"Dad, you're not fat, you're just overweight."
-Zoe, my seventeen-year-old daughter
January 1, 2013.
I slowly awakened, exhaling gratefully. My relief was palpable, and I mumbled a silent oath of gratitude that I hadn't actually attended a Styx concert in my backyard, naked on a blanket while spooning the stubbly scapulae of a bearded Taylor Swift.
Rolling onto my back and propping my head on a second pillow, my hands rested comfortably atop my belly. I looked across at my fifty-year-old fingers, interlaced at an equal altitude to my crusty eyeballs. Performing some rudimentary calculations, I quickly surmised that my hands lay approximately twelve inches above the surface of the mattress.
Everything in between was me and my DNA. Nothing but fella flesh. A heapin' helpin' of Tim loaf.
I woke this morning a year older, a year smarter and about six years fatter.
And honestly, my credibility is shot. A couple of years ago I proclaimed a new healthy tack after the doctor labeled me as obese while pointing accusingly, his latexed finger still moist with my shame. Last year, I again threw down the gauntlet and announced that enough is enough, it's time to whittle off some of this lard or forever live in Elastica, land of sweatpants and football jerseys.
I realize that as we age, things become increasingly difficult—losing weight, covering up bald spots, making people under forty laugh at a joke about Richard Nixon or pet rocks. However, some tasks actually keep getting easier, such as eating an entire sixteen-inch sausage and Canadian Bacon pie. Twenty years ago, I might wimp out a slice and a half short, whereas now I can choke one down with the prowess of a human anaconda.
It's also become significantly easier to watch football for hours on end. In the past, I may have gone out to throw the ball with friends at halftime. Now, I rise only to stave off involuntary couch voiding or to fend off the dangers of sedentary bed sores and perilous clot migrations.
About three years ago, I lost twenty pounds simply by counting calories, but I seem to have lost that discipline. Repeated forms of motivation, like countless "biggest loser" competitions at work have rendered my efforts fruitless.
So now, it's time to dance with and old friend. I joined Weight Watchers this morning, the same organization I graced with my presence forty years ago, one hand grasping my mom's palm and the other a doctor's note.
I want this to work. I want to stop grunting when I get out of chairs. I want my knees and back and ankles and feet to stop fighting back and return to my squad. I want food that misses my mouth to fall to the floor, rather than a conveniently located chin crevice.
It's time to leave Limbaugh and go Gosling.