By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Do you ever just feel like a big ol’ grizzly bear?
Not the kind that paces through frozen tundra with that grizzly bear swagger. I feel like the big fat bear that has sat in a cave all winter. Although this hasn’t been the harshest of winters, it has been enough to make me hibernate with Pepsi, Doritos, and Dove chocolates.
I take a deep breath before I button my pants. When that bitter North wind blows, I don’t even want to go outside to check the mail. I feel like dough.
The funny thing is this happens every year. By the end of August, I have been running all summer and cleaned up the diet. The pants get loose. I lose enough of the chipmunk cheeks to reveal dimples. I feel spectacular and swear I will never let my body go again.
A few months later I’m tearing through McDonalds French fries like a beaver on a willow tree.
I understand I’m not a candidate for The Biggest Loser, but weight is kind of relative. I stepped out of high school a trim 165. I had abs, could dunk a basketball, and got mad when people said I was skinny.
When I reached 175 it felt good to not be so skinny. At 185, I swore I would never go up another pants size. At 195, I noticed things jiggled when I run. Now I top one-tenth of a ton and am not only wearing a size jeans I swore I never would, I feel like they are pumped full of marshmallows and soft serve ice cream.
If someone calls me skinny, I suck in my belly until they are out of sight. It doesn’t happen often.
The tipping point came last night when we sat around the table with our bags full of burgers and fries. One daughter showed me how to scrape the fries against the side of the package to get all the yucky salt off them. The other blotted her fries with a napkin that soon looked like it had been floating in a bottle of canola oil. I couldn’t take another bite.
This morning I ate oatmeal and Greek Yogurt. One of the couches in the family room is going to be moved to make way for dumbbells. It will soon be warm enough for me to go jiggling. I mean jogging.
Sorry McDonalds, Wendy’s, and those fresh warm Hardees biscuits with the cheese melting down the side. I’ve got to leave you. You’re no good for me.
And I am never, never, never letting myself get in this shape again.