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Daze Of My Life/Do I Weight or Not

by Kenneth B. Lourie

Is it time to make a change? As I approach fif-fif-fifty, I wonder, is it better to be late to the party or not to attend? And what exactly am I missing, anyway? Should I start smoking cigarettes? Should I start drinking beer? First on the weekends, then gradually throughout the week? Should I buy a Starbucks credit card/gift certificate and learn to love lattes? Should I finally fruit and vegetabilize my diet (up to nine servings a day for a man, I hear) and veganize my main course, too? Or, should I not accept reality and not donate all my old clothing, especially my pants- waist size 38, and shirts- size large because thereís a snowballís chance in hell, somewhere there is something with my name and premarital height and weight still printed on it that might yet see the light of day?
And if thatís likely, do I then swear off ice cream and all things chocolate and instead choose rice cakes and tofu? Do I embrace grains, greens and beans (legumes in general) and/or low-carb my diet and prepare to live a long and healthy life? Do I then meat the Atkins diet with mouth agape and knife and fork at the ready? Or should I fish for a more balanced approach and consume moderate amounts of a wide variety of all food caught, shot, produced, harvested and then packaged and shipped to my local supermarket, where shelf space and shelf life determine its availability?
How about a more educated strategy? Could I possibly spend more than two seconds a day going online and reading about the health and fitness of the American stomach, specifically as it relates to the low-fat, high-quality diet the experts say that it needs to be? Or do I spend that curiosity quotient reading labels instead, identifying transfats, adding carbohydrates, figuring fiber, sizing up sodium and then counting calories and cholesterol, too? Or do I bypass all of this healthy, wealthy, and wise information and simply rely on the genetic code as provided by my parents?
They are cancer-free, heart attack, and heart disease-free into their 80s.
As such, am I merely the product of good genes, and thus do I need not concern myself too much, as to whether Iíll be old and gray before my time? Or shall I take advantage of my inherited good fortune, as it were, and not abuse the privilege of God-given gifts and act like I have an interest in seeing life through to the end? After all, who am I to deny certain truths (and inalienable rights) that appear to be self-evident, certainly to those less genetically predisposed than I?
Itís not as if I did anything to deserve the benefits that I realize I enjoy.
And through no real effort of mine, I have experienced excellent health as well. However, nothing lasts forever.
Iím well aware that the clock is ticking (metaphorically speaking, since all the clocks in my house are digital), and I will definitely be older on my next birthday than I was on my last. Still, the question remains- will I be wiser or wider? I know it ainít over Ďtil the fat lady sings but, my worry is what if the fat lady goes on a diet and loses her voice, too? Whoíll cue me that the party is officially over? I realize all good things come to an end, but is that the end in sight or is that the beginning of the end? And if it is the beginning, is there still hope? Or am I just deluding myself, as I have for most of this column? Time will tell.

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