A skinny 2022?

Sherri Gardner HowellBlount, Farragut, Kitchen Table Talk

So how is that diet going?

Yeah, mine, too.

If I get ONE more email, flyer or letter about diet programs or fitness facilities, I’m calling the car warranty folks and giving them my direct line.

I know that the beginning of a new year is prime time for everyone to vow to lose weight and to exercise as part of a year of self-improvement. I struggle to lose weight, too, and I know that anything that gives you a little boost – like a fresh start and new page on a new year – can be helpful. Still, the endless ads and pitches just make me weary.

Maybe it’s helpful for some. At my age, I know how to lose weight. It’s not a matter of education; it’s a matter of commitment and willpower. Most of all, it’s a matter of starving the sweet tooth that I reactivated over the holidays. The cravings will go away if I stop feeding it.

My problem with desserts is that I like to linger. Dessert gives my friends or family and me an acceptable opportunity to just stay at the table a little longer. That’s really what I love most about mealtime, especially at restaurants. It’s not really the food for me. My palate is fairly simple and, in spite of the fact that my younger son is a fabulous chef, I am not a foodie.

The enjoyable part of meals is the camaraderie and conversation. Unless I find myself at a laid-back (and usually expensive) restaurant, the tendency is to eat and move along.

Sometimes we just ignore that tendency, especially if we have purposefully come to the restaurant after the busy hours. I have two friends – Michelle and Linda – who could probably tie for the “longest lunch with Sherri” title. If we need to catch up or get something we are working on done, we meet late and just stay.

And try to avoid eating dessert! I once told a server that my friend and I were going to keep the table a little longer, but we weren’t ordering dessert because we didn’t want the calories. “Refill our tea when you can, and I’ll add the price of the dessert to your tip.” She seemed fine with that!

My main problem with all the ads and emails about wonderful weight loss programs is that I’m a bit gullible. They all sound so believable, so miraculous and so free of the part I hate most about trying to lose weight: exercise. Getting me to the gym or in front of the television for an exercise program just doesn’t happen very often and certainly not consistent enough to make a difference.

Still, while I may have my moments of gullibility, I’m not dumb. I know that calories burned equals weight lost. It’s not always a linear process, but it always works in the long run.

If you still have your resolve to lose weight, and you don’t know how to do it, here’s my advice to you: Do an internet search on your phone and/or computer for “how can I lose weight?” There are hundreds – maybe thousands – of programs with “the” answer, and they are prepared to share. Afterward, they will keep your email box full of discounts and more promises.

Just don’t tell them you heard it here …

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons. Her newest adventure is as a travel agent with her own company, SGH Go Travel. Email her at [email protected]

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