Nom, nom, nom

Up until recently, I could eat with impunity.

Cheeseburgers? Snarf. 

Mashed spuds and gravy? Lemme at ‘em. 

Bag o’ donuts? Nom, nom, nom. 

I’m the guy who, as a sophomore in high school was put on a two-a-day triple-thick milkshake regimen, to gain weight, in order to wrestle at 98 pounds.

That was then. This is now.

“This,” being the glide path to the precipice of middle age and the biology that attends it.

The metabolism slows, nature takes its course and the Age of Eating with Impunity (my caps) fades wistfully.
I first noticed it in ’05 perusing post-Door County, Wisconsin vacation photos. Most of the people in the pics were easy to distinguish: My parents-in-law, Jack and Jean, Jackie and who’s that ginormous tub of lard with a chin-and-a-half and his arm around my wife?
So back on came the running shoes. Soon, though, I reached that equilibrium of time, space, desire and hard, cold reality where all the half-marathons and accompanying training in the world are not enough to impede the steady, incremental upcreep of weight.
Then arose what I can only describe as a life-changing revelation. Go get a pen. You’re gonna wanna write this down:

Losing weight requires a combination of exercise and diet.

Who knew?

Which brings me to January and the start of the Governor’s Weight Loss Challenge. The Governor and his team challenge all comers (mostly in government) to see who can lose the most cumulative weight through the middle of May.   

There’s like 1,026 teams in this thing. Some of the team names are pretty creative:

Fisycal (K-DOT accountants)
Shrinko de Mayo
Badonkadonk Busters
Shrinking Ottawa Government (municipal clerks in Ottawa)
Hungry Hungry Historians (Kansas Historical Society)
4 Ho-ho’s and a Twinkie (don’t even ask)

We’re the Beefeaters #2, because we love pot roast, flank steak and hamburgers. My teammates are all colleagues of my wife in the Kansas Department of Agriculture. In fact, I’m a hanger-on in Beefeaters #2 but I’m making the most of it. Jackie’s on Beefeaters #1 and is dropping weight as fast as me. She won’t divulge numbers, but she’s getting into her skinny jeans and when I hug her, there’s not as much in my arms as there once was.  

What it’s done for me – for the first time ever – is provide discipline and accountability. Before this Challenge, I’d stray from a diet and boom, back to the donuts. The only one let down was me.

I pound a bag o’ chips down my throat now – and I’m letting my teammates down.    

Built-in accountability.

Some prison guards from the Norton Correctional Facility are in the lead. In fact they’re smoking the field. They’ve lost a cumulative 196 pounds since January 15. Must be some sort of a prison hack hunger strike rockin’ out there. I can see the headline:

Dangerous Criminals Escape 
Prison Guards Complain of “Lack of Energy” in Pursuit  

I harbor no illusions we’ll catch those skinny prison guards, but we are currently in 90th place. Out of 1,026.  

That’s worth a donut. Which I’ll enjoy on Memorial Day.