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Finding the Jeans Stretcher

Posted Dec 30 2009 5:27pm
Years ago, when I worked in a book bindery, every new floor guy (aka "janitor") would be asked by one of the old timers to find them the paper stretcher. Now, common sense says that there is no such thing, but every single guy would go from person to person asking where the paper stretcher was. One old timer would send them to another: "Go ask Jimmy, I think he had it last." Jimmy would send him to Paul and so on. After a good half hour of this jocularity, they'd clue the guy in and the whole shop would be roaring.

So, I'm presently in search of a jeans stretcher. I'm sure there must be such a thing as my 36's are just about DOA and my 38's do a fine job of relocating my belly rolls. There must be such a device out there, right?

Mrs. FFRG suggested that I write this post just to get it all out of my system, but not put it out there for all to see. I just don't feel right about that. I've spent the last 2 1/2 years talking mostly about the good stuff. It wouldn't be right to ignore the bad. So, here goes. . .

No other way to put it, but I've continued my out of control spiral up the dial on the scale. I topped out Tuesday at 264. Actually, 264.6. Of course, this is no surprise as I've been cursing the donations I've made over the past years to Goodwill of my size 40 pants and just about every XXL shirt I own.

In the glass half full department, one might say kudos to me for keeping off 150 pounds. Exactly 150 pounds. Well, I'd feel pretty good about that if I was still on the way down. It's been more than a year since I bottomed out at 218. What's hard to believe is that I was in the low 230's for the Marine Corps Marathon. Just two months ago! 30 pounds in two months. There must be a tapeworm or something, right?

Actually, not. Sadly, it's 100% explainable in a "hand-to-mouth" sorta way. There have been M&M's, Raisinettes, Chex Mix (cheddar or dark chocolate flavor, please), ice cream (low fat, of course!), cookies, more cookies, still more cookies.

The bad habits of the past returned with a vengeance.

Sure I could explain it all away. No problem justifying my first real fall off the wagon in 40 months. The bottom line is I've been pigging out.

Monday was a low point. On Sunday, I had bought a bag of after-Christmas discounted Nestle Crunch bars and some other no-name chocolate. When I got in the car to head off to boot camp at 5:20 am, my hand went right for the chocolates. By the time I got near the gym, I knew that I'd see all of that chocolate on the way back up if I worked out. So I stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts, got a big coffee and sat in the parking lot eating chocolate and drinking my coffee.

These are the actions of that old fat guy that I was, not the finely tuned athlete that had finished a marathon and a 100-mile bike ride just two months before.

After my biggest fall, I came home and confessed my sins. (Isn't that the first step in those 12-step programs?) This was a big step and I knew Deb would help me get back on track.

I felt then like I was that 414 pound guy again. Even looking at myself in the mirror, I could see the changes for the worse. Suddenly, I was feeling embarrassed to be in the gym. I struggled to find acceptable attire, since form fitting clothes were not designed with blubber in mind.

Since Monday, I have felt a rebirth. It's only been a couple of days, but I feel the commitment. I've been in the gym and have been eating very well, heavy on the fruits, veggies and lean proteins. I know I can get myself back and beyond. 2010 WILL be the year to hit my goal!

In the mean time, if anyone has seen the jeans stretcher, would you pass it my way?

L'Chaim!
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