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Thursday, May 5, 2016

From my Front Porch

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The heat is on

The heat is on

A few months ago, the editor of a regional women's magazine and I were discussing topics of interest for 2003.

"How about this?" I began, thinking out loud, "Why don't we do a series about my personal struggle to lose weight? We could publish an update every month."

"Maybe bring in someone from the medical field to write about the benefits of a healthy diet and lots of exercise," I continued, "We could call it 'From Fat to Fit in a Year.'"

"Hmmm," said the editor. "You're sure that's what you want to call it?"

I thought for a moment. "Well, yes, I'm fat and I want to get fit," I answered. "Makes sense to me."

The editor agreed to the idea.

So beginning with January's issue, a registered nurse and I have teamed up to write the column for the magazine.

At first, I was going to publish all the gory details -- weight, age and measurements. But, after giving it much thought, I just couldn't do it. Not because I was afraid of embarrassing myself, but because I was thinking of my four precious children. After all, who wants to go to school and hear some kid making fun of their mama's big ol' fill-in-the-blank inch-wide behind?

So far, the response from readers has been overwhelming. We've been getting both letters and e-mails in support of the project. Not only from local folks, but readers from other states have been putting in their two cents worth.

The other day, a gentleman stopped by the office to see how my workouts were going.

"I heard today was the big day," he said, addressing the editor who, as a former sergeant in the military, is serving as my personal trainer. "Just wanted to check in and see how it went."

If I had been there, I would have told him that things were going as well as could be expected considering the early morning YMCA workouts are reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel in the gym.

"OK, what does this do, again?" I asked as I stared at a contraption designed by someone who must be thrilled to death by teeny tiny bicycle seats.

It simply makes no sense to me that a device designed specifically for the use of the gluteus maximally-inclined is obviously much more comfortable for the gluteus minimally-inclined. Ouch! May I suggest big fluffy-puffy seat covers?

And what about those convoluted electronic machines?

It seems simple enough. You get on the machine, press start and begin walking, but no, not this one. I pressed start, but nothing happened. I pressed start again and again, harder each time. Still nothing happened.

I was just about ready to give up and walk the old-fashioned way when a YMCA attendant came by and turned on the master switch. I think she gets a kick out of doing that.

Live and learn.

And since when does a treadmill need to know personal information in order to work, such as, how much I weigh and how old I am? I mean, by the time you get through answering all its questions, you're out of time and the workout is over before you can break a sweat. I just want to exercise, not go on a date!

"I'm a little worried," said the editor the other day.

"About what?" I asked.

"You and the potential pressure," she said, referring to the fat to fit column. "I don't want you to get too stressed over this."

"Don't worry," I answered. "This is great for me. I need to lose weight and get in shape. What better way than to be accountable to thousands of readers?"

"Good grief," I thought. "Thousands of readers? Keep breathing, girl, everything's going to be just fine."

The heat is on!

Barbara is a self-syndicated columnist who lives in Willow Springs with her family and their big, black Labrador, Susie Belle. Barbara may be reached at frommyfrontporch@yahoo.com. For updates on her weight loss go to www.hersmagazine.net.