Two months ago, I tried behaving myself.
"No more pizza, French fries, or beer," I said.
Our spring break Disney cruise was fast approaching and I didn't need a scale to tell me I was overweight. When your "skinny" jeans won't button and your shirt collars make your head feel like it's about ready to pop off, you know you've been over-indulging. Fortunately, I wasn't too far gone. Maybe just 10 pounds would do the trick, get me into the zone in which I could kid myself into thinking the lack of love handles meant I was in good shape.
One month ago, I made a second attempt at behaving.
"Stop dropping handfuls of dark chocolate into your fat free yogurt," I told myself.
I had managed to nix the beer, fries and pizza, but the chocolate kept throwing itself at me, demanding to be eaten while simultaneously preaching to me about the many suspected health benefits of two ounces daily of dark chocolate. And, if two ounces is good for me, then ten ounces is like a super strength multivitamin with a V8 chaser and a few laps around the block thrown in for good measure.
Portions were also undermining my efforts. I was reminded of a time, long ago, when I went to a salad bar with a friend who was trying to diet. He layered his plate with lettuce, then piled it high with eggs, cheese, croutons, bacon bits, and full fat thousand island dressing. Hey, it was a salad, right?
Two weeks ago, I started giving up.
"Just try to maintain the weight you're at now," I said.
Maybe if I hold at my present puffiness, I can pull a desperation fast at the last minute and board the ship with a few pounds of wiggle room. I gain five pounds once my feet leave the gangplank, so I've got to give it some kind of effort before hitting the buffet, the formal dinner, the cocktail hour, the poolside cantina, the breakfast buffet, and the room service.
One week to go, and the hard reality of a failed effort presented itself in the form of a half dozen pairs of shorts that no longer fit comfortably around the waist. I could try kidding myself into thinking there must be something wrong with our storage bins, because these all fit fine last summer, but what's the point? Besides, we bought enough new clothes for the trip that I don't have to worry about running around the ship pantsless, which is a good thing since this is a family cruise.
At the very least, I feel better about myself since yesterday because my Lovely Wife cut my hair, and not a moment too soon. No longer thick enough to be called shaggy at any length, my hair was nonetheless far too long and becoming increasingly unruly. It either poofed out in ways that made me look like I'd been dropped on my head at birth, or it was shellacked into place like I'd combed it with buttered toast. Now at a much more reasonable length, it draws less attention to the chubby roundness of my face.
But maybe it isn't just a trick of the eye. Maybe this magical haircut actually did help take off some of that excess weight I'd been trying to shed for the last couple months. A quick trip to the bathroom scale proved my assumption correct. I had lost four pounds since that morning, all thanks to my Lovely Wife's tonsorial talents!
Of course, keep in mind the scale is psychotic. On Saturday, it said I was 211. This morning, it told me I was 164. Regardless, I choose to believe my haircut makes me look four pounds thinner, and therefore I am.
All I need to know now is which deck has the midnight buffet...
© 2011 Mark Feggeler