Ed Smith
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There must be 50 ways to lose your blubber. Not that I have all that much blubber to lose, mind you. But far as I'm concerned, five pounds is as difficult to shed as 50.
If you were that fellow in Mexico who's gone from 1,200 lbs to 800 lbs, and now feels he can get married, you would certainly disagree. He had to work like a dog to lose all that. Makes my own little problem seem rather puny.
I used to think losing weight was a matter of personal discipline, such as quitting smoking. I gave up cigarettes about 12:30 p.m. one day about 30 years ago and haven't had a draw since. Not that I haven't wanted one on occasion, like after a good meal, after or during a couple of beers, or just after, you know.
Now I know different, both about smoking and losing weight. Sometimes you can't do either all by yourself.
My only comfort is that I'm hardly alone. There are people all over the place who, since Christmas, are trying to lose five and 10 pounds. Most of them are no better at it than I. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Bill Cosby's TV wife to the contrary, none of this is easy.
Might be all right for them. They have all Hollywood behind them, not to mention exercise rooms and workout rooms, treadmills, weight training machines and personal trainers. We won't talk about the money they get paid to tell us about all the weight they've lost.
I can tell you about my own weight problems, if you like. I'm going to tell you about it whether you like it or not. If you're not interested, turn to the next column. Randy Simms, perhaps. He doesn't get on with the kind of foolishness I do. It's foolishness, but a different kind of foolishness.
By the way, does it strike you that The Telegram is getting a higher calibre of columnist these days? Just thought I'd mention it. I'm not doing a survey or anything, but I have to admit to getting a little worried.
My working weight back in the days when I was on two legs (as opposed to four wheels) was always slightly over 200 pounds. That wasn't bad for a fellow well over six feet tall. I kept the weight off by stringent exercising at least an hour and, more often, two hours a day.
Used to drive the family mad in winter when I couldn't get outdoors. Back and forth the hall, down over the basement steps, out through the basement and back again. They were always bumping into me. That wasn't so bad except when they had dishes in their arms. There was a distinct sense of irritation in the air when I refused to break stride to help pick up the pieces.
What can I say? I was a real fitness fanatic in those days. Several times I came close to being an unmarried fanatic, but I don't think she was really serious. I did get the broom for her on several occasions.
When I came back from Toronto after 17 months of being in bed most of the time, I weighed 230 pounds! OH tried to tell me I was overweight which, she said, was a gross understatement. She used "gross" in other ways as well.
I didn't pay much attention for several months, during which time I continued to pile it on. Then fate intervened and because of two little things, a camera and a girl, I determined to change things around.
Yes, the photo was of me but it was of more than me, if that was possible. There was some do or other over at the high school, I think, and this pretty young girl wanted to have her picture taken with me. You know I was flattered and promptly agreed.
That was all I thought of it until, quite some time after, I noticed this photograph sitting on our dining room table. I went over to look at it. It was of a beautiful young woman. Next to her, overflowing a wheelchair, was yours truly.
It wouldn't have been so bad had the picture been just of me. But the two of us together? It wasn't just age and youth, or the princess and the frog. It was the goddess and the blimp. I couldn't believe I had gotten that big without someone telling me.
"So," I said - rather irritably I'm afraid.
That didn't go over real well with the personages who had been telling me all along my face looked like that martial arts fellow on TV, Stephen Segal, the real big guy with the ridiculously tiny ponytail. Some unkind critic once dubbed him, "The Great Pudding Face." I'm being even more unkind comparing his face to mine.
Actually, it was one personage in particular and she made ample use of that well-worn phrase, "I told you so!" It wasn't said with great warmth or even good grace.
I decided to go to work. It took 10 months but I shaved off every ounce of that 30 pounds and then another five to boot. Ask me how I did it, being in a wheelchair and all. I don't mind sharing my secret with you.
Willpower, my dear, willpower. I ate wisely but nutritiously. The only thing I absolutely refused was broccoli and cauliflower. I spaced my Jiggs' dinners judiciously. I wore my arms out on a manual wheelchair and put in more than an hour a day on an arm bike fastened to my desk.
But it worked. The weight came off and stayed off. I'd like to be seven-10 pounds lighter today, so I may have to go back to that same regime.
Frankly, I have to say there was one other vital component in the whole process. You know that willpower I was talking about?
Its name was Marion.

Ed Smith lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Mexico, Hollywood, Toronto Springdale

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