Resolution Monday: The Quest to Get Rid of These Goddamn Manboobs.

Okay. We’re almost five months into my effort to make 11 New Year’s resolutions and I’ve broken all of them at lease once. I knew that was going to happen. My goal was to keep going even if I did break a resolution. So many people give up after one moment of weakness and I was determined to keep trying even if I faltered and I’m proud to say that I’m still trying with all of these resolutions. Some are going better than others but I haven’t given up on any of them.

Except for binge eating junkfood.

I lasted maybe two weeks on this one. I was bagging my lunch every day. I got a bunch of low sugar protein bars to have for breakfast instead of donuts. I ate fruit. Things were looking pretty good and then one day I was running late for work, decided it wasn’t worth my time to make lunch and now it’s nothing but fast food burgers and gas station donuts getting shoved into my gullet.

I keep telling myself shit like “I’m in a hurry” or “Well I worked really hard today so I’ve probably burned the calories in these three donuts already” but my weight is still hovering around 240.

This is so stupid. I’ve done this before. I know I can lose weight if I just slow down the flow of constant sugar and fat being constantly pumped into me. Time to take a new approach.

I’m going to write down everything I eat this week into a notebook. Just by consciously thinking of what I’m eating and having a list in front of me showing what I’m eating should help. Maybe I’ll even post the list in next week’s resolution update if it’s not super embarassing.

Alright. Time to eat some fruit for breakfast because that’s completely just as tasty as donuts and SuperAmerica breakfast sandwiches.

Et Tu, Peanut Butter?

I love peanut butter with a passion that sometimes inspires jealousy in my wife. I can eat peanut butter sandwiches every day and not get sick of them. My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I even ate the shitty dry peanut butter that came with those school lunch peanut butter cups when other kids would just pull it off the chocolate, throw it away and just eat the chocolate. One time I made a fried peanut butter banana sandwich, the kind that killed Elvis. It was delicious. The king died a happy man.

I can easily say peanut butter is one of my favorite foods and definitely my favorite food-like paste product. That’s really a shame because I need to stop eating peanut butter.

Now I always knew peanut butter wasn’t the healthiest thing I could be eating. Anything that makes an M&M taste better probably isn’t a superfood but I always figured that there wasn’t too much sugar in it and it’s high in protein so it can’t be all that bad. With that sketchy logic in the back of my head I’d make a peanut butter sandwich so large that it would literally be a choking hazard and require a drink of milk between each bite to get down my throat and eat it right before going to bed.

So part of me knew peanut butter wasn’t a health elixer but I never figured how many calories it had until I saw this wisegeek article listing pictures of a couple dozen different 200 calorie portions of foods. Here’s 200 calories worth of baby carrots (all image credit goes to Don’t sue!)-

A friend once told me one of her guilty pleasures was "just eating a whole bag of baby carrots in one sitting".  I had to explain to her the definition of the words "guilty" and "pleasure".

A friend once told me one of her guilty pleasures was “just eating a whole bag of baby carrots in one sitting”. I had to explain to her the definition of the words “guilty” and “pleasure”.

200 calories will get you a heaping portion of turkey –

For most people that's enough for two sandwiches but for me that's about one sandwich.

For most people that’s enough for two sandwiches but for me that’s about one sandwich.

Almost all of a donut –

Glazed?  Throw some chocolate on top, shove some custard in the middle then we'll talk.

Glazed? Throw some chocolate on top, shove some custard in the middle then we’ll talk.

And here’s 200 calories of peanut butter –

Oh shit!

Oh shit!

I literally use four times as much peanut butter as that in a sandwich. I may as well be double fisting Big Macs. You even get more Snickers for 200 calories –

it's not much but it is 7 grams larger.

it’s not much but it is 7 grams larger.

Son of a bitch. Now I have to add peanut butter to the list of things I can’t eat. Pretty soon I’ll just have a diet consisting of egg whites, grapes and spinach.

New Year Resolution Mondays: The Ghost of Donuts.

Last week I had pledged to get serious about my resolution for no more sweets, specifically no more donuts. I was all amped up and ready to face the world with a resolve to not stuff my face hole with candy and donuts. Gonna do this!

That day Jena came home from a weekend trip and with her she brought back all the snacks that were not eaten by her and friends. Some pringles, some beef jerky, and a full, unopened box of Double Stuff Oreos –

Why do they even make regular stuff Oreos anymore?

Why do they even make regular stuff Oreos anymore?

Fuck it. I said “Diet starts tomorroowwwww!” and threw some Oreos at my face.

The rest of the week, however was candy and donut free. I went to the grocery store to find an energy bar or something I could munch on throughout the day that wasn’t completely full of sugar, marketed exclusively towards women or both –

The Isofemme bar is full of protein and "sinfully delicious".

The Isofemme bar is full of protein and “sinfully delicious”.

I did end up finding some low sugar energy bars that weren’t called “OvaBars” or “Uterenergy”, had those and some fresh fruit for breakfast every day and am glad to say I haven’t had any donuts. I’ve certainly seen my fair share, though.

Working in a truck all day my bathroom breaks almost always take place in gas stations. Every day I walk by my old friends, the donuts. At one point I just kind of stared longingly at a rack of donuts at Kwik Trip for what felt like a full minute but was hopefully more like ten seconds.

Donuts. Gone but not forgotten.

The Casino Buffet.

Since writing about what a goddamn pig I am last week I’ve made some healthier choices so I can get myself back down to “husky” or “stout”. I’ve been doing some cardio most days and yesterday I even chose carrots when I could have just as easily made a giant peanut butter and jelly sandwich and eaten it in the pantry so the wife and boy wouldn’t witness my shame. My stomach growled like a dealer growing impatient with a junkie coming up with excuses on why he doesn’t have any money but I ate those carrots. I ate them and told myself that was enough.

These are baby steps but I had a dozen people tell me after that blog that I can’t go on a diet, I have to change my lifestyle. This isn’t about temporarily cutting something out until I’ve lost the desired amount of weight but actually rewiring how I make decisions regarding food and exercise. It makes sense but changing the way one thinks about something as fundamental as eating isn’t the easiest task. To make it even harder I have three shows in casinos this month.

Casino gigs are usually pretty rough. I’ve done shows in a half dozen casinos and the set up has always been the same. You’re usually performing in the “lounge”. A bar in the middle of the casino that isn’t separated from the casino by any walls so the maddening electronic beeps and dings of slot machines assault you from all sides. The only people hanging out in the lounge are the ones that lost all their money already and are waiting for their friends to finish or the bingo bus to arrive or the cyanide capsule to kick in or whatever. It’s pretty much like that episode of Louie but I don’t get to bang Joan Rivers at the end of the night.

You can't tell by looking at it but in this photo I'm telling jokes at a comedy show. Somebody paid me to do this.

The above picture was taken at a casino bar in Wisconsin. The bar was in the middle of the casino and the walkway was the only way to get from one side of the casino to the other. There was no stage and no stage lights. There was no speaker system in the bar so they hooked the mic up to the PA system for the entire casino. Three people were in the bar my entire set and one had his back turned to me, watching the TV that the bartender didn’t turn off for the show. It was the second worst casino gig I’ve ever performed at.

While casino shows are usually an uphill battle and I normally don’t get my hopes up, sometimes they turn out well. For example, any booking agent for any of my upcoming casino gigs googling my name probably has the best show ever. Whether the show itself is good or bad, there’s always one thing to look forward to performing at a casino. The free buffet –

I feel like I died of a heart attack at a young age and went to fat people heaven!

I normally treat the “all you can eat” suggestion of a buffet as a command to eat until I physically am unable to eat anymore and the casino buffet is no exception. Even the smallest casinos usually have a huge buffet with a giant selection. When eating at a buffet the fat part of my mind and the poor part of my mind get together and I eat as much as possible because the more I eat, the better use I’m making of the money I spent and when the buffet is free it’s like I hit the jackpot. They say the house always wins but I’m fucking Rain Man in the casino buffet. I’ll down three plates before I even hit the dessert and when I do get dessert it’s cake, cookies and ice cream. Maybe a slice of pie, too if they got french silk.

I should mention that when I down three plates of food, these are plates arranged fat guy style. When heaping food onto your plate at the casino buffet you have several options –

Regular People:
A normal person will get a few things at the buffet. Maybe even start out with a salad plate and put salad on it. Then they go for a second trip and get food, something that makes sense like turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and why the hell not a slice of pizza (these people normally wouldn’t have a slice of pizza with a turkey dinner but it’s a buffet!). Third trip they’ll get a dessert.

Overeaters (people like me):
Salad bar? Fuck that. The only time I’m going to the salad bar is to get some chocolate pudding or ranch dressing to dip my chicken fingers. First trip is to get a sampling of as many things as possible on the plate. Foods that were never meant to touch are plopped right next to each other and if a little gravy gets on the spaghetti, so be it. Second trip is for anything that got left out and a second helping of the favorite from the first plate. Third plate is the cool down round. Something light and maybe something weird that I’ve never tried before. Then as many desserts as possible.

The Vacuums:
There are always people at the casino buffet that make my eating habits look normal. These people probably didn’t even come to gamble unless it’s a metaphorical game of Russian Roulette where the chamber’s their aorta, the bullet is a hunk of fat and the trigger is a pile of honey glazed ham. These are the kind of people that have mathematically worked out how much food they can get on a plate to minimize trips and the energy spent walking. One time I saw a lady balance two plates on the front basket of her Rascal scooter while she held a third in her hands. Another time I saw a guy cover a plate of food with pizza slices and then put food on top of the pizza slices. He used food as a plate to put food on top of other foods. These are the champions. The kind of people whose ranks I could one day join if I make the wrong choices.

Like I said, getting healthier is about changing the lifestyle. If I refuse the casino buffet I’ll probably just end up there in the morning eating 50 sausage links for breakfast. I need to make the decision to go there and not eat “all I can eat” otherwise I’ll end up like pizza plate guy, trying to avoid eye contact with the chef as he cuts up the roast beef. The chef, having seen this plenty of times in his career asks “should I just put it on top of the pizza, sir?”

First casino gig’s tomorrow. I’ll let you know if I used the salad plate for salad.

I’m So Goddamn Fat.

I’ve been fat for a really long time. As an adult I’ve bounced around between 220-250 pounds. My weight fluctuation usually follows a pattern of –

1. Do something strenuous that leaves me gasping for air (shovel the diveway, help a friend move, play a game of kickball, run a half block).

2. Decide to weigh myself after anybody who saw me do the strenuous activity asks if I’m okay and comments how my entire head turned purple during said strenuous activity.

3. Realize that I’m really fat and start working out / dieting. Drop 25 – 30 pounds.

4. Slowly gain weight back, go back to step one.

This cycle usually repeats itself every year or so but the cycle was broken when my bathroom scale died and I didn’t bother getting a new one. We all know ignoring a problem makes the problem go away and as long as I can still tie my own shoes I figured I’m fine. Then I got arrested.

One of the many things they didn’t tell me during the booking process is that at one point I stood on a scale. There was no scale to be seen so I guess it was some cleverly hidden floor thing that weighed me while I got my mugshot. Why don’t they tell you? Were too many self conscious fat people holding up the line by asking to take their pants and shirt off to make sure that the scale gets an accurate reading? Whatever the reason, I found out when my weight was listed on the bracelet they gave me.

268 pounds.

Holy shit that’s the fattest I’ve ever been. That’s weird, though. I don’t think I look that different. Check it out –

Maybe it's all beard weight.

That doesn’t look much different than when I was 30 pounds lighter. The jail scale’s gotta be off or something. That’s it. Probably wasn’t calibrated right.

Wait. What happens if I tilt the angle a bit and move my chin down a little?

Holy shit! Kevin Spacey's gonna make me eat until I die!


Alright. I think it might be time to go back on a diet and start exercising. Dieting’s never easy for me. I eat like a pig. Here’s some of the biggest reasons for why I look like the mom from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

Peanut Butter

I actually buy Roundy's Peanut Butter because I'm poor but they don't have any images on google image search so here you go.

I fucking love eating peanut butter so much. The amount of peanut butter I put on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is pretty disgusting. I’ve used up to a fifth of a jar on a sandwich and I usually make two sandwiches or more. One time I made a hotdog and wondered what it would taste like if I spread peanut butter on the bun. I didn’t follow through with it but the fact that I even thought about it is a little disturbing. Sometimes I take flour tortillas (the giant Chipotle burrito sized ones) and just make a peanut butter and jelly burrito.

Snack Cakes

"Do you eat the icing first or the cake first?" I shove the whole thing in my mouth when nobody's looking and cry.

The picture is of a Hostess cupcake but I’ll eat any brand. Dolly Madison, Mrs. Freshly’s, Entenmann’s, whatever. I’ll take whatever the gas station is selling. I’ll get a package of these anytime I stop at a gas station for any reason. If I’m at a grocery store I’ll get the 12 pack and pretend like they’re for the whole family but Jena and Jared are usually lucky if they get two snack cakes a piece before I have devoured them all. I don’t even bother trying to blame somebody else for eating them all. Whatever. I’m fat. Consider yourself lucky you got two.

This has become less of an issue recently as I’m finding that I can’t really handle my beer as well the next day (beer shits. I might have a mild gluten allergy or something) but a six pack of beer will cost you 1000-1300 calories, depending on how tasty the beer is (tastier = more calories).

Those are the three main things I need to cut out (I’m aware that I have to eat healthier in general, but these are the main three accomplices to my mantits). My ultimate goal is to not have a Kevin Smith experience when I board a plane in April. Fingers crossed!