We have decided that we need to lose some weight, and when I say we I of course mean my wife. I get dragged along with the same enthusiasm the Japanese-Americans had when they jumped on the trains to go to the internment camps during World War Two. I think my wife looks fine, and I checked on-line, and I am at the exact weight I should be for a guy my height and age who eats everything he wants. I’m happy with my weight, but I’ll go along to humor her, and because I really don’t have a choice.

I’ve often said that losing weight is ninety per cent mental. You have to adjust your mind and fool your brain into believing you’re not dieting. It makes the whole thing less of a struggle. And it’s not that hard, because in my case anyway, the brain ain’t all that bright. I’ll share a few diet tips I’ve learned over the years to make that dummy brain believe you aren’t dieting.

The biggest problem with diet food is it is not aesthetically appealing. Take celery for instance. Celery is so low in calories that you burn more calories eating and digesting it than it contains. It’s a minus calorie food! But your brain takes one look at it and says, “Hey, wait a minute. This is diet food!” It knows that because celery doesn’t even look like food. It looks like some kind of tiny flume you would send tiny logs down to get them to a tiny sawmill. And the color is disgusting. It is a sickly pale green color like something that comes out of your nose when you have a bad cold. To remedy that and give it more eye appeal, I fill the concave part of a stalk of celery with bright orange Cheez Whiz. The look is far more appealing, and my brain hardly realizes its eating diet food. Just that simple change in color allows me to easily scarf down ten or twelve stalks without my brain complaining. The weight should be falling off me.
Dessert is another problem when you’re dieting. Everyone likes that little sweet at the end of a meal to finish it off and cleanse the palate. The problem is, most desserts have calorie counts that are higher than the audience at a Willie Nelson concert in Colorado. You could eat a piece of fruit—okay I’m joking. Nobody eats fruit for dessert—or you could eat one of those commercial low-calorie desserts. My wife bought some high-fiber, low-calorie bars. I have to admit that even right out of the box, they are tastier than the box. But I have found a little trick that improves the flavor  tremendously. Take one and put it in the microwave for just ten to fifteen seconds. It will come out warm, soft, toasty and sweet smelling. Toss on a couple scoops of ice cream and some chocolate sauce, and your brain will think it’s some high-calorie, decadent dessert with far more calories than the measly ninety it says on the front of the box. Stupid brain.
There are other little tricks, such as pounding a steak down and stretching it out with a mallet. Your brain will think it’s a huge twenty-ounce sirloin instead of the skimpy sixteen ounce one you’re actually eating. Remember, it’s all about convincing your brain that you’re not on a diet. I’m thinking about doing a book with all these little diet tips, but first I need to run up town and get a new belt. My wife must have washed this one because it seems to be shrinking.



About thewritingdeputy

Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for 26 years until he retired in 2013. He has published three novels: In The Sticks, Graves of His Personal Liking and County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald. He tries to keep his blog light and humorous and sometimes downright silly.
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