Listen to the sounds of a satisfying supper: slurping soup, gobbling fried chicken, absorbing the aroma of food; ah ecstasy. Lips now moist with satisfaction, and tummies accepting such feasts of pleasure.
Another night of friendship gathered in our apartment; my wife and I, hostess and host for our bi-monthly sharing a meal. Itâs ritualistic, satisfying and enjoyable, eating with such precious company. We are fortunate, living in a land of plenty, where a stroll to the table is pleasurable.
We are seen to be eager in winning a gold medal, an Olympian in one of three categories: Amply Fit, Chubby for Love, and Food Momma. Perish those words, since the end results produce a fat person of accomplishment.
I believe our society has finally become wiser, a gathering of observers who finally realize weight gain is progressing beyond normal health standards. Whose fault is it? Easy enough to point wagging fingers at offending habits; yet when did it all begin? After all, wasnât I leaner and meaner during the 1950âs and 1960âs?
I clearly remember my youth did without a variety of choices available today. For instance, eating hot dogs meant one or maybe in special circumstances, two, surrounded by one slice of bread, no thick buns. Nor could we afford the luxury of ketchup, and mustard. One was a luxury. Relish? What was that? Something only meant for rich folks.
My early years of body growth meant quick meals eaten between cap gun shootouts with me imitating Roy Rogers taking on the bad guys at Lariviere Hill. Outdoor activity kept my young legs springy and body taut. A flat tummy allowed an active boy to also run, jump and chase friends endlessly through imaginary Gorilla infested trails around the neighborhood.
We loved to mimic Jungle Jim or Tarzan.
But the seasons of time swept by like a flight of Canada geese. My physical outline was destined to grow bolder, especially with eating choices teasing me to run wild in supermarket corridors. Eyeballs pleasured in the many cheeses adorning whole segments of space, breakfast cereals no longer lumpy porridge. Available to me were many distinctive flavors of crunchy sugar-dipped breakfast treats. What did you do this to me Count Chocola?
New activities in my life included watching the super organized lifestyle my children were part of. From the bleachers I kept hearing the sound of chips, popcorn, candy bars, and belches from hastily swallowed pop.
I was not alone. Other sitting parents gathered as a family of pigeons sharing a smorgasbord of eats. The remains of our feasting sprinkled as salt and pepper flakes, under our feet. Even at home, a bottle of beer, and plate of chips combined with an afternoon of TV football, wrestling or NHL Hockey.
These were trademarks on a Saturday afternoon of enjoyment. In fact it became the fashion to provide a variety of feasts to invited guests or any famished person who happened to drop in. Often they came over because their own kids had already emptied the fridge.
Slowly but surely, over the passage of many years, my once flat tummy grew outward. I excused my new shape with a smattering of hollow tales; such as, âMy chest has fallen.â Strangely enough, it became jokingly fashionable for men to rub protruding bellies, and belch a good one.
But a question began to nag me in moments of glutton-guilt. âWhy is it the profound duty of too many men to finish off leftovers on plates? Or eat all remnants of chip pieces in the bottom of soon to be discarded crinkling bags?â
Eventually, but not without protestation, I finally accepted advice from my favorite doctor. And joined an army of wellness addicts, determined to change. Yes, I knew I could. And I would. Right?
It soon became the rage for everyone in my age range to lose weight. Jogging, swimming and running preoccupied our minds in a frenzy of shedding unwanted pounds. Yet weight loss crept back into welcoming flesh.
It became a test of wills to resist dining on burgers, pizzas, chicken, fish & chips. Hurry-up and decide yes or no at fast food lineups became the password of our time. Anyone with a few dollars in their pocket easily took the bait rushing to savor new cuisines. Then it was off to visit friends where further calories awaited along with a cup of coffee. How could resistance to calorie intake compete with any delights?
Eating is fun. And I certainly enjoyed the journey of my consumptions. But something drastic had to take place in order to reduce dangerous levels considering my blood pressure readings. My personal situation required drastic measures and a challenge I was determined to win.
âOr else,â my doctor admonished. I realize it was the best kick-in-the-pants diet advice I ever received. I did not have the courage to ask her definition of the phrase, âOr else.â
A friend wisely advised, âKeep your mouth closed during opportunities of snacking.â Now I do so, especially when my wife and I are within armâs reach of munchies, treats, or unnecessary sweets. Why did these items always congregate to my side of the table? But, I persevered. Each meal, day, then a month passed.
Timing is everything; attitude a definite asset. And guess what? Iâve lost five pounds!
(c) Richard L. Provencher
My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at: email@example.com re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.