Anti-Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is exactly six months from today. On Thanksgiving, we spend time reflecting on how grateful we are for all the wonderful things we have in life. And then we pig out.

But I like griping and complaining, too. So I think today should be celebrated as “Anti-Thanksgiving Day.” Wouldn’t it be special if we spent this day fretting and moaning about the things we hate? And then we can eat a bologna sandwich.

In honor of Anti-Thanksgiving Day, I’ve come up with a list of my pet peeves.

It wasn’t all that hard. But that’s the power of negative thinking. It really comes through like a tidal wave after too much positive thinking has kept it at bay. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Here are my pet peeves:

Christmas shopping (which generally begins about now)

Counting calories

Cuckoo clocks

Dogs that piss on the floor (literally a “pet” peeve)

Dresser drawers with broken rails

Evangelism

Knickknacks

Missing TV remotes

Most TV shows

Nagging from my wife about blogging too much

Scatter cushions

Spoiled bananas

Tailgaters

Unwanted gifts

Long lists

Happy Anti-Thanksgiving Day! Got any bugbears of your own?

10 Dieting Tips

I’ve always been a natural bag of bones; the kind of guy who can eat all he wants and remain skinny as a scarecrow. That is until one day when I stepped on a scale and noticed my weight had skyrocketed ten pounds.

I tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away. It didn’t. Instead I gained another four pounds. So I cut back a little on my eating. It still didn’t go away, but at least it stopped getting worse.

One day I looked in the mirror and noticed a dimply texture on my thighs. In a panic, I showed my wife. She reassured me that this unusual, cuppy terrain on my skin was a harmless phenomenon called cellulite.

Cellulite?! What the hell! Cellulite is what happens to fat people. Not me! Sigh.

Finally I saw a doctor. He ran a blood test, which revealed that I was prediabetic, with a higher than normal average blood-sugar level. Prediabetes puts a person at increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. You know, fat people diseases. I was getting fat, and my life span was dissipating with each forkful of food I was shoving into my mouth.

The good news was that prediabetes is very reversible. All it required of me was to go on a diet and lose some weight. Ah, no problem, I thought. What could be easier than eating less food? Before this problem developed, eating food had been a chore for me. I had to eat lots and lots of food, all the time, just to maintain a normal weight.

One of the world’s first dietitians was a Scottish physician named George Cheyne, who lived from 1672-1743. He lost a tremendous amount of weight by going on a milk and vegetables diet, and then farting his fat away. His book, An Essay of Health and Long Life, popularized lacto-vegetarianism.

I used to wonder why fat people had problems with dieting. After all, look at all the time dieting saves, from not eating. And look at all the money it saves at the grocery store.

So, with the insouciance of an amateur faster, I embarked upon a calorie-counting diet, cutting back my intake to less than 1,500 calories per day. And I learned much from this experience. In fact, I learned so much that I am now an expert. So I’d like to pass along these 10 expert dieting tips:

Tip #1: Only weigh yourself weekly. Never daily. But if your curiosity is too much, and you must weigh daily, then the best time to weigh each day is the first thing in the morning immediately after using the bathroom. In fact, you may even want to weigh multiple times per day, after each occasion that you use the bathroom. Be sure to shed all your clothes before stepping on the scale. And use lotion to avoid chafing the skin, from all the times you’ll be taking off and putting on your clothing throughout the day. Ah hell, just go naked all day.

Tip #2: When you stand on a scale, suck your belly in. This won’t reduce your weight, but it will help you to see the numbers.

Tip #3: When you stand on the scale, it’s helpful to rest one foot lightly on the floor.

Tip #4: You can continue to eat sweets and fats, as long as you count the calories. Note: Sweets and fats are highly concentrated with calories, so I keep a calculator handy, with scientific notation capabilities.

Tip #5: Exercise burns calories, and walking is a highly-recommended exercise. So eat smaller snacks. This will require you to walk to the kitchen more frequently.

Tip #6: Never tell anyone you’re on a diet. They will turn into the food police, forcing you to become very sneaky.

Tip #7: Avoid being too rigid. Relax and make exceptions to your diet for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, any and all Catholic holidays, family reunions of two people or more, and the celebration of any good news.

Tip #8: Avoid stress, as this can trigger hunger. I’ve found that eating jelly beans from a large, glass jar, creates a soothing sensation that prevents a lot of stress.

Tip #9: Watch The Food Channel for hours on end. This is called “fooderbating.” Fantasizing about food can safely substitute for the real thing, at least until you can no longer stand it.

Tip #10: Join a diet club. If you gain one or two pounds over the week, you’ll feel much better about yourself when you know someone who’s gained five.

I hope these tips help you. I really have become a dieting expert, haven’t I?

Marie Lamba, author

Some thoughts from author and agent Marie Lamba

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