Thursday, January 21, 2010

I’m Falling Apart

Let's hear it for a truly inspired, dedicated guy. I lost a whole one percent of my body weight this past week. Damn right. Stop the presses. We have a winner here.

Yep. I'm down from 205 to 203 pounds and gaining steam, not pounds. Someday you will be witness to a genuine transformation from a complete swine to a lean, mean, slightly broken down machine. I think I'm doing a little better than my wife, Regina, who also weighed herself last week.

I'm not at liberty to mention her weight here. It's fair to say she'd probably kill me. In fact, I fought to keep her from killing herself when the scale screamed in bright red digits just how far she has sunken into blubbery despair. Let's just say it was all I could do to get the knife out of her hands before she plunged it into her stomach. When the poor girl realized it was just a puny two-inch paring knife that wouldn't penetrate her vital organs anyway, she just started sobbing. It was all so sad.

I've learned to accept the fact that I do not resemble the guy I once was. Whose does? It's not just a weight thing. It's a broken this and beat up that thing. My body is beginning resemble the shirt of a slob. You can spot every morsel of food that accidently fell short of his mouth and left a historical marker on the garment. I wouldn't mind it so much if my injuries were something to brag about as if they reflected the life of a man who lived fearlessly and dangerously fighting the good fight in honor of God and country.

"Sure, buddy," I could say. "That scar on my leg is where I took a piece of shrapnel back in '67 while I was pulling my pal, Joe, from a rice paddy outside Da Nang while under fire from the gooks. Fucking Charlie was a motherfucker."

But my injuries aren't like that. Sure, there is a sense of swagger that comes with saying most of your aches are horse associated. I can point to my collar bone and boast of having a steel plate. People mistakenly assume I fell off while riding. The fools! I quickly correct them and declare that my horse and I both plunged at a full gallop face first into the dirt while racing against my wife and her animal. However, fear of having my insurance claim denied meant I had to tell the doctors and nurses that the accident came from falling off a ladder while cleaning gutters. I used to be a carpenter for Christ's sake and I handle ladders and scaffolding with the best of them. Can you imagine the shame?

There is little satisfaction telling people I broke my right hand like an idiot on the metal buckle of the halter on my wife's horse. I was gallantly trying to protect her as she was about to get kicked into next week while sticking a vaccine the size of a knitting needle into the horse's ass. Someone once told me that the best way to get a misbehaving horse's attention was to give it punch on its cheek. He forgot to tell me to take the halter off first.

My other injuries and ailments are less glamorous. Pathetic would be a better word. Like when I recently ran into a door in the dark and actually cracked a rib. I couldn't even go swimming in the ocean while vacationing in Cancun, the damn thing hurt so badly. I'm also about to get surgery on my right shoulder. The MRI showed I have bone spurs which is a nice way of saying arthritis. That's right. Art-fucking-rites. Think about it.

Last week summed it all up when I dropped a bowling ball on the little right toe while attending a birthday party at the Black Cat bowling alley in New Carlisle, Ind. of all places. It was gravity combined with a 16 pound orange and black swirled bowling ball versus the poor tiny toe. Now the sad little smashed bastard looks like a grape and I walk around like I've still got a piece of shrapnel in my leg: and, no medal to show for it. If it doesn't start feeling better soon I plan on cutting the digit off and telling people I lost it to frostbite when I was scaling Mt. Everest.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creative Weight Loss

205. Remember that number.

Frankly, I have a difficult time thinking of new topics to blog about. I must admit, I came to this blogging business somewhat reluctantly, which is to say that’s it mostly my wife Regina’s idea. She thought I needed some kind of creative outlet in my life. Apparently, making abstract yellow patterns in freshly fallen snow isn’t creative enough.

My problem is that I’m not sure I’m a big fan of blogging in the first place. I guess it’s ok the way my wife and a lot of other people do it. She generally blogs about our lives with our horses and that gives her a regular stream of material. We go on a ride: she blogs about it. Something semi-interesting happens in the barn, so on and so forth. A chicken lays a big-assed egg, you get to see it.

Other people blog about specific topics like politics. The problem there is that it’s enough to make you move to North Korea where the only political discussion is about the guy with bad hair. These days, a talking head on CNN introduces a supposedly hot topic and two hacks from the Dems and GOP put their spin on it. It’s all banal and utterly predictable.

Other bloggers salivate over entertainers or anyone else with a thin body and good looks whose IQ is lower than their weight. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I honestly don’t know who most of these people are. If I pick up a People magazine, all I think is “Who is that person and do I really care if he or she incinerates in a flaming orange ball of fire?”

That leaves me to blog about my life and I have a problem with that. It’s like “Dear Diary” for the masses. In fact, most blogging seems like a lot of navel gazing by people seeking attention in an attention span shortened world. But I must blog on, or so my wife says. But, about what?

Well, it turns out that most of the people who have read my blog are horse riding women who also follow my wife’s blog. Maybe she pointed a figurative gun at them to make them do it. So, I have asked myself “What is the most important thing women think about?” More precisely, what number has the most significance in women’s lives? The birth dates of their children? Their wedding anniversary? How much money they earn per hour? P-l-e-a-s-e.

Face it, the most important number in a woman’s life is followed by the notation “lbs.” In other words, just how much dead weight does her horse have to carry? How many jeans has she actually wore out and just how deep has her navel grown? An inch? Two inches? More? Is that where that missing sock went?

That’s where the number 205 comes in. That my fellow fat Americans is how many units of cellulite my horse (who has a big ass herself) has to lug around these days. I used to be able to see my ribs clearly. Now I’m a symbol of what happens when you’ve eaten too many ribs. Considering that I’m a little over 5’11” and, at 54 years of age, not getting any taller, it’s a pathetic measurement. But, it’s good way to start a story line on a blog, especially if you a dull, uninspired boy like me who can’t think of anything else to write about.

It is a number that I hereby commit myself to reducing. There is absolutely no reason anyone other than my wife or maybe my horse should care if I lose weight or instead get big enough for someone from the USDA to put a stamp on my side, but I’ve got nothing to lose by going public, except maybe a few pounds. And some dignity.

Each week, I propose to post my new weight as taken Monday mornings. Anyone with a sick sense of humor, sense of self-righteousness or, better yet, a taste for sadism, can follow along. If you’re naturally thin and can eat whatever you want, go screw yourself. You have no idea how many people actually hate you. But, if you’re like the rest of us who like to share our misery with company, then maybe you’ll want to read my version of “America’s Biggest Loser.”

If you want to bet against me, fine. It won’t be strictly a blog on my diet, but at least I’ll have a starting point each week, publicly stating how big I am. Think of it as a cheap literary device. At least my horse and her chiropractor will be cheering me on, although just between you and me, I’ll think she’ll be covering her bets and laying odds the other way. Barn animals can be vicious that way. Except for pigs, of course.