Have you ever seen somebody walking by with their arms so loaded by things so random you just know there has to be a story?
Mine started a few weeks ago.
With the exception of five pounds or so which goes and comes back like carrier pigeons, the weight I’ve put on over the years put its roots down around the same time I did. So when my gym issued a weight loss challenge, I ignored it. Lamont, on the other hand, can lose twice that much simply by drinking an extra cup of water. The grand prize? $10,000. He was in.
I told Lamont that I would support his efforts even if it meant a temporary change to my diet. Then we went on vacation. My problem pounds? I think they requested a permit to build an extension on their home in my hips. At the same time, I received a notice that my company’s wellness program would be visiting the office in September for the quarterly weigh-ins used to calculate insurance premiums. Things just got real.
Lamont had an idea. We’d both go on a cleanse for two weeks as means of jump-starting our efforts. He brought home meal supplements and read through the recommended diet plan.
- No refined sugar
- No complex carbs
- No dairy or soy
- No peanuts
- No alcohol
- No coffee
Basically, if I enjoy it, it is off the menu. But I knew it was only going to be for two weeks. I’d given up half of those things (twice) for nine months, surely I could handle going without for a couple of weeks.
The first week wasn’t too terrible. I drank a meal supplement shake in the morning, managed not to tear co-workers’ heads off due to lack of caffeine and ate salad after salad. By the end of the week, I was down two and a half pounds. Huzzah. Then came the weekend. Lamont asked me what I would like for breakfast.
“Bacon and eggs!”
“We can’t have eggs.”
“What do you mean, we can’t have eggs?!”
“It’s at the top of the list of the things we can’t have.”
“That’s not what you told me.”
“Oh, and next week we have to have two meal supplement shakes a day instead of one.”
Somehow or another he managed to survive the weekend. So did our children. Between those two miracles (three, if you count each individual spared separately) and my continuing self-sacrifice, I expect to hear from the pope any day now regarding my eventual canonization.
Although I hadn’t cheated on the diet (and had even exercised), I noticed one of my pigeon pounds found its way back Monday morning. Grumble, grumble, grumble. “Fine. Two shakes.” I grabbed the container of powdered mix and a large mixing bottle. Let’s do this thing.
By Tuesday’s lunch, my stomach wasn’t rumbling, it was roaring. At this point, I didn’t care how the calories were delivered, I just wanted something, and I wanted it now. I started pouring my “lunch” into its cup, but in my impatience, the powder escaped its container, covering my file cabinet and coating the floor. Ack! My Precioussss.
Images of bugs crawling behind my files scrolled through my head as I leaned across the file cabinet while scooping up the mess. I remembered there was a vacuum somewhere in the office and went to the storage closet. There, at the back of the room was an industrial shop vac. Its hose spanned a full foot taller than me and the vac would require two hands to carry. If the size wasn’t enough challenge, I would have to get it from the closet to my office while wearing heels.
So there I was, a light powder coating my shirt and a crazed look about my eye, lugging a shop vac twice my size down the hallway like some coked-up Quasimodo while muttering about nearly twisting my ankle. Of course, this was the moment co-workers decided to pass by. They took one look at me and scurried on their way. The pigeons left again and now I am waiting on the memo announcing future random drug screening, but at least that future might include eggs.
To those of you who continue to sacrifice day in and day out in pursuit of your goals, cheers!
Editors note: after publication Lamont advised me that I could eat as many complex carbs as I wanted. I am to avoid refined carbs. I feel so unrestricted!