Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Thank you, Oprah

Over the last few years, Kay and I have had 2614 conversations about exercising. We’re both for it. We just don’t want to do it. In fact, the only sensible way to get me to exercise is to hire a drill instructor with a sawed-off baseball bat.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that last week Kay found something that would actually succeed in getting us to exercise. It is called crossfit training. I had to look it up. Here is one of 276 definitions that I found with Google.

“Crossfit: A fitness program that combines a wide variety of functional movements into a timed or scored workout. It involves pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and a host of other movements.”
Oh yeah! I can see me doing this. 

Six of those movements have unhappy words in them -- Pull, squat, push, lift, nastics, and run. The rowing part sounds fun. The worst part of the definition reads “A host of other movements?” That’s scary as all get out. And, more frightening still is the part that mentions being “timed and scored.” In other words, it involves humiliation.

If I don’t humiliate myself at least once a day, it means I never got out of bed. With crossfit training, my humiliation will be posted on a board so that all can see my name at the bottom of the list. “Hey, Frank, how did Ol’ Dragass do this week?”

YET, get this, I was still willing to go along with Kay’s idea… up until Oprah Winfrey was featured on one of the national news channels.

Every national news program has a segment on health, while all their commercials are ads for drug companies. But, their health segments are usually about mammograms. Occasionally, they’ll have a segment on obesity. On this particular broadcast, they used Oprah as an example of someone who lost a lot of weight, but gained it back.

Oprah? She’s the richest and most influential entertainer/financier in the country. The woman can afford to find a chef able to make rice cakes that have the taste and texture of bacon, and who could make a hot fudge sundae out of salmon berries.

Oprah could hire six guys to exercise for her. All she would have to do is lie there on the weight-bench while they rapidly moved all of her appropriate body parts. She could tell the exercise guys, “No matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not stop for, oh, 40 minutes.” (Portion borrowed from ‘Young Frankenstein.’)
Oprah changed my whole attitude on dieting and fitness. If Oprah can’t stay fit, what makes me think I can? Let’s face it, staying healthy is a lifetime commitment. You can’t just reach a goal and think it’s all over. Oprah reached her goal. She wheeled out a red wagon filled with 60 pounds of fat to show how much she lost. Now, even with Spanx Power Skinny Britches Open Bust Mid-thigh Bodysuit she can’t re-position all of her regained weight.

And, I don’t fault her for that. In fact I thank her. Thanks, Oprah, for the inspiration that allowed me to accept an almost reasonable weight loss prgram. I call it, “my new long-haul weight loss and exercise program.”

As of last week, I’ve been trying to stay away from an overabundance of carbohydrates. I’m not doing without. I’m just doing with less. Eat a little less, and cut down on nighttime snacking. Don’t completely cut out late snacks at night. Just keep cutting back, until, after a year or two, I’m only eating one peanut M&M.

I’m also tempted to quit taking my restless-leg pills. I don’t know what my feet do when I’m sleeping, but when I’m awake, they become dancing feet. I just can’t sit still. You can elbow me, pinch me, put a gun to my head, but it won’t matter. I know, because Kay’s tried ‘em all.  

I think my rapid leg movement is sufficient exercise for a person my age and weight. And, by cutting back on food, I’m a success waiting to happen. As for Oprah, she just bought 10 percent ownership in Weight Watchers. She said she’s a large fan.

I can just see her attending one of those celebrity banquets where they’re serving steak and lobster. Oprah, will say, “No thank you. If you’ll kindly find a microwave, I’ll be having this Mini Salisbury Steak Wrap.”

Apparently, if it were easy to stay healthy, we’d all look and feel great. Truth is, I think it’s mostly genetic. Some people have a gene that makes them appreciate exercise and moderate eating. Me? I have the gene that causes dancing feet. And, I can’t even dance.