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.