Living retired — ‘Tipping the Scales’
Living Retired — ‘Tipping the Scales’
By Gary Chalk
“Jan, you go first.”
“Gary, I went first last week.”
“No, I insist. Women first.”
“Okay Gary, but not until you leave the room.”
It is Friday morning, the day each week Jan and I officially get weighed for the diet challenge we are participating in. The diet challenge is like golf — it is based on the honour system; but unlike golfers’ dieters don’t drink afterwards. And like golf we have some money on the line: everyone puts $20 in the pot — okay bad choice of words when I look at myself in the bathroom mirror. At the end of June, the three people who have lost the most weight split the winnings. Then they celebrate with chicken wings and beer and enrol in the next challenge.
When we signed up Jan and I agreed to reduce what Jan calls ‘needless calories.’
“Gary, no more beer.”
“Jan, I signed up to lose weight not become Amish. What’s next, replace my Jeep with a horse and buggy.”
Like any plan, we quickly corrected our diet plan. On Day 2 we addressed the outright ban on drinking.
“Jan, I know we want to do everything right on our diets, but are you sure going cold turkey drinking wine at dinner is the right thing to do?”
“Gary, whatever it takes. For the past week you’ve been eating watercress, bok choy, kale, chard, bamboo shoots, chickpeas, and collard greens. It must be the lack of beer that has made you so irritable!”
The first week of our diet was, well, interesting…
SUNDAY. We cooked a prime rib roast with vegetables and my favourite horseradish. We took a pass on the gravy. When I served Jan her plate she was perturbed.
“Gary, what on earth is this?”
“Dear, the diet experts say to use smaller dinner plates.”
“Gary, I am not eating my medium rare roast beef served on the small plastic Smurf plates our granddaughters used.”
“Jan, call me Papa Smurf. You can be Brainy Smurf.”
MONDAY. I have a beef with prime rib! I weigh more than when we registered three days ago. How can this be?
TUESDAY. My mantra is ‘I am in it to win it’ so after dinner when it got dark, we drove over to Rick and Ruth’s our friends who are also in the weight loss challenge. We parked two houses down the street. Jan remained in the car. I ran like a madman and placed a large package of Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar chips on Rick and Ruth’s front porch. I rang the doorbell a bunch of times! This is when it happened…
It was dark. I leapt from their porch overtop a flower garden! As I cut across their front lawn, I spotted an elderly couple out walking their dog. We looked at each other. I nodded. The dog growled. I should have looked but I walked right into a hedge!
WEDNESDAY. I needed a five-dollar bill, so I pulled into a convenience store to change a twenty. I couldn’t just ask to change the twenty, so I bought — you guessed it — a large bag of Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar chips! I drove around the neighbourhood stuffing chips in my mouth! Back home Jan said, “Gary, you smell like Miss Vickey’s Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar chips!” I was caught with my hand in the chip bag.
“Gary, don’t tell me you ate the entire bag!”
“Only half of it Dear. I thought we’d drop the rest off on Rick and Ruth’s front porch this evening.”
“Gary, did it not cross your mind to just buy a pack of gum?”
“Jan, Miss Vickey’s doesn’t make Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar gum! DUH!”
THURSDAY. We weigh in every Friday morning. The day before I practice getting weighed by sitting on the toilet when I wake up. I don’t step on the scales without an empty bladder and empty bowels. It’s a long wait. “Jan, can you bring me my lunch please? I am in the bathroom.”
FRIDAY. The dreaded weigh-in day has arrived! I think about what I will say to Jan if I have to tell her that I lost more pounds than her this week, I don’t want to upset her. Jan leapt from the scales screaming, “YES!” So much for upsetting Jan.
SATURDAY. It is the day after everyone weighs in. We get our nerve up to go online and see where we stand. The results indicate this past week that Jan dropped ‘X’ pounds. Me? I was sabotaged by Miss Vickey’s. My weight increased ‘Y’ pounds.
With all these X’s and Y’s, Jan told me to mind my P’s and Q’s.