Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mule Svelte

It’s the New Year, so roughly 99.9% of us are currently “trying” to lose weight. I put trying in quotes, because really about 15% of you are actually trying with an actual plan and a measurable amount of willpower, and the rest of us are just talking about how we’re going to lose weight, and then eating fudge-dipped brownies.

At some point here I’m going to have to put the fudge brownie down and actually do it, though, because unlike most of you “I’d like to be skinnier” people out there, I’m the one that has to ride a mule.

In June I am supposed to get on a mule and ride it down a crack in the wall of the Grand Canyon. If I am even an ounce over two hundred pounds fully dressed, with shoes and underwear and everything, presumably the mule’s legs will fail underneath it and we’ll both plummet to our deaths, and naturally, seconds later you’ll all be able to watch the footage on Twitter and Instagram.

I think the mule tour company is trying to avoid that kind of bad viral publicity, so they won’t let me even get on the mule if I’m not under two hundred pounds. I don’t think they’ll even let me talk to the mule.

If I can’t go, then my mother-in-law won’t go. If she won’t go, then my son can’t go. If my son can’t go, I will never hear the end of it from my wife, and if my mother-in-law won’t go, she might make me pay for it – both literally and figuratively.

Basically, I NEED to get below two hundred pounds.

I can’t really start losing weight in January, because I still have Christmas cookies in the freezer that I need to finish off. We had too many around the holidays, so I wisely froze the extras. And they’re next to the tamales from the various youth sports fundraisers that I purchased, so I’ll need to polish those off too. Then there’s the seasonal holiday beers left in the fridge. You can’t serve those in the spring, and they’re not going to drink themselves.

With the chips and seven-layer dip at the Superbowl party, the Valentine’s Day candy, and the tamales I couldn’t get through in January, February is pretty much shot as well.

So it will be March before I can really commit to eating healthy again. At that point I will only have three months to lose the weight, so I’ll have to get back to eating mule salads for lunch. Mule salad is simply a bowl of iceberg lettuce topped with despair. I can’t wait!

I was at a party a few weeks ago - drinking seasonal holiday beer and eating a giant ham sandwich - when one of my friends suggested I join their team for the Tough Mudder race this year. The race is being held in June, the weekend before we leave for the Grand Canyon trip, and I was seriously considering it as a motivational aid to lose the mule weight. I was seriously considering it right up until the next morning when the effects of the seasonal holiday beer wore off. Then I remembered that I had done the Tough Mudder once back in 2011, and I don’t like throwing up. So that’s out.

I have been out running a little bit over the holidays, just trying to offset as much of the cake and pie intake as I can, but after forty years old, running comes with a price. Let’s just say if there are any calories in Advil, then that’s really working against me.

Before Halloween – the official start to the holiday eating season – I was trying to get a jump on the mule weight. I had implemented the mule salad lunch routine and lost about fourteen pounds, along with most of my will to live. Around that time I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year, and he told me I was looking svelte.

That’s when I knew I had more work to do. Svelte is one of those slightly complimentary terms. People use it as a sincere compliment, but no one ever uses the term “svelte” to describe someone in really great shape. Fitness models are not svelte. They are ripped. Svelte means, “Hey, you’re not as fat as you were the last time I saw you.”

Unfortunately, after this holiday eating season, I’d give my left roasted chestnut to still be svelte. I found a vast majority of that fourteen pounds I’d lost, so I’m pretty much back to square one. Or in this case, round one. Svelte has left the building and won’t be back until early May.

Maybe I should call the mule tour company and give them the recipe for mule salad. If they can start working on getting my mule a little more “svelte,” maybe come June we can work out some sort of mule/rider combined weight average deal.

Or maybe I should skip the chips and seven-layer dip this year.

Naw... let’s not start talking crazy!

See you soon,


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