Friday Filler – When Do You Quit Trying?

Thank Grog It’s Firday,

Wow…what a (another) week. Right? So many things changing, so fast…it’s hard to know what is going to stick and what just feels like another New Year’s Resolution that is going to be broken.

I know what that is like. As a “stout” fellow (as Wiggum called it), I have spent the better part of my life wondering how in the hell the same cycle of lose/gain/lose/gain-again repeats itself every year…for decades.

It’s really simple math. But, it seems that the more we work at “simple,” the more complex we seem to make it, in the pursuit of making it even easier…so we don’t have to work the math.

Programs, online tools, fancy health devices worn, strapped, and checked, just end up working us into a frenzy of trying to beat reality.

And now…we have poor Homer eating WWI horse feed…attending “fat camp” and who knows what else, in a effort to defeat his inner self.  I get it. But is it all worth it?

For me. Not so much.

I was a college athlete. At one point in my life, I was just under 220 lbs. With 12% body fat. I admit it. I was a beast. I was ripped. I was a specimen. 

After college football, I continued to play rugby until I was almost 35…and was able to stay fairly near that same weight and body composition.   

And then…I didn’t.   

It started when I got into the “Hollywood” phase of my life…doing soundtracks, commercial production, and ad agency work that kept me in the studio for days on end.  I got out of the habit of working out regularly…and then began eating poorly. Odd hours…fast food…too much or not enough of both.

If I am honest, I never liked working out, just for the sake of it.  I had no problem running, as long as I got to hit someone at the end. I had no problem running for hours if I got that small reward.  But, soon…it took a toll, and healing between weekend tournaments was taking almost the entire week.  Not a great thing for a musician/producer. 

Add to that the reality that if you stop working out…you can’t keep eating like you did before. 

And let’s face it…the worst culprit in all of this is “Holiday Eating,” which for many (including myself) could actually start with Halloween candy, move into Christmas and New Year’s treats, and may not actually end until after the last chocolate Easter bunny has been consumed.  They call it “Holiday Creep Weight Gain,” but if it really starts in October, and ends in April (half of the year!!), there shouldn’t be a whole lot of surprise when the “creep” turns into a dead-fat-ass-waddling-run.

And then, the guilting starts. I have 5 daughters, and 7 grandkids…which should be more than enough motivation to get me take better care of myself.  Which drives you into the annual, “OK…What am I going to do this year to get back to a reasonable level of medically accepted tonnage” 

If the plethora of weight-loss programs, gimmicks, and tools advertised every January and February are any indication, everyone is looking for a “Quick-Easy Answer” to shedding pounds.  Just Google “Weight Loss” and watch your browser buckle under the weight of data sent to your screen.

But, they all rely on one method or another to get you to increase your activity, while reducing your calories.  It’s simple math.  Mostly.

Here’s the math that matters.  A pound of body fat, is roughly 3,500 calories. 

How much weight you burn, is based not only on what activity you are performing, but how heavy you are while doing it. Your BMI, if it is on the “robust” side, does make your body work harder. So, if you weigh 175 pounds, and run a mile, you are going to burn around 640 calories.  However…if you weigh 250 lbs. you will burn roughly 912 calories.

If that doesn’t seem fair, you need to watch a 250 lb. person try to run a mile, while holding a bottle of “Mountain Dew” and a donut in their hands. 

So…if you are trying to burn off an “excess” pound of fat, that is a ton of running, as long as you don’t add to the problem with food that is high in calories. 

Fast Food get’s a bad rap, but it may be justified. 

HOLYFREAKINSHIRT!  And that doesn’t even include fries and a drink! 

So right there…you can see that the math is a challenge, unless you are RUNNING A MILE to the nearest McDonald’s or KFC!

However, this isn’t the real problem for me. Mine is a metabolism slowed by age and the Pandemic Binge-Fest TV Viewing and Snacking while hoping to get out on the golf course when the weather is good again reality that is my current existent.  

So…back to the theme of this thesis…”When Do You Quit Trying?”

I guess that all comes down to how much life you have already lived, and whether you actually believe that working your fat ass off to “stay healthy” is worth the time and effort given up, to try and live another few years longer than you think you were going to (or you might get hit by a bus early on). 

I’ve had a wonderful, full, interesting and pretty amazing life.  I have not been hit by a bus.  And as a reward, I am surrounded by the love of family and friends, who all want “more of me around.”  That is a good thing.  Being wanted and loved, keeps you trying. 


I am going to say, that when trying to extend your life by doing things that make you miserable, you have pretty much missed the point of a “Life Well Lived.”  

I am going to golf, do my rowing machine when I am so moved to “virtually row the Mississippi River,” and I am going to cut back a bit on how often I make “Monkey Bread,” as a treat for myself and my wife.

Ironically, a slice of Monkey Bread, made with Rhodes frozen rolls, brown sugar and some butter, is actually less than Chicken Nuggets at KFC, or a Big Mac…by a long shot! Which one gives me more pleasure?  Not even close. God invented brown sugar and butter to be wed in several states of caramelized bliss…who am I to argue?

Yes. I know. It sounds like Homer talking about Donuts.  But, I don’t care. You can keep your alcohol, your fancy prime rib dinners, calorie-laden sauces, and gourmet meals “fit for a King” (who all died early deaths and had gout)…give me a nice, hot slice of Monkey Bread, or a cinnamon roll, or some caramel corn. 

Eat what gives you pleasure.  Learn the art of “enough” through acts of moderation.  Use smaller plates. Don’t have seconds. Cut back on portions. Have one alcoholic beverage, once or twice a week. Get off your fat ass and walk briskly for an hour, a few times a week. 

But, keep your “Health-O-Meter” wearing hands away from my Monkey Bread. 

WHAT DO YOU DO TO LOSE OR MAINTAIN WEIGHT?  How many programs, plans, or online tools have you tried?  Have any of them sustained and maintained your “perfect weight” for more than 6 months?  Let us know! 


16 responses to “Friday Filler – When Do You Quit Trying?

  1. Found on-line and seems ideal for your next trip:

  2. Speaking of losing things, I lost ALL OF MY TSTO NEIGHBORS?!?! Did that happen to anyone else?

  3. Whenever I start to notice my stomach protecting my belt from sunburn,

    I do the non traditional Greek salad diet. No, beer or fast food for 2 weeks

    Peppers of all colours, onion, tomato, olives, shaved carrots, lettuce, feta, olive oil, splash of italian dressing, black pepper. Add grilled seasoned chicken sometimes. Delicious!

  4. I lost 100 pounds on a modified Atkins diet with a lot treadmill activity and light weight lifting. I think the secret is that it is really a low calorie diet, because you just get sick of the food your are eating after the few weeks. Carbs are the joy of my life. It all eventually came back. Slowly, 5 pounds the first year. Then 5 pounds on vacation. 5 pounds eating junk food while working overtime. Over the years it came back and more. Said “scr*w it”. Now I just eat what I enjoy when I am hungry (except for occasional dinners with relatives). Down about 30-35 pounds from my high, but a lot happier / satisficed.

  5. Trying to get back to my original weight, 7 pounds 4 ounces.

  6. Fit bit and 5k but it q challenge more to stay where I am then to. Lose but add bby on they it even more challenging

  7. I’ve lost 7 lbs this month (21 more to go…)Hubby lost about 15. We gave up lots of junk, carbs, anything fun. It’s a half ass Atkins/ starvation/guilt diet. We went nuts from Halloween thru the Dec snacking too and I ain’t getting no younger. His blood pressure was thru the roof. I avoid doctors like the plague but seeing one soon is on my to-do list as well. I need to be around to drive my kids nuts for many years to come! That’s also my motivation.🖤

  8. We went on the “Quit eating so damn much food!” diet to lose 15 pounds two years ago. We weigh routinely and whenever it goes up by 3-4 pounds we skip a meal, or two. No noticeable side effects. Initially, during the first week or two the unfamiliar hunger pangs were disconcerting but only because they were unfamiliar. Once we realized what that signified it was easy to maintain self-control.

  9. Loved this, Patric! So much truth to the getting older/trying to stay healthy conflict. I hope you continue to enjoy your monkey bread! I’ll go for salty things and take my blood pressure medication. 😁

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