In my first youth, I had a serious weakness for donuts.  I must still be going through puberty because now that I’m in my second youth, I still have a weakness for donuts.  But where is it written that I have to give in to my weaknesses?

When I was in my late teens, although I was active in sports, particularly volleyball, baseball, basketball, and yoga, I began to stack on the lubs.  After many repeated attempts of dieting, I finally figured out the secret to dieting.


What a vicious cycle.  Invariably with each diet, after successfully losing five pounds, one will just as successfully gain ten pounds until the rounds of blubber stack on like the rings of a giant Redwood.  Perhaps there are a few very special individuals in the world who are masters at enduring the self-inflicted pain of diet withdrawals.  But I suspect that most of us Chunky Cheeks can’t handle diets since the deprivation of our comfort carbs builds up inside like a time bomb until the cravings explode.  Many a time has a deranged diet victim been known to raid the refrigerator not only at midnight, but in broad daylight, or else run the four minute mile to the nearest carb store to get a baker’s dozen followed by the breakage of the current donut inhalation record.  Disgustingly delightful delicacies, to be sure.

It’s just not fair.  I’m telling you, those carb factories must have a hidden agenda to blubberize the world.  I mean, c’mon!  Why else would they take those giant triangular blobs of dough lighter than dandelion fluff, cut them in half, fill the centers with fluffy white cream, and insert sliced strawberries that peep out at you with all their mocking pinkness?  And if that isn’t enough, they slather fudge on top those dang things and call them Alligator Jaws.  Gotcha!  Sure enough, you succumb as the latest victim of the pastry swamp.  Your newest diet is a lost cause.  There should be a law against that kind of fat propaganda.  And for cryin’ out loud, they make those usurpers of diets so pretty.  Pastries are so attractive and enticing.  Okay, Marge the Large Barge, let it go.

I discovered early on that diets simply DONUT work.  The only way to truly become healthy and fit is to slowly implement a lifestyle change.  The first item on the menu is EXERCISE.  The only real and lasting way to change one’s metabolism in order to lose weight and keep it off is activity, and plenty of it.  The second item on the menu is Real Food.  Whole food.  Natural food.  Cutting waaaaay back on empty carbs and replacing them with plenty of high quality protein partnered with a plethora of wholesome vegetables with the life-giving element of natural enzymes enables the body to cast off the unwanted and keep the good stuff.  I discovered that as I quit dieting and stopped focusing on my donut deprivation, as I became more active and consumed more natural foods, the cravings for those pretty little pastries began to diminish.

It took a major jump start for me.  I recall the day I hit the 175 mark on the scale at eighteen years old and panicked.  I was so fed up with the Fat Fight, that night I decided I was going to run five miles.  I ceremoniously donned my black and white Tenny Runner sneakers while adopting the “I’m gonna do this or die trying” expression I had seen on Sylvester Stallone’s face as Rocky when he got serious about training for the big fight.  I considered glurping down a glass of raw eggs to get into the spirit of it, but decided to postpone that extra perk for Day 2.

I headed up the hill and out into the desert in the outskirts of Page, Arizona, where I was living at the time working as an office manager for my father’s construction company.  After one mile I wondered if I actually would die trying.  But I knew that if I gave up before reaching the goal I had set for myself, I would likely never conquer my flab.

Gasping for every breath, I spluttered, “Self, you gotta keep going no matter what.  You can’t let yourself get away with being the local Lardo Lass.  If you are content to carry on with the fat, there’s a whole lot more stupid stuff that will happen.  Besides fat, you will also get lazy, bored, and selfish.  Nope.  Gotta keep going or die trying.”

So, I died trying.  Well, nearly so.  But in spite of my self-inflicted pain, that first Battle of the Bulge taught me a huge lesson.  I could do whatever I decided I could do.  I proved to myself that my better self could manage my worser self.  My second five mile run was easier than the first, and the third five mile run was even better.  Okay, I admit it was torture.  Those aching muscles, not to mention the shin splints screamed at me with every wiggle.  But the good feeling deep down and the exhilaration of accomplishing what I had required of myself was well worth the punishment.  No, I do not recommend anyone suddenly going out and killing themselves off running five miles first thing if they are accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.  It’s way smarter to start slowly, and increase as the body can safely handle it.  But I don’t regret the extreme measures I went to in order to grab hold of my rapid decline into the fat abyss.

I kept up that habit of running five miles a day for several years until the natural effects of motherhood crowded out my regular exercise and replaced it with more infrequent activity.  I had six sons in a row and found that running after six little boys with all their shenanigans was no small feat in and of itself.  Since I had the blessed benefit of living a community lifestyle among my people, the FLDS Mormons, good health was more achievable than in other environments.  It was a big part of our lifestyle to plant gardens, enjoy the fruits thereof, and preserve the harvest.  Being fit and eating natural homegrown, home cooked food was important in order to have healthy children and healthy families.  It was part of our focus.

I plan on sharing with you some of the Personal Assistants I discovered to aid me in good health and weight loss along my journey, which I will do in the near future.  With all the thousands of products out there these days, it’s easy to get lost on the road to fitness.  Now that I’m older and wiser, having joined the Great Big Middle Age Club, I find the renewal of diet and exercise well worth the effort.  Did I say that word?  Did I say diet?  What I meant was DONUT DIET.  Diets are only temporary, and we are more interested in permanent.  Make a lifestyle change.  Do it slowly by increments.  You will find yourself on the HIGHROAD to self-improvement.

Here it is 7:00 AM, and my truck is warming up.  Gotta roll the rubber to reach Amarillo by morning…


P.S. Marge the Large Barge was a term of endearment from my husband when I got overly tempted to engulf the components of the pastry swamp, particularly the illustrious Alligator Jaw. We won’t discuss my term of endearment for him. It was all in good fun, and we had a lot of laughs.