Friday, June 6, 2014

Fat Old Guy Halfway Home in Shocking Assault on Beer Gut

Part One of my two-part Fat Old Guy Diet, nicknamed the “Not Gonna Be the Fattest Guy at my Son’s Wedding Diet” has ended in success. (Pt. II, the "Not Gonna Be the Fattest Guy at my Birthday Party Diet" has begun)

The diet was launched two plus months before the wedding, after I caught a glimpse of my profile in the mirror and hit the scales to assess the damage.
I weighed 245. I pledged to lose 25 pounds by wedding day, come Hell or high cholesterol. Two months later, I reached my goal weight by my goal date. So I canceled my forklift stretch-limo. I stopped worrying about my overstressed pants popping a fly-button and eviscerating a wedding guest.

Tummy deflated, Ego inflated.  Happy camper time.  What could go wrong? I soon found out.

When I went to be fitted for my Tux, things went south with with one, cruel, word. 

Here’s a letter of complaint I sent to the CEO of the tux company.

Dear Mr. (name redacted)

I have a bone to pick.

Not about the tuxedo I rented from you. As rental tuxes go it was just peachy. No soup stains, no unseemly seam rips, cigarette burns or malevolent odors. It held its press. Zipper zipped. No lint in the pockets, no hint of frayed lapel or shiny bottom. 

I would wear it as Father of the Groom, so I really wanted to look good.

A couple of months ago, I noticed I was fat. Not superfat fat, but large enough to risk being the fattest guy at the wedding. I had the fat old guy’s deadly combo of skinny legs, no ass, and a beer gut. I looked like a pair of toothpicks smuggling a bathtub. 

So I began a crash diet. I am not inexperienced at such an event.

A week before the wedding I hit my goal. I’d lost 25 pounds, from 245 to 220. At 6’0”, that’s not a bad weight for a man of my age and willpower.

I went into one of your stores for my tux fitting.  Tailor was competent, all business, and kept his hands off my business. I thought I looked pretty good in the tux.  I almost looked svelte. Okay, semi-svelte.

Then I was handed my receipt/claim check. Name, claim number, sizes--all listed correctly.  But there were six additional letters that knocked the wind from my sails, stripped the gild from my lily and sucked the gas from my bag.

My cheeks flushed as I read the insult. The pangs of earlier weight related affronts returned, my self-worth plummeted, my confidence caught the last train for the coast.

I was not a valued customer nor cherished client to you guys. Nope.

I was a “46 Portly.”

Portly? Portly!!! Port-freakin’-ly??? Who the heck calls somebody portly these days?

In an instant, I was no longer a proud father who had busted his rear end to look his best on a most important family occasion. I was just another fat guy. 

Why would anyone with a lick of sense, humanity or desire for repeat business do that?  Unless…. Perhaps the word “Portly” had mutated meaning—like the word “Bad,” which can now mean  “Good.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket.  The receipt was actually sending me off with a jaunty “Devilishly Handsome” designation. At that point I’d have settled for “Stylishly Stout” or “Not as fat as you’d think.”

So I looked it up. Sadly, “portly” still means “rather heavy or fat,” or “corpulent” according to my Funk & Wagnall’s

I waited until I returned the item to point out the insult to a manager .  Did he apologize? No, he said,  “It should have read Executive,” adding, “It didn’t refer to you as Portly, it referred to the suit as portly.”

How about that, I was not only Portly but too stupid to interpret a receipt.

I thought you really ought to know about this. And I do hope this letter wends it way up the chain to your desk, and doesn’t result in some customer service rep sending me “Idiot Letter # 5” and a $5.00 coupon for my next purchase of Argyle socks.


John Corcoran

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

He Who Looks Lithe, Laughs Last

This ain't me--I should be so young

Nutritionists, some family, a few friends, strangers, and all the ships at sea LAUGHED when I bragged I would succeed in losing 24.4 pounds within two months using my own, exclusive FOG Diet, AKA The  "Not Gonna Be the Fattest Guy at My Son's Wedding" Diet.

Now who’s laughing up his or her shorts at me?

Starting WEIGHT:  244.4
Current WEIGHT    220.0.

Okay, okay, so I'm not exactly lithe, but I'm laughing at doubters. I reached my goal at today’s weigh in--Tuesday before the weekend wedding of Handsome Andrew and the Beautiful Jesse.

After a few days off, the diet resumes and Part II begins. Goal: 20 more pounds by my birthday, July 27th.

The FOG Diet works for me.

I invented it and you’ll be seeing more details about my methodology in upcoming weeks.

So if you’re a Fat Old Guy or Fat Old Girl…hurry back, y’hear?

And once again always check with your Sawbones before starting any diet....

If you don't and drop dead on a diet, ANY diet, don't come running to me with your complaints.

Monday, April 14, 2014

DIET REPORT: Weeks Three through Five, Mar 22- APR 11

OVERALL STARTING WEIGHT                       244.4


WEIGHT AT END OF WEEK THREE                228.8  
 WEEK FOUR         `        226.4
 WEEK FIVE                    225.0
Loss (gain) this Period                                     5.4 POUNDS  

Loss (gain) since diet start                             19.4 POUNDS  

These were relatively slow weeks—a dieting doldrums.  

Before I analyze and give advice let me restate as clearly as I can, that I am NOT a doctor, health specialist, or someone who is qualified to recommend that you do as I do, unless your doctor agrees—in which case you are following HIS or HER advice.

I am telling people about this diet because it works for me, and because reporting its success or failure motivates me. The act of allowing readers to observe my behavior has a scientific foundation, believe it or not.

It falls under the umbnrella of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.  Don’t be impressed that I know about that, I had tolook it up and I originally thought Heisenberg was a shortstop with the Cubs.  It means the fact that something is being observed affects the object being observed. For dieters, it means don’t diet in secret. It is  much harder to slip back into old habits if you make your actions accountable to someone who cares

Don’t Curse Your Willpower, Feed Your Weakness

Limited will power is not a Deal Killer. You counter that by rewarding yourself.

I have to have something to look forwad to every day. The trick here is to limit the amount of the treat, pick the treat with the fewest calories that get the job done, and be sure to include it with the rest of your caloric intake.

Some examples:

*Italian Ice. Delicious, reminds me of those halcyon days playing stickball on a hot July day in the streets of Brooklyn, despite the fact I never played stickball on a hot July day in the streets of Brooklyn. It’s 100 calories.

*Piece of toast, muffin or other dry treat. I cannot live without bread. I recognize that and plan for it when I diet. I’ve forced myself to like healthy bread, my regular choice’s is Milton’s multigrain from Trader Joe’s. I butter it with olive oil enhanced low calory butter—half the damage of regular butter.

*Daily latte. I’ve cut down from large to small, use low fat milk, and make it at home. Savings in calories and cost.

*Nuts. They are good for you in small numbers. I eat small amounts of roasted, no salt Almond slivers.

*Cheese on crackers. Cracker packages list their calorie count. Spend some time in the cracker department. Get the thinnest lowest calorie crackers you can, that still satisfy your dry food Jones. Don't buy chunk of cheese, buy individual small packages. Laughing cow has several varieties.  Trader Joe’s has a collection of small pieces of Brie in individual containers. Some days the Brie (150 cal.) and crackers (about the same) constitute lunch, perhaps with a piece of fruit.

What is your weakness? Indulge it in small amounts. It is your reward for being good the rest of the day.

To me the FOG diet is like a successful NBA franchise. In hoop, teams invest a big hunk of their cap room in genuine superstars. The Miami Heat did so and back to back championships resulted with Wade, James and Bosh. With the superstars on board, other free agents will take less money in hopes of a ring. 

In the FOG Diet that means I invest a larger hunk of my calories on treats and enjoyable food than any diet I’ve herd of. But it works for me. I supplement with a large array of daily vitamins and eat healthy with my remaining calories. Drinking a lot of water helps fill the cavity in my stomach.

I am weak-willed when it comes to food, always have been. My prior successful diets have been crutch-dependent. One used (legal) amphetamines, another used public exposure and competition (The Washingtonian Magazine-sponsored Public Humiliation Approach to Dieting). I also lost 60 pounds in the first FOG diet, allowing it to creep back on over the years because new physical impediments to exercise made me give up.  

So remember, don’t surrender to your weaknesses, just negotiate a truce you both can live with.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shaken Nerves, Rattled Brain, Week Two Surprises

DIET REPORT: Week Two, Mar 15-21

STARTING WEIGHT                                       244.4


WEIGHT AT END OF WEEK ONE:             230.4  

Loss (gain) this week                                         6.0 POUNDS  

Loss (gain) since diet start                                14.0 POUNDS  

As we noted in our last report, the first week of my Fat Old Guy (FOG) Diet got off to an excellent start.

Week Two got off to a Shaky start. Sorry, that was a pun.  

See, the “shaky start” referred to an earthquake, whose epicenter was a mere ten miles from Diet Central.  The unwelcome visitor was 4.4 on the Moment Magnitude Scale, which used to be called the Richter Scale,. That was changed by the U.S. Earthquake Confusion Council’s Vice President in Charge of  Earthquake Terminology.

No matter. In California, we tend to call an earthquake of that size a Ground Fart. (As this is written, the ground around LA farted twice, then delivered a not-so-funny 5.1 earthquake. A few more of these and I’ll count them as part of my exercise program)

Meanwhile, on to the rest of Week Two.

I hate Week Two of Diets.

Week One is all energy and enthusiasm, water loss and clothes that garrote you a little less.  Week Two is your body and your willpower fighting back.

“Hey, who said you could diet? Who do you think is running this dump?” says your body.

“Come on, you lost eight pounds last week, one little slice of Apple pie can’t hurt,   make it a la mode. You should celebrate!” That would be your Willpower trying to get you to rationalize the weight back on you.

Even when I stay strong the second week.  I’ve  found it is a dangerous week that can cause me or anyone to be discouraged. It never matches that first week because there is only so much water to lose.  

I looked for ways to keep the Faith.  Fortunately the Internet came to my rescue this time.

Check out this thoughful gift a wife gave her soldier-husband returning from a year in Afghanistan. LINK

A second item deals with consequence of staying fat, even if it’s for business reasons.

If celebrity and fame are no protection, you’ve got to know in your heart of hearts that you’re just as vulnerable.  

The great news for me was Week Two didn’t happen. Instead of a tiny loss or even slight gain, I managed to lose a sixer. I don’t know why. Perhaps I had more willpower than I suspected. Or more water weight was just looking for an excuse to make its escape.

NEXT REPORT: Is Week Three the new Week Two?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lardbutt Launches His Diet...Week One Report

(N.B. You can never have enough motivations to diet. My Doc showed me bad numbers. Got a new Grandkid. But my biggest immediate motivation is fear of embarrassment. My second son is getting married May 10. So this diet is the: “Not Gonna Be the Fattest Guy at the Wedding Diet”


Week One Report: Starting weight 244.4 Goal by May 10: 220


Eight pounds lost with relatively little exercise was indeed a great start.. Yup, Ol’ lard butt here dropped eight big ones in the opening stanza. 

To be honest the first “week” was a little more than seven days, but four of those days were spent visiting family, including Grandson Mason (3 1/2) and new Grandson Tobey (two weeks).

Diet or see new Grandson for the first time? Easy. I’ll do both.  A motivated dieter doesn’t have to stay home for the entire diet. It helps when your kids care about your health. It helps when you can burn off calories trying to keep up with baby's older brother.

So I’ll take the Great Eight any way I can. I know from previous diets that the first few days produce a sense of euphoria and an increase of energy. This comes from eliminating the daily input of junk calories I’d been taking in as well as removing guilt I’d been inhaling for letting my weight get away from me.

But I’m not fooling myself. Week One is water loss and your body thanking you for finally starting to care about it again.  I’ve usually lost in the double digits the first week of past diets, but as an experienced dieter, I know the second week is never as easy.

When you’re on a diet, lying, for lack of a better word, is good.”

 Apologies to Gordon Gekko, but the one thing I know about dieting is lying is often required.  Even when they know you’re dieting, people will urge you to sin.  You may lie instead.

*“Love to try just a teeny tiny bite of your famous Lemon Chiffon pie, but I’m allergic to lemons. And chiffon.”

*“Sorry I can’t split a pizza. My swallow reflex is busted.”

*"I left my dessert money in my other pants."

Lying may also be the only way to escape an ambush by strangers.  

I had to earlier today when I went off to buy fruit. Because we’re saving money by eating light, we can splurge on the best we can find— today it was at an upscale grocery called Gelson’s. This is a good diet trick—don’t just eat what’s good for you, but eat the best “what’s-good-for-you” you can find and afford.

Gelson’s had a trap set up. I’d prepped myself for not going near their cookie aisle or the fresh bread or pastry departments. But I couldn’t avoid passing the little, sweet-faced Girl Scouts and their Moms guarding the entrance.

“So sorry, we have a lot of Girl Scouts on our block, and we’ve already ordered twice what we can eat,” I said, not stopping to be dissuaded.  A lie, but a very good white lie.

Remember, you are on a diet. You are trying to save your own health and your own life. Don’t let guilt or temptation do you in.

NEXT REPORT: Week Two gets off to a shaky start.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Summer’s Coming, Lardbutt. What Now?

My Gut today. The T-shirt was purchased at Goodwill for $1.99.

I am fat.

And in case someone is reading this to you, that’s “F-A-T” fat, not “P-H-A-T” fat. 

According to the Urban Dictionary, “PHAT” stands for “Pretty Hot and Tempting.”

I haven’t been pretty hot and/or tempting since my salad says. Had I eaten more salad and less fat then, I might be a little more Phat and a lot less fat now. But that ship sailed, foundered, and sank in a vat of cake batter ages ago.  

What to do? Start yet another diet, of course. I created this blog and I'm telling everyone I know about this new diet because my fear of public humiliation can make me pass on pork chops, forgo fries, eschew Éclairs and decline donuts like nothing else.

I have other good reasons to diet.

*My once top notch medical numbers are now Top Gun—I am in the Danger Zone.*

*I need wide-angle lenses for Selfies.

*In silhouette, I look like a toothpick smuggling a bathtub.

*I can’t walk from here to the liquor cabinet without a rest stop.

*I’m a few pounds shy of having to wear a Wide Load sign under California’s Draconian “No Fat Guys” ordinance.

*I’m 6’0” 244.  Didn’t say I was morbidly obese. Just Fat.  Fat for my age. Fat for your age. Fat for everybody’s age.

*I have a deadline. I want to weigh 220 by May 10th.  That gives me nine weeks.

My Three Most Memorable Diets

I’ve had many disastrous diets and two successful ones in my lifetime.

The Most disastrous was my infamous Two-Day Metrecal Diet at age seventeen. Metrecal was the first diet drink in a can.  It tasted like liquefied chalk with just a hint of cat yak.  You drank it four times a day and ate nothing else. 900 calories.

Day One:  Drank four cans of Metrecal. NOTES: Mild hunger.  Good energy. Optimism high.

Day Two: Drank three cans of Metrecal, then ate six fried egg sandwiches. NOTES: I have never been so hungry in my life.

My first successful diet was in college.  I carried 225 gelatinous pounds wrapped over, under, around and through my frame. Summer after sophomore year, my Air Force officer Dad started a new diet. Dad was no fun on a diet. Grizzlies ran from his mighty Roar of Hunger. Windows shattered. Dogs climbed trees. Pigeons bled from the eyes. The Sasquatch Legend was born.

But not this time. Dad had new pills, prescribed by his flight surgeon. He nibbled at food, turned raconteur at the dinner table, then washed the dishes while whistling camping tunes. The pounds poured off.  “I love this Diet,” the shadow of my Father said. “I’m losing weight and I’m flat out adorable.”

Of course he was. He was on Speed. Amphetamines had just hit the diet market. Soon, I had my own prescription.  The weight also slid off me. Dad and I washed and rewashed the dishes together, chattering like chipmunks. When I returned to college a sylph-like 170, I was welcomed with cries of “Are you dying?” and “When did Audrey Hepburn join the fraternity?”

Before long, college kids wasted this perfectly good diet pill to pull all-nighters, and the great Legal Amphetamine Crutch was gone. Dad and I got fat again.

My third memorable diet boasted an official 46-pound weight loss. The event was recorded and documented by the highly respected “The Washingtonian” magazine years before the Reality Show diets hit TV. It was started by four fat writers bumping bellies at the magazine’s annual Christmas Party.

Next:: How I won the PHAD Diet. Why competitive weight loss can work for you. More fat jokes. And how did my first week go?


*Movie reference. The song "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins was from the movie Top Gun.