More Jackson County Opinions...

July 18, 2001


Column
By Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
July 18, 2001

Finally, a weight control plan that works
In six weeks, I've lost 15 pounds and am back down to my fighting weight of 170.
As the late, great Dizzy Dean used to say, "If you done it, it ain't bragging."
You old folks remember Dizzy. For the benefit of you younguns, he was a pitcher - and a great one - for the St. Louis Cardinals in the late 1930s and early '40s.
In 1941, I sort of lost track of old Diz. I dropped out of high school in January and joined the Navy, obsessed with two goals. In the worst kind of way, I wanted to be 21 years old and weigh 150 pounds. Going to war was the furthermost thing from my mind. I was 17 at the time, and tipped the scales at a measly 135.
Well, I reached my two goals all right - in less time than it will take you to finish this sentence.
Woe is me: I'll never be 17 and 135 again. But I wouldn't go that far back, even if I could.
For a long, long time I thought I would never see 170 again. For decades, I hovered between 180 and 190. One day, when I discovered I couldn't bend over and tie my shoes, I topped out at 196.
I went on a crash diet and lost three pounds.
Since about 1960, I have lost in the neighborhood of 3,361 pounds, in increments of three to 17 pounds. Of course, I've gained back in the neighborhood of 3,361 pounds, in increments of three to 17 pounds. It's called the yo-yo syndrome. You know, up and down, up and down.
In the last six weeks, during the 15-pound increment from 185 to 170, I made an amazing discovery that will revolutionize the weight loss industry in this country.
And yes, it is an industry - a gigantic one that bilks millions of Americans out of billions of dollars every year.
There are literally hundreds of rip-off outfits out there that are thriving on fat - ours. It is time we put them on a starvation diet, withhold their bread (money) and watch them suffer for a while.
No longer is it necessary to contribute our hard-earned dollars to diet pill manufacturers, magic elixir makers, promulgators of miracle potions, quack doctors, reducing salons, weight loss symposiums and seminars, health spas and fitness centers.
Finally, there is an inexpensive weight control plan that really works. Actually, it is not expensive at all; it will save you money. And it is simple.
In fact, my plan is so simple that I hesitate to tell you about it. But tell you I must. I am compelled to share this amazing discovery with an overweight, obese, fat world - for free.
If I were a greedy person, I would join the weight loss industry, bilk you and other habitual dieters out of billions of dollars, and become a fat cat. Fat, as in filthy rich. But I just can't bring myself to benefit from other people's misery.
I wish I could tell you that my plan will work for every fat person in our nation. It won't. About one percent of the population is overweight and can't help it. Their genes and/or metabolism have predestined them to be a little on the heavy side. Another one percent has physical conditions that rule out beneficial weight loss exercises. And yet another one percent, on orders of their physicians, is on such strict diets that they cannot alter their food intake.
My heart goes out to this three percent.
You other 97 percent, listen up.
Don't go into this program depending on willpower for success. Willpower has killed more worthy resolutions and good intentions than anything I know.
But that is the way we usually deal with bad habits. We determine to quit, never to do it again.
As Richard Foster writes in "Celebration of Discipline," "We pray against it, fight against it, set our will against it. But the struggle is all in vain."
Foster quotes Henri Arnold, "As long as we think we can save ourselves by our own will power, we will only make the evil in us stronger than ever."
And this from Emmett Fox: "Will power will never succeed in dealing with the deeply ingrained habits of sin."
It certainly will not help with the sin of gluttony. I know. I tried it, off and on, for 50 years.
We need power all right, but it will have to come from a Higher Source than ourselves. (See Philippians 4:13)
And don't start this program if you think you are hungry. We don't know what hunger is. If we were hungry we wouldn't be fat. We would be, as my grandpa used to say, "pore as a snake." If you want to see hunger, look to some of the Third World countries.
Enough already!
OK, I'm through preaching. I am ready to share with you, dear friends, an amazing weight loss plan that works. Here's the deal:
Double up on the exercise and cut in half the amount of food you eat.
And now, may I leave you with this thought: Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
Virgil Adams is a former owner-editor of The Jackson Herald.

Column
By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
July 18, 2001


Conventional Wisdom
I can't write humor, a fact which will be apparent by the end of this column.
The following work was submitted to Field & Stream for publication in 1995. It was returned with a rejection notice indicating it "doesn't meet with our present needs."
It was a polite to say "don't send us any more of this drivel."
As I read the piece Monday for the first time in six years, I laughed. Not because it was funny, but because it was just plain sad. Perhaps you'll share the sentiment.
*****
The philosopher Plato has been quoted as saying that politics makes for strange bedfellows. Or perhaps it was comedian and perennial Match Game guest Soupy Sales.
No matter. Events at the 1995 convention of Fly Fishing Advocates of Fairness in Angling (FFAFA) proved it's conventions that make for strange bedfellows.
After months of tedious preparation ­ finding someone to speak on the benefit of using gray-hackled flies on sunny days after the first full moon in May was a particularly daunting task ­ invitations were mailed and reservations made at the Motel 5-1/2 in Podunk, Nevada.
Meanwhile, the Friends of Feathered And Furry Animals (FFAFA) was also making convention reservations for the same week.
On the day the organizations were to arrive, motel manager Sal Bickerstaff came down with Rheumistacularosticosis (runny nose). Appointed to take over for Sal was Cyrus Sturdivant, Senior Administrative Assistant to the Sanitation Disposal Engineer.
As a boy, Cyrus had lost his left leg in a typing accident (another story for another time), and had since answered to "Skippy."
As conventioneers arrived, Cyrus gave each guest a copy of his club's agenda. Only he gave the wrong agendas to the wrong club members. The melee that ensued was quite hair-raising, to say the least.
It seems members of the FFAFA (animal rights) were offended upon hearing the speech on the quickest method of plucking the feathers of field hens for use in tying flies.
Meanwhile, members of the FFAFA (fly fishing) were not very receptive to the lecture on why bamboo should be protected from harvesting, as it is the only plant in which the upland red-throated blue-footed warbler can make its nest.
Of course, as with most conventions, those in attendance spent the final two days of the week playing poker and watching the Ecstasy Channel on cable television.
By the last day, the two club treasurers had all their respective members' money, and the only thing to do was to play against one another.
As the duo locked in five-card combat, other members of the two clubs forged friendships that lasted about half an hour, until the game got a bit hairy.
The FFAFA (animal rights) treasurer was down to his last dime, when the FFAFA (fly fishing) treasurer raised him a quarter. Left with no choice, the animal-rights man pulled a small case from his pocket. Inside was a tail feather from a South American rear-tufted ring-necked kingfisher, the most endangered bird in all the world.
"I call," said the animal-rights advocate. They would be the last two words from that day which may be read in print. The ruckus that followed after the fishing treasurer turned over three aces and two queens was quelled only when the local S.W.A.T. team arrived.
But for that half-hour, two groups with great differences of opinion were able to find common ground. Maybe there is hope for the human race after all.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald.

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