I find that this Advent I am becoming a way I thought I’d never be.
All my life, I’ve heard about how people gain weight during the holidays. I never did, partly because I’m not the kind who puts on weight easily (eat your hearts out), but also because I’m allergic to most of the things that fatten people up during the season. For instance, I can’t eat bakery goods — cake, pie, cookies, and the like. I’m slightly allergic — just enough to make it worthy avoiding — to wheat, and deathly so to the eggs and dairy products those things often contain.
But then I was unusually blessed with special baked goods I COULD eat on Thanksgiving. And my sister-in-law actually baked me a couple of extra loaves, which she froze, of the special banana and pumpkin breads she made for me, so I’m still eating those. Also, at about that same time I discovered a really good new way to make corn bread I could eat, and I’ve been baking and eating that pretty constantly. My wife would probably say it’s the beer, but I’m not drinking any more of that than usual. It’s the corn bread. I just had three pieces of it with my dinner.
The result? I’m not as svelte as usual.
And usually, I’m pretty fit, you know. In fact, ever since I learned on an episode of “24” that Jack Bauer is the same height and weight as I am normally (5’11”, 160 lbs.), I’ve summarized my genteel figger by saying I’m built just like Jack Bauer, only harder and tougher.
But now, I’ve put on a few pounds. How many? Well I can no longer wrestle Shute. If you’ve ever seen “Vision Quest,” you know what that means. I love that flick. I was a high school wrestler, so I really identify with the protagonist. He’s his school’s top wrestler at 190 lbs., with a chance of becoming state champion in that division. But he gets it into his head that he wants to take on the toughest wrestler in the state, a seemingly superhuman monster named Shute, and to do that he has to lose weight down to 168, which is quite a challenge. In fact, he threatens his health doing it.
I knew guys who did that in high school. My junior year, this kid named Jeter who was pretty scrawny to start with — 115 pounds — decided to wrestle at 98 pounds. So he starved and sweated to where the night of the match, he sat on the bench looking like a survivor (just barely) of the Bataan Death March. You wouldn’t have thought he could stand up, much less wrestle. He had a bag with several burgers from McDonald’s on the bench next to him. His time came, he went in and beat the little 98-lb. kid from the other team, came back and inhaled the burgers.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. I weighed myself a couple of days back, and I was 171.6 lbs. So I’ve got to cut back, and work out some. Maybe I’ll get me one of those rubber suits like Loudon wore in the movie.
So if I make the weight, do you think Coach will let me wrestle Shute? Or have I missed my chance forever?