Running. Like a Hippo.

drip gif

6 am. I’m off.  No slackin’ today.
32F. Feels like 27F according to Weather Channel.
Spring?  Laughable.

Snarky Man is on the move.
Black wind breaker. Blue sweat pants. Red shoes. Black Chargers Tuk.
(How do you spell C-L-A-S-H?)

Reach for draw string to synch up sweats. Only find one end. The other end is buried in hole about an inch back. Are you kidding me?  Paused for 1 second – – no chance I’m going back to change.  Veer way wide of the Man today. He going gangster.  Let his sweatpants hang off his a**.


It all started yesterday.  3 am.

Morning ritual of stepping on the scale.  Followed by Morning Delusion. LED flashing. Flashing. Flashing. (Think 10 pm on Christmas Eve as a Child .)

And then BAM.

Followed by SHOCK.

The scale reports a new 5-year high.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” — Augustine of Hippo

I don’t know who Mr. Augustine is.  But I’m looking like a Hippo. I have one daughter and not two.  And her name is Anger.

I get off the scale.  Inhale.  Exhale.

Technology!  Has to be that I jumped on the scale too quickly.  It didn’t find its equilibrium.  It needs to set itself.

I gently step back on. (Like, if I treat it more kindly, I might get a better outcome.)

Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing.


Enough.  We enter Day 1 of my new weight reduction program.

And as I reach Post Road on my run this morning, I recall my first day…

3:30am to 6:00am: Off to an outstanding start.  No food or water. I feel lighter already.  Wind at my back.

6:15am to 6:45am: Driving to work.  Gnawing on a Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Almond Granola Bar.  160 calories.  I’m counting calories now. Incredible transformation and discipline.  I chew and savor each bite.  Thinking of post on Thich Nhat Hanh – Peace is every step.  And every bite.  This is good. I’m SO good.

6:45am to 11:30am: Another wondrous streak.  I replace my 16 oz Diet Snapples (usually 2 bottles) with 2 bottles of Poland Spring water.  Figure if I can knock the salt out of the system, we’ll accelerate the outcome.  Few extra trips to the potty are annoying but it’s all for a great cause, right?  I’m doing GREAT!

11:30am to 11:55am: Lunch.  Couldn’t wait any longer. Body is craving nourishment.  Man has to eat.  Buffet line-up.  Garden salad.  Mixed vegetables.  Spaghetti Bolognese.  Spaghetti Bolognese.  Spaghetti Bolognese.  Steam rising from the meat sauce. Like a heat seeking missile, my eyes lock in on the pasta.  I’m woozy.  Tatu on Fantasy Island. I skip all the greens.  And dive into the Bolognese.  And, one serving can’t hurt – what is it 400-500 calories?  My colleague is talking and grazing.  I’m vacuuming.  He’s talking.  I’m in the direct sight line of the Bolognese.   He’s talking.  I’m lingering in and out of the conversation. I glance at my plate. It’s clean.  Zeke couldn’t have licked it cleaner. He’s talking.  I excuse myself, trip over the leg of the chair and catch myself.  I fill my plate with another heaping serving.  I apologize and ask him to continue.  He’s talking.  He’s still on his first plate of food, and I’ve cleaned up my second.  He’s talking.  Pauses and says you hungry?  I snarl.  He’s finished.  He asks if I want to grab some dessert.  Oh, God.  3 chocolate chip cookies later we’re out the door.  25 minutes: 1300 calorie intake.  I waddle up to my office.  Feel belly hanging over belt.  Disgusted.  You are not doing great.

Noon to 4:00pm: Feeling sluggish.  Trying to re-group.  One meeting and conference call after another.  3 am wake-up is catching up now.  Feeling weary.  Feeling large.  Belt feels tight.  Shirt collar pressing against my Adam’s Apple.  (8 years old.  Prayer Service.  Yanking on my turtle neck.  I’m suffocating.  When is this going to end?)

4:05 pm to 4:10pm: Need pick-me-up.  I don’t drink coffee. But that doesn’t stop me.  I grab a cappuccino (because it’s cool and I like to say cap·puc·ci·no). I lace it with three packets of brown granulated sugar.  Slam it back. Feel the high and get back at it.  Check calorie count: ~ 150.

7:00 pm to 7:20 pm: Quesadilla.  Snapple. Ice Cream Bar(s). Almonds. Fruit with Carmel Sauce.  Let call it a round 1000 calories (in 20 minutes).

8:30 pm to 8:37 pm: 1 pound (cheap) Chocolate Easter Bunny.  Bunny is in my left hand – – pressed firmly on bread board to stop his wiggling – – and wielding a 12-inch bread knife machete in my right.  I sever his ear.  Bunny emits a silent scream.  Then I go after his other ear.  Then his head.  Then his neck.  Steven King movie.  The Easter Bunny was finally granted clemency.  I see my reflection in the microwave as I’m chomping on Bunny’s body part.  Wow.  This locomotive has completely de-railed.  Calorie Count: Let’s call it 250.

I reach a crossroad on my run.

Left is my 5-mile route.

Right is more.  Much more.

But, I’m spent.  Body is leaning left.  Mind is leaning left.

NO! PENANCE.  3000 calories.  How’s this diet-thing working out for ya?

Right it is.

Fat man limps to the front door.

Groins are throbbing.

EXHAUSTED.  Maybe next time you’ll think twice about eating Bunny.

Time Check: 8.02 miles @ 1 hour 17 minutes.

Nap Time.

Related Posts: The Running Series.

Credits: Thank you Mme Scherzo for image.


  1. Oh dear David, you truly have a way with words. I laughed til I cried reading this–don’t know what was funnier, the “Bolognese Massacre” or the sacrifice of the chocolate bunny on the altar of ill-considered snacks. Three words for ya, buddy: “Eat to Live,” by Joel Fuhrman, MD. Check it out… 🙂


  2. I less plate of pasta and all would have been fine. Next time-:) you know weight is only important because it directly affects the length of life as human on earth. Want to live long – must eat well. Xo Sheri


  3. Great blog, David! Been there, done that! Carry on!


  4. HahahahahaHAHA!!!! OMG, David, another hilarious post. I was already crying with laughter tears after reading “Are you kidding me?” I almost couldn’t make it through the whole thing…but I did. So funny! Hahahahaha!!!


  5. When I grow up, I want to be able to write like you…I already know how to self-flagellate like a pro, but to do so with your talent – that would be something to celebrate. So go ahead – have a little bolognese and a lot of water. You’re going to be more than just svelte (though my hunch is you’ll criticize yourself about that too..;-))..


  6. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Laughing hysterically! (and surely the physical act of laughing is burning off the square of 73% dark chocolate laced with cranberries – straight from France – that I just consumed).

    Laughed about the scale. I know that game well. Gently. Gently. Treat it well and hope …


  7. That was so funny! I could identify with the gradual change as the day went on – starting out trying to be so good and getting more and more into “pigout mode.” Good to know I’m not alone.We keep trying!


  8. Amazing how the small act of stepping on a scale can make or break our day! Had my own epiphany about a month ago. Now hit the gym at least 5x a week – 35 minutes doing hills on the treadmill. 15 minutes cycling at about 100 rpm. Lost about 6 lbs. Check out Prevention magazines workout:

    For tunes, look into Songza and Fit Radio – have targeted workout music with particular driving beats.


  9. Laughing….ya know its much easier if you just eat right 🙂


  10. First, throw out that damn scale. It’s not cooperating. I like to use the amount of struggle it takes to button my jeans to determine my increasing girth or lack there of. And if they are really tight, this restricts my ability to eat too much. Because I can’t breathe.


  11. I’ll help you feel slimmer and happier about your cuddliness. My hubbie’s belly at the moment is equivalent to mine when I was 8 months’ pregnant. He’s my Winnie-the-Pooh and my hot water bottle rolled into one. If he was as skinny as me, it wouldn’t work. We’d be like two sticks together. I catch himself admiring his belly in the mirror — he’s so proud of it! And I wouldn’t dare give him a smaller size of cake than me, or he’d manage a lean and hungry look in his eyes, that didn’t match his belly. He hates vigorous exercise such as running, but will work on the allotment or garden with enough energy for ten men.

    And yes, I agree, your post was very funny 🙂


  12. Stairs are good. 🙂 And squeezing those muscles when you walk. Bonne Continuation, the comic writing and the goal.


  13. Oh my God. I laughed several times out loud. Spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti bolognese.;) I feel your pain. I’ve been eating cake and snack mix like they’ll stop making them tomorrow. My run today was rough. I think spring weather will perk us up and get us eating lighter. Salads will be appealing again. I hope.


    • Laughing. Cake. I can eat Cake. Lots of it. Especially with cream cheese frosting.

      I rolled out of bed this morning, everything hurt. I’m with you as to it being tough. As to salads being appealing, that reminds me of the quote: “Hope is not a strategy.”


  14. Michael Zahaby says:

    Stiff upper lip. I’m on a diet too. Just got back from Geneva after 10 days of chocolate, brioches, croissants, bavaroises, eclaire, mille fueille. My wastepants are so tight. I must have climbed to 36 in just a week. Bon courage mon ami


  15. Oh, David, welcome to the club. Now you know, and knowledge is power.


  16. I googled Augustine of Hippo and he does exist! Please keep at it, David, the running, the quest to maintain a healthy weight and, most important of all, your wonderful writing. Brilliant!


  17. Loved it.


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