Monday, July 4, 2011

Drastic Measures to Battle the Bulge

My nickname for winter is “The Jewish Mother-in-Law Season.”  It has a chronic tendency to linger long after it has overstayed its welcome and is a real pain in the butt to get rid of.  The full-blown summer is a welcomed change, but comes with its own side effects.  My occasional complaining comes with the understanding the grass was certainly not greener on the other side.

As someone with Asperger’s syndrome, summer gives me the freedom to indulge in some of my obsessions without burdened by the hazards of winter weather.  There is motivation to exercise and become healthier.  Such as on Thursday night when I decided to make a desperate attempt to destroy the caloric catastrophe that has perpetually settled in the round of my stomach.

When I was too young to know any better, I always believed all the overweight people were those who make a lifestyle choice to sit in front of the television on their days off while slam dunking bags of potato chips.  They were the lazy and downtrodden who essentially gave up on pursuing life itself.  I know this is not true based on the amount of weight I have gained despite being a physically active individual who avoids fast food restaurants like a plague.  But as someone pushing thirty years old, I am beginning to see that the body’s metabolism shows little to no mercy.  Everything we put into our bodies carries draconian consequences.

On Thursday night, I made a choice to walk a distance of 29-miles all the way to my family’s clothing store in Millerton, NY from my home in Pleasant Valley, NY  It is hard to believe I once had the physical and mental fortitude to walk from Georgia to Maine on the 2,174 Appalachian Trail based on my struggles to complete this distance on flat roadways.  But the essence of full-blown hiking was still present and accounted for during this journey.

Even during the tepid summer months with no harsh elements, a mile feels like an eternity.  False hope is a constant and lethal force on the journey.  You feel like you have been walking for hours and it has only been forty minutes.  You see milestones that suggest progress and want to believe you have come farther than is realistically possible.  Progress, however, is calculated at the rate of two-and-a-half miles per hour.  It could be more, but it certainly is not less unless one stops multiple times.  No matter how grueling the trek almost always is…it is still incredible how those tiny increments add up to amazing progress.

My journey began at 12:30 a.m. and ended just minutes before noon on Friday.  Nearly twelve hours of nothing, but walking.  The last two hours of my journey was spent banging two sticks together while singing verses of “Puff the Magic Dragon” in a state of quasi-delirium.
I have come to the conclusion that the only people who can afford to look really good all the time are those who can afford personal trainers and a month’s worth of food from Weight Watcher’s.  But even the rich and famous have struggles as evidenced from Jennifer Love Hewitt’s public battles.  But I shall not give up or give in.  Not now…not ever!

As someone living with Asperger’s syndrome, there is not that much I have control over.  I have little to no control over whether an ignorant and/or fearful person decides to give me a fair chance.  I also do not have power over whether a romantic pursuit reciprocates my affections.  But I have just a little more control over my physiology and am entitled to positive results if I make more of an effort.  I will continue to walk like a masochistic maniac and consume as much celery as possible.  Barnum and Bailey Circus recently contacted me asking me to be part of the Freak Show as the world’s fattest man.  After this phone call, I have decided it was time to take drastic actions in order to combat this metabolic demon!!

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