole grains, and vegetables that promote the elimination of waste from your large intestine.’ It’s not the Keto Diet, it is the Beano Diet, which has knocked the wind out of me, if you get my drift.
For moral support I considered calling a friend who returned from vacationing in Grenada and immediately began a diet. Lew said his wife packs his lunch for work: carrot sticks and hummus. At their dinner table they chat about chickpeas.
Last evening at our dinner table I said, “Jan maybe I should be a contestant one on ‘The Biggest Loser’ on television.”
Jan joked, “Gary, you got the loser part right.”
Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.
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