A friend observed that we have arrived at the time of year when Americans take on the weighty matter of discussing weight loss. As a rule, that’s as far as it goes. As the wordsmith said, “When everything is said and done, usually more is said than done.” Talk is cheap.

Oh, a few hang on, going to great lengths to avoid great widths. Those diet ads in the media make it seem so simple. Why, our lessening girth can be foundational in providing fodder for eventual mirth. Yes, there are goals to strive for that can enable us to look back with glee on the “portliness” of our past.

Seems to me we might just as well laugh about the front end of dieting, since few reach the finish line. One friend said his doctor told him he needed to lose 15 pounds. “I’m two weeks into trying, and I’ve got just 20 more pounds to go,” the patient grinned….

*****

A late West Texas friend of yesteryear who was so accustomed to the barbs and jabs--typically poorly-wrapped in conversations meant to be overheard--said she always tried to beat naysayers to the punch.

“Fun-poking” at herself led to invitations to many service club lecterns, and she chuckled her way through thousands of them. “I was hugged by four governors,” she snickered, “And before you ask, it wasn’t all at once.” Another time, she claimed to have been stuck in a department store’s revolving door. Firemen urged her to “turn sideways.” She responded, “I don’t have a sideways!” And then, this topped them all: “I quit wearing high heels. The one time I did, I struck oil.”

Maybe she decided to take seriously the message provided by a physician who grew weary of warning a patient about her excessive poundage. “I give up. Why don’t you just practice being jolly?”…

*****

Still another acquaintance says he’s been on so many diets, he now seeks weight loss measured in ounces.

“Whatever I lose goes kicking and screaming as it disappears into thick air, because all the thin air has already been claimed by the serious dieters,” he moans.

Modesty (or maybe fear of failing in my annual resolution pledges) has caused me to delay my own weight loss announcement until the column’s mid-point….

*****

Or, maybe it’s because I doubt, down deep, that this year’s solemn commitment to lose 20 pounds into perpetuity will last. Though I’ve made similar resolutions in the past, by February of each year they’ve all had “blow-outs” on the road of good intentions.

This time I mean it. After all, I have shed 10 pounds since 2019 has arrived, and, as suggested by the song lyrics: “I’ve only just begun.” Just 10 pounds from now, I’ll be down to my playing weight.

Now, if I can just find my tuba.….

*****

Already, I’m looking forward to taking 90% of my former self to my doctor at check-up time this month. He won’t congratulate me, but will say something about his previous thoughts that I was only capable of being light-headed. There’s no getting ahead of him.

Meanwhile, the Texas Legislature is back in session.

Already there is evidence that some coverage deserves a better choice of words. In one report, it was stated they “held hands in prayer.” Maybe “joined hands” would have been a better choice of words….

*****

The body’s opening ceremony seems to have covered most of the bases, if not all of them.

It was something of a “Baskin-Robbins” approach. The prayer service featured a Muslim call to prayer, the blowing of the Jewish shofar (ram’s horn), as well as Sikh, Buddhist and Christian blessings, and a prayer in both Spanish and English.

Reminds me of the fellow who said to a friend, “I’m praying for you.” The response was, “Good. I need the prayer and you need the practice.”…

*****

Dr. Don Newbury is a former educator who “commits speeches” round about. Comments/inquiries to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com Twitter: @donnewbury. Facebook: don newbury.

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