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
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.
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
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.
The Jackson Herald
July 18, 2001
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
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
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.
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.
Jackson County Opinion Index