Friday, January 9, 2009

Applying for my own Zip Code

It's a well-known fact that the Matt-Man is a certifiable "cookie monster"! Never was this more evident than during the Holidays that just came to an end. And not too soon, either. I've chided the good Mrs. Anthony over the past couple of Christmas seasons that she must be spending a good portion of her time at the mall, because I rarely see her in the kitchen thrusting those magical little dough-balls into the oven! This past Christmas turned out to be a much different scenario. She spent an enormous amount of time creating dozens and dozens of cookie masterpieces, not to mention batch after batch of that glorious concoction that we all refer to as "Donna's fudge". It's really more like "candy", but with a fudge-like twist. Oh, it's divine, let me tell you. Somewhere amongst the boiling of "chocolate" and "peanut butter", some deity injects my wife with the transcendent knowledge that enables her to remove this luscious mass off the stove and into a pan that, after slightly cooling, is quite possibly the most orgasmic pleasure this side of a Weyerbacher "Blithering Idiot" barleywine. You've seen those clunky, brick-like structures on flat-panel sheets in stores labeled "fudge"? Please. It's dried wallpaper glue compared to the sumptuous treats we mailed out over a dozen times this year to family and friends.

Somewhere amongst the haze of drop-cookie number 78, fudge-batch number 5, and more-than-several offerings of Three Floyd's "Robert the Bruce" Scotch-style ale, I've noticed a certain, shall we say, "snug-ness" around the midsection. Oh, sure, it starts out innocently enough. One is surrounded by Christmas lights, good company, the warming glow of a sufficiently-hopped imperial pale ale, and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" and all is right with the world. You shrug, nudge the slacks a little lower beneath the belly-button and silently mutter, "Gotta get back on the wagon here soon". But the Christmas decorations have been put away. Nat is cozily tucked away in his cd sleeve. The baking pans have been washed, the empty brown bottles are in the recyclables, and the BCS Championship game is over. It's January. It's cold. The walls and mantle are bare. And you're fat.

Well, I'm fat. I'm not sure about you, but this is generally the time of year where I do the great "Belt Buckle Test". I only own two belts. A black one and a brown one. (You need more?) I bought them over two years ago after my Nissin Fundoplication surgery. (It's a peculiar little procedure for folks like me who suffer from severe acid reflex, where the upper curve of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus in order to prevent all that nasty acid reflux junk from coming back up) That procedure automatically means that you subscribe to, essentially, a liquid diet for 6 weeks. You can lose a tremendous amount of weight. Supposedly, it takes time for the "wrap" to stretch out. So, for about a year, I felt pretty darmed good about myself. I bought some new jeans. A few new sweaters. Some shirts that you can actually tuck in. And, as you now know, some new belts, which I comfortably placed in the "notch 3" position. Apparently, though, my journey into the Christmas Cookie Pleasure Dome was successful in stretching my wrap from here to Houston, which means I'm, relatively speaking, back to normal. This also means that I've been forced to move up to "notch 2". Houston, we have a problem.

I've always been fat. I knew early on that my physique didn't quite match both my twin brother's or most of the kids in my class because a) I had trouble looking down to see my shoes, b) my mother bought me slacks at Sears from the "Husky" section, and c) I loved to eat. But even though I "carried weight", I always played sports, was always active, and, in some way, shape, or form, always worked out. I simply ate more than I lifted. This would have been a fine regimen had I aspired to be a lineman in the NFL. But aside from that particular occupation, obesity just doesn't work.

Throughout my almost 49 years, I've constantly played the "lose weight/gain weight" game. I've been on every diet known to humankind. And after all these years, I'm convinced that the most sensible way to lose weight have a Nissin Fundoplication surgery. But, since I've already had that, I'm also convinced that the next best way to do it is to simply eat less food and get some exercise.

I suppose what I'm arriving at here is a kind of...of..."resolution". Darn it, I've tried like hell to avoid that word, because resolutions, like most fad diets for me, never work. But "notch 2" is not a good place to be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So, thank goodness there are no more spritz cookies, or banana nut bread squares, or peanut clusters from Ben Heggy's in Canton...or just a simple small piece of "Donna's Fudge". Tonight, it's back on the road to "notch 3". Lettuce, greens, some baked chicken pieces all tossed together in a bowl with a few drizzles of light Italian salad dressing. I am on the road to recovery! And I have one last bottle of Great Divide's Hibernation Ale that would go splendidly with that salad!

Or do I have two?


* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at


Anonymous said...

I love you...OXOXOX :)..ME

Chuck Matthews Blog said...

Tuna. Works wonders.

And no soda... I'm working on that one.

I need to lose 30lbs. I have a severe double chin and pictures from my trip to St John don't lie. OOF!

I'll be 41 Jan 25. Can't have this extra linebacker weight that I've been carrying since you and i worked together at Tower City. Especially b/c I don't work out like I used to. I don't work out period. And it shows.

30lbs by Memorial Day.

So far so good on the soda... a few relapses here and there but I'm not drinking a 2 liter a day anymore.. so a one or two Cokes a week isn't bad.

Tuna is the key. Lots of tuna. 13grams of protein in each can. Eat up!

Steve Hansen said...

No beer? Since it's already been established that there's no beer in heaven it seems positively cruel to imagine a without a suitable brew on this crazy orb. So what do we do next time we see each other? Talk about this n' that over . . . water?

Man, get well soon. Then I'll meet you in SF for the Anchor Steam tour.