No pain, no gain

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hardee’s makes something sinfully delicious called the Monster Burger. It’s essentially 2/3 of a pound of beef with bacon, onions, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and blah, blah, blah.

Now, register two of those in your mental calorie scorekeeper. Then add an order of homestyle french fries, a large order of peach cobbler and a two-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper. All told, I’d guess that’s roughly two and a half pounds of food.

Does that sound like the punishment for a chronic overeater in the third circle of hell? Wrong. It’s the last meal I had the night before my life changed.

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That’s what I had before the day I was carted by three paramedics to a hospital and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The doctors told me I should have died, but I’m too stubborn for something like that.

Needless to say, upon my release from the hospital more than a year ago, my doctors and dieticians agreed I could use some exercise and a change of diet. Apparently, one is not supposed to consume 7,500 calories a day — rather a mere 2,000. My objection to this new diet is still on appeal, but I seem to keep losing the argument nonetheless.

So I thought I’d take up running on the beach — obviously because I had just watched Rocky III and couldn’t get the scene with Rocky and Apollo Creed racing on the beach out of my mind. I thought to myself, that’s a cool way to work out.

Let’s just say that movies can inspire you, but they can’t give you the full effect. For instance, beaches may be picturesque and cool to run on, but a lot of fish have died out there, and the wicked sands develop a stench that even Rocky couldn’t overcome.

After a run on the beach, the only reason I throw my hands above my waist is to cover my nose while muttering, “What stinks out here?”

Now, my friends and I have taken up racquetball to get exercise. Long story short on this sport is that it’s two or more guys in a small room with a little, pebble-like ball that could, if properly received by a player, render him bruised, brain-damaged or even permanently out of the procreation field.

I guess this is supposed to be good for me, or something. So every night that I come home bruised and sweaty, I can only hope the old adage is true: No pain, no gain.

I’m still waiting for the gain, but I have plenty of pain to show for my efforts to get healthy.