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Tuesday, July 22, 2003

One of those personal notes.

Thanks for stopping by even when I've had nothing to say lately. There is an explanation.

I am, in the convoluted parlance of the medical profession, what is known as a "lard ass." I have been a "lard ass" for some time, and it has become troubling to me and the nearest and dearest. My father in law died of a heart attack in 1993, a fact which continues to hover around my wife (and her concerns for me).

In my own family, dad had a quadruple bypass back in 1998 at the too-young age of 53, and this is also a Troubling Sign of Things to Come if I do not amend my ways and dump a significant amount of weight. Dad, determined to win his war finally and at all costs, underwent stomach bypass surgery earlier this year, and has lost 60 pounds. It's nice to see him not limp around so much. It will be even nicer for him to see more of his grandkids' lives and to enjoy a richly deserved retirement.

[Hint from on high to Dale Jr.]

After weighing [ha!] my options, I have decided in favor of a slightly less radical approach--a medically supervised fast, complete with counselling and exercise coaching. It started Saturday.

Basically, the deal is this: I get to "eat" 5-6 "shakes" per day, totalling out at approximately 900-1000 calories per day. I can have any flavor I want, so long as it's chocolate or vanilla. I can charitably describe the taste(s) as unpretentious. To these shakes, I add teaspoons of wheat bran, and once per day, something called "safflower oil." Try to keep your manly dignity after asking a guy at the grocery store where the "safflower oil" is located. You might as well follow up by asking why the establishment doesn't carry The Advocate.

Helpful hint: most grocery stores don't carry the stuff. Go to your health food outlet instead. It's right next to copies of The Advocate.

Anyway, I also have to, on a daily basis, consume enough water to float a missile cruiser out of drydock, which ensures plenty of sprinting to the lads' room. Which leads me to my gradual introduction of an exercise regimen--in this case, walking. This last is not so bad, actually.

The good news so far is that I haven't suffered from hunger pains of any kind, and my energy level's pretty good. The bad news is that I have to eat medico-industrial compounds that aren't technically food--they're "food replacements."

At the end of 12 weeks (or when I reach 210, whichever comes first), I will go into a maintenance phase, whereby I will be taught how to readjust to life without styrofoam-flavored shakes (i.e., Supersizing Is Not Good), proper nutrition, and psychological tactics for avoiding Chinese buffet lines and the like.

All of the above is but a lengthy introduction to the following: I have the potential for going from "Dyspeptic Mutterings" to "Incoherent Choked Fury Rages" over the next several weeks. If I start posting that Ken Untener is the Antichrist without at least a little evidence, it's not me--it's the foamy "shakes" speaking.

Regular blogging will resume shortly.

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