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Weighing Heavily On His Mind

Story ID:1506
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Butte Mt. USA
Year:1980
Person:Ken Campbell
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Weighing Heavily On His Mind
by Kathe Campbell

"Honey, do you think I can get into my tux?" queried my man so full of wishful thoughts.

"Doubt it darlin'," as I gave him a pat on the mound that stood guard over his belt. My negative cloud fell on deaf ears as Ken rushed to the downstairs wardrobe where his tux and my wedding dress had hung 34 years. Putting on a few pounds hadn't seemed to weigh heavy on his mind despite small nags over his gluts and guzzles. Nonetheless, a wife knows when extra pounds and ill-fitting clothes bum her guy out. Now the jig was up.

Moans and huffs spiraled up the stairs, competing with the smirking bridge gals. "This is great, the tie, cummerbund and white suspenders are still here," he hollered. "Guess I'll have to buy a dress shirt, this one's looking pretty tired."

Tugging at obstinate gaps, my darlin' emerged dressed to the nines like Mrs. Astor's pony. He'd never be a clotheshorse with a single button threatening to take flight under 60 years of baggage. Stiff and staid and popping at the seams, he sucked in beneath an unrelenting waistband.

Bent on conquering the spare tire in days, brainstorms began spilling out. "Maybe if I went on a crash diet. I'm running into town to look at exercise machines." And my bridge partners sighed their reprieve.

Having never been faithful to our spendy stationary bike, I questioned his motives. "Are you sure you want to torment your carcass braving the latest ab gadgets with your arthritis? Those tummy trainers and stretch and roll machines look like medieval torture devices to me."

We made a handsome couple at the Montana Governor's Ball, despite the tuxedo fiasco. Ken was in good company for half the men were decked out in dark suits. But journeying home, grumbles surfaced. "I felt like an old fat man tonight! Why don't we go on one of those diet's?"

We? Well yes, I could stand a belly bob, and knew he'd fall off the weight wagon without a compatriot to share his misery. It would be good for our arthritis

We did our homework, and although Ken wanted to jump in and take the first plan, we enrolled in the one befitting our lifestyle. At weekly weigh-ins we ran into folks we had known for years, cajoling us with raves of success. The whole thing seemed so easy, and though exercise was recommended, it wasn't a prerequisite. Okay!!

Suddenly we were indulging in a food plan for our age group, Ken's diabetes, and our doctor's hearty approval. It was as simple as adding water and nuking tasty meals three times a day. Portions and nutrition became our bible, although his majesty swore he was starving. The togetherness scheme was lobbing off unsightly bloats and pounds weekly.

Despite the taboo, we cheated on weekends indulging in Sunday dinner out on the town. Our little gold star reward system was a comfort thing, charging diet batteries for Monday mornings. At just 100 days, Ken's double chin and both our middles had departed into hog heaven. Forty for Ken, and my thirty-two pounds had evaporated and we felt like a million bucks. 'Twas like being given a precious gift by someone we both loved . . . ourselves.

Now on our own, like two little kids starting first grade, that scary maintenance word challenged our calling. Snarling and goading, the new digital scale sat on the kitchen floor under foot in plain sight. The cat and mouse game commenced, gaining one, losing two. Our rules? Garden varieties on demand, medium sized new and old favorites with no seconds, reasonable desserts, and no bedtime snacks. Gastronomic makeovers inside and out were leaving contented tummies and high spirits. But for good professional counseling in our economical program, we might have slid back into the potbelly pit.

The slender years rolled on and again we waited for our invite to the Governor's second term ball. The engraved card said January 14. But this time Mr. Lean and Trim was so comfortable in his svelte person, thoughts of the old tux were ditched in lieu of newer look formal wear.

"Ya know what, hon, I didn't feel like an old fat guy tonight."

**********

As seen in Chicken Soup For The Dieter's Soul
and MedHunters.com