Trouble….thy name is fat!

I’ve been having a bit of heart trouble recently that has caused me to seriously change my lifestyle.

I don’t mean my activities. Heavens, I could never give up the BASE jumping or kayaking Class 6 white water rapids around the world. That’s just who I am. I’m talking about diet, specifically that insidious little nutritional group we know as fat.

Oh yes, that sneaky little devil who likes to hide in some of our favorite places. Like that delicious satanic steak sizzling on the grill. Like that great smelling pot of buttery mashed potatoes beckoning from its perch on the stove. Like that comforting Klondike ice cream bar in the fridge diabolically invading your weak subconscious or that innocuous looking Oreo with its subliminal, but ever-present siren cry, “eat me, eat me.” Recognize any of these?

Patty, my wife, sure did. Patty has always been a healthy eater. You know, the kind that you silently hate only because they’re eating an organic salad with vinegar dressing while you’re chomping down your second helping of country ham and hash browns. Over the years she has tried gently, but vainly to get me to improve my eating habits. She has now put her foot down. Right in the middle my bowl of chocolate pudding and whipped cream! Using the book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. M.D. as her main instrument of torture, she is converting me to a totally no-fat diet. And by no, I mean nada, zilch, squat and zip.

Patty, or as she shall heretofore be known, Miss Essie, is no slouch. That sweet, demure and soft-spoken manner, although totally genuine, is the Dr. Jekyll to her authoritative, relentless Mr. Hyde. When it comes to getting me to turn around this lifelong eating habit that has caused me this harmful inconvenience, I ask no quarters because I know none will be given. By contrast, Simon Legree was a milquetoast.

Lest you think I exaggerate, I just asked her if she would mind bringing me a snack while I write this blog. She kindly assented. In his mind, the old Al was expecting some crackers and cheese. This is what the new Al actually got:


Then, as I lay in bed last night, I thought I heard some strange voices. Not having yet been diagnosed with schizophrenia (but then, my doctor has never read my blog), I listened more intently and realized that it was the organs in my body talking with each other. The conversation went something like this:

Stomach to liver: Have you noticed what Big Al has been eating lately? I’ve had to do a complete retooling of gastric juices. Some of these guys haven’t been used in so long I’ve had to retrain them.

Liver: Noticed? My bile production is down over half since Miss Essie took over his menu! Now I’m the one who’s getting fatter.

Pancreas: You think that’s bad? Because of Miss Essie, the enzyme union boss is furious and wants to know why I have laid off so many fat-dissolving enzymes in violation of our long-standing contract! He’s threatening a strike unless he sees a cheeseburger down here by tomorrow!

Heart: Put a sock in it! You’ve all had it way too good for too long. And guess who’s been carrying you on his back all this time? Yeah, me and that’s over. Remember, if I decide to go on strike, that’s the ballgame for everyone. As for Miss Essie, she’s been through it herself. Now she’s my best advocate and I’ll hear no more about her.

Funny how quiet little voices can sound so loud. And Miss Essie is a saint.

47 thoughts on “Trouble….thy name is fat!

  1. Is there some correlation between your new diet and your new gravatar?
    I’ve got mixed feelings about heart attacks (having nursed one husband through one.) Personally, I think I’d rather check out with a sudden bang from a coronory than do battle with cancer or some of the other lingering ailments. . . do you have some chocolate you want pegoleg and I to use up for you???

    • The new gravatar is from a dare from one of my readers. She saw it on one of my blogs (my 8-year old granddaughter was drawing me and trying to be funny) Odd thing is, she really nailed the likeness.

      I agree wholeheartedly with your take. My dad went quite quickly with no suffering beforehand, but my mother lingered quite a while with heart failure.

      Leave it to you and Peg to gang up on me, but sorry to say my uneaten chocolate is now displayed in a glass case as a reminder of how fragile my eating habits have made me. However, you know what they say…..”everyone has their price”….

  2. HaHa Unions have their good and bad points I see. I have lost 23 lbs this past year. No more fancy French restaurants for me. You can get a great fish salad at the Fish Market in Alexandria. Good place to meet up in April. Dianne

    • Alas, fish is off the table as well. But it still sounds like a good place to meet if you’d like to. We’ll be on our back to Charlottesville to pick up our pups, just in case that helps with picking a location.

  3. You are lucky that Patty has your good health and interest in mind—-and good luck wrapping your heart around it all, Al.

    • Thanks, Stacia. Oddly, I can distinctly remember my grandmother giving me the “you are what you eat” lecture when I lived with them for a while as a teenager. Of course back then, adults were clueless….they’re so much smarter today.

  4. You can do it, Al! (she says around a mouthful of Dove bars). Good for you for tackling this problem, and for listening to your wife. What great advice for all of us!

  5. I can speak with some authority here because I am a hypocrite and weakling of the first order. While I shout the benefits of healthy eating and exercise from my arm-chair, I am often to be found reading books on “Bringing Science to Slumping” while eating cream teas. I am quite sure that, in time, some of the organs mentioned in my “life-support” committee are on the verge of muttering some rebuke. I am a bit careless about my own health. actually I can’t remember what it is, but I am, paradoxically, very concerned about the health of people I care about and , unfortunately for you, you are included on that list. Remember, the wife is always right even when she’s wrong, but in this case she right to be right. What am I talking about. Better shut up.

  6. That was funny even though it is serious and true…I have this problem too and am going to try green coffee beans and detox…has anyone else tried this>
    Trouble is I don’t eat lots of fatty food but I do not eat the right the right kind. BP is now well under control and I ‘ve managed to get to 74…but you must keep at it Al,,,then we will still love you twice as much

  7. The fruit on that plate looks yummy — the rest, not so much! And don’t be giving Saint Patty any lip, ya hear? And eat some almonds! (Just checking to see how well you take orders.)

  8. The things we do for love…I mean Patty, Al, not you. That plate of veggies and fruit looked scrumptious!

    But you do need some fats in your diet–nuts. I mean walnuts, not going nuts. Or flax seeds. But Patty probably knows this and you’re just exaggerating in the name of blogetic licence (or junk food withdrawal-induced old fartery).

    Buck up, Al. Patty isn’t the only one who wants you around to bug her…if you get my drift. 😉

    Oh, and there are some wonderful and inspirational documentaries on Netflix about eating healthy for when you feel like you are going to strangle someone. Just trying to save a life… 🙂

    • Thanks Lorna, but nuts are also verboten. I guess she thinks I’m nuts enough already.

      I know you know how much I truly appreciate what she is doing for me. She shows her love to me in so many ways and this is just another.

      Thanks to her, I hope to be still bugging you for some time to come!

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