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home : opinion : opinion June 28, 2016

12/2/2013 11:36:00 AM
Publisher's Column Taking the butter diet challenge up

I find it interesting the way the juxtapositioning of events can influence the way we react to them. In the present case, I am referring to Thanksgiving, a physical exam, a computer glitch, a wall poster and picking up a turkey.

Whenever the Thanksgiving/Christmas season approaches, I start thinking about weight control. A couple years ago, I did a really good job of avoiding overeating during the season and followed up after New Year's with an effort that resulted in losing about 15 pounds, which I have maintained pretty much ever since. I was even able to cut my blood pressure medicine dose in half and stop the cholesterol med, but it's that time of year again, and I've been thinking anew about my holiday diet.

I haven't flown for several years, not since shortly after Emily's accident, and haven't had a flight physical in more than a decade, but I recently decided I would like to get back to flying and scheduled a physical for last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I was both excited and anxious about the physical as I filled out the FAA form at home in preparation.

I skipped breakfast Friday morning and headed to Olmsted Medical Center after dropping Emily off at Abilities Unlimited. When I was called in for my physical, there was some information the clinic needed from the filing I had made with the FAA. A nurse led me to a computer to pull up my file but the FAA website refused to recognize my password. Since the doctor needed the FAA information, the nurse suggested I keep trying and left me alone at the computer. As I was attempting to get through to my FAA file, I noticed a poster on the wall with a BMI (body mass index) chart. When I finally gave up on getting through to the FAA, I made a quick check of where I fit on the BMI scale--overweight! According to the chart, I am 22 pounds overweight. I was a bit surprised but not really concerned because my doctor hasn't encouraged me to lose more weight, so I just noted the 22 pounds and forgot about it.

We had decided to have our family Thanksgiving affair on Saturday because some people couldn't make it on Thursday, so I ordered a large turkey at Sunshine on Monday last week, asking them to thaw it for us. Friday, after my disappointing visit for the physical, which had to be rescheduled due to the computer glitch, I stopped at Sunshine to pick up the turkey. As he weighed the turkey, Randy noted that it weighed 22 pounds.

I immediately thought, "22 pounds, that's the same amount I'm overweight." And I picked up the turkey. It was heavy! I thought, "I'm carrying around this much fat in my tissue, my organs and my blood?"

After paying for it, I carried the turkey out to the car, all the while thinking that every minute of every day I carry around that much excess weight in fat. All of a sudden, I felt totally gross inside. I envisioned the fat inside me and globules of emulsified fat pulsing around in my blood.

"This can't be good for me," I thought. "If I want to be active enough to play with my great-grandkids and live to see them grow up, I better figure out a way to unload that fat."

I thought about it off and on during our family gathering Saturday, especially while putting butter in the mashed squash and mashed potatoes. I looked at the butter and thought about how similar it looked to the fat I envisioned in my tissues. Then it hit me--a butter diet! I would go on a butter diet!

No, I'm not going to eat butter to lose weight, I'm going to use butter to monitor my diet. I will put 22 pounds of butter in our refrigerator and see if I can't lose my excess 22 pounds while we consume the butter. When I lose a pound, out will come a pound of butter to be eaten--a visual representation of my progress, while the butter remaining will remind me of the challenge remaining before me.

As an additional incentive to lose the weight, I'm telling all of you about it in the hope that my desire to save face before all of you will provide additional motivation to stay goal oriented.

Who knows, if it works, I may be able to write the latest weight loss best seller. How about a title like, "Butter. The secret to successful weight loss!" Might work, but I suppose I better concentrate on losing the weight first.

Have a great week.

Larry Dobson

Claremont Service

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