Overweight And Overwrought

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This scale can’t be right. How can I possibly weigh five pounds more than I’ve ever weighed before? Maybe if I empty my pockets and take off my shirt. It must be the shirt. They make these shirts out of very heavy cloth, nowadays. Durable but heavy. See, that’s a half-pound less already. I bet if I strip naked right now, I could get it down to an even number. Or if I move the scale. Because the floor’s not level here. I need to do this on level ground. See, over here I weigh … even more? That can’t be! Somebody must have broken this scale!

Or maybe I’m retaining water. If women can retain water, why can’t men? I believe in equality of the sexes. So maybe if I just go and pee? I probably need to pee more. Sweat and pee and take showers. Because as I get older and have more folds and wrinkles in my skin, more dirt is clinging to me. And pollen. It’s been a bad season for pollen this year. Perhaps I’m just bloated and weighed down with pollen. And my nose is stuffed up. I wonder what snot weighs? I’m sure that’s part of it. Probably at least a pound of snot in my head right now, don’t you think?

All right, stop with the denial; it’s time for serious consequences. Of course, it was difficult to see this coming, now that I wear all these comfortable stretch pants that expand two inches when you sit down. Never any worry there, never that extremely tight feeling after a four-course French dinner with creme brulee for dessert. But somehow this fooled me into believing that all is well, which would never have happened with regular pants and a tight belt. No advance warning, see, it’s really fashion designers and marketers who are to blame for not knowing how fat I’ve gotten.

But things will change now that I’m aware of the problem. It can’t be that difficult. It’s summer, so I can exercise more and eat fresh vegetables and fruits, and the pounds will just melt away, right? The calorie counter on the Internet says that walking for 10 minutes burns up 68 calories. Is that all? Crap, each of these Trader Joes’ chocolate-covered cherries is 25 calories, which is, let’s see, about four minutes of walking. For each measly little cherry? That’s it, that’s a goal: I’ll immediately begin a regimen of walking an extra four minutes a day so I can eat a chocolate-covered cherry afterwards. OK, I really have to get serious. I’ll have to walk the extra four minutes and give up that cherry and all others like it for at least … hmm … has anyone figured out how many calories you have to burn or cut back in order to lose one pound of fat? That would be some worthwhile research for our bloated government to fund. I want to know exactly how long I’m going to have to starve and sweat in order to lose the five pounds over the worst possible weight I’ve ever been. Then I want to lose five more pounds after that.

Unfortunately, I also want to go out to eat on Saturday night to the new Italian place, and to that brunch on Sunday, and I want to laze around in the hammock Sunday afternoon reading the paper. So I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to fit everything in.

Some researchers just came out with a study that helps explain why I’m so fat. In the last 50 years, our society has moved from having about 50 percent of jobs being sedentary to 80 percent. All those factory jobs that got shipped overseas used to require a great deal more actual work, labor, lifting, moving, walking, carrying things, muscles. Nowadays, the vast majority of us sit on our butts at work all day staring into screens and pushing buttons with one hand while we stuff our faces with little chips and snacks and sodas and lattes with the other. Overall, we burn about 100 to 200 less calories a day at work than we did in 1960. This shift, all by itself, could account for most of the epidemic of obesity that our nation faces. That never really bothered me before, but now that I’m suddenly having difficulty bending over to tie my shoes, I’m feeling the need to have something to blame for all this new me blocking the view of my feet.

We need to start an exercise program at work. Every half hour, I’m going to go out and get everyone up from their desks and have them jog around the office with me. Everyone’s got to do this because otherwise I’ll look like a fool, running around the office every 30 minutes, like I’m being chased by some phantom debt collector. Better to be chased by the entire disgruntled staff. Also, every time someone wants to check their e-mail, they’ll have to get up from their desk, go down the stairs to the mailbox, and then come back up, before they can download any e-mail. Because in the old days, that’s what people in offices did, and the mail was delivered in some places as often as three times a day. So just doing that, 10 minutes a day of climbing stairs at work, is almost 100 calories, which is, glory be, four chocolate-covered cherries! I think I’ll buy a new box right away!

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