Alrighty, folks – we’re officially in panic mode!

And boy, am I tired. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t even be taking the break to write the here column, but the way I see it, there’s only so much time that a guy can spend on an elliptical before his legs have officially turned to pudding, after which his ability to burn calories via exercise is greatly diminished because scientists have proven that one needs to be able to physically move for exercise to really be effective. My current goal is just enough to bring my legs to that pudding status, but not so much that it drives me into the kitchen in search of pudding because that actually does sound quite delicious right now. But alas, my current diet limits me from anything that sounds delicious, yummy, scrumptious, or even late at night, just plain mediocre. Have I mentioned lately that I hate my diet?

Of course, all of this was prompted by the fact that I’ll be getting married now in roughly a little under four weeks, which I suppose is as good of a reason to lose a few pounds as any because I can definitely see the potential otherwise for a slightly awkward conversation long after the actual party has passed and we’re taking a look at the photos from our wedding photographer for the first time…

“What’s that? My bulbous ass is blocking the view of my lovely bride in nearly every shot?! Well, that’s understandable with the way they had us standing at the altar, what about later when we were dancing? You can almost see a little glimpse of her white dress there around me… How about during the cake cutting ceremony? Oh dear – we certainly won’t be sharing that photo with anybody else…”

That would be bad! And the problem is, frankly, that I’ve kind of let myself go lately, and by that I mean that I’ve consistently let myself go down to the local Chinese place for lunch instead of making something in my own kitchen that isn’t packed with approximately 350,000g of sodium and enough calories in each sweet, delectable bite of that delicious sesame chicken of theirs to warrant building a memorial to each customer’s health right there on the spot next to the complimentary duck sauce. Coupled with whatever amount of effort it takes to physically walk out to my car, into the Chinese place, and then back to the office as my official exercise regiment, I suppose it’s not too difficult to see just how I got myself in this sort of gargantuan predicament.

But I’ve tried the whole diet and exercise manifesto before – you’ve certainly read about those little bits of misery now and then scattered throughout my years like chocolate chips in a moist and chewy cookie fresh from the oven, just like Mom used to make. Eventually you get to the point where you start to wonder if you’re better off just being the fat guy instead of going through all of this thankless sweat and toil. I mean, hey – what doesn’t sound great about no more forcing yourself to go to the gym after a long day workin’ for the man, or forcing yourself to believe that the 6” subs at Subway are just as filling for lunch as their foot-long counterparts, or even not ordering dessert after dinner because the restaurant’s Super Chocolate Death Chocolate Cake Deluxe actually has more calories than the entire meal that you just ate?! Of course, on the other chubby hand of yours, there’s nothing like being told that you exceed the maximum weight limit for your favorite theme park rides, and those pesky little things called stairs are certainly going to be a bitch, and there’s just something a bit demoralizing about only being able to special order your clothes from Olaf the Tent Maker that really takes a toll on one’s self-esteem after a while…

Do you really want to be the guy who wears a t-shirt that can also sleep a family of six???

I, for one, certainly don’t, and so it seemed only fitting that I attempt to finally rid myself of this excess lard in time for my big day, but so far it saddens me to report that my attempts have been almost entirely futile. And at this point, I’ve tried a lot of different alternatives…

Recently I tried Slim-Fast, which boasts right there on the can that it “controls hunger for up to 4 HOURS.” It controls your hunger, alright, but not in the way that you’d either expect or welcome back on a regular basis. After drinking a couple of swigs myself, I figured that I could probably concoct the stuff just as easily in my own kitchen by cracking a couple of raw eggs into a glass of chocolate milk, and then just dumping the whole thing down the drain after a few whiffs of it removes my desire to consume just about anything for the next few hours!

I’ve tried all of those different kinds of healthy, 90-second meals like Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones and Healthy Choice, which again seem to follow the Slim-Fast diet method of make it taste like burnt plastic and they’ll settle for a very small portion of this crap. And that concept might actually work if I was trapped on a deserted island with nothing to eat but one lone Lean Cuisine at a time, but when there’s a full cupboard of supplemental snacks right around the corner, suddenly burnt plastic is just a speed bump on my way to real food.

I’ve even tried counting calories for every single solitary thing that I ingest, which seems to work for about three days until I find myself unable to figure out just how many calories are in that low-carb, whole-grain turkey wrap that I picked up for lunch. Sure, it works for a while, but let me tell you that there’s just something demoralizing about counting out exactly 13 potato chips onto a plate as a single serving that impedes by ability to be able to tolerate that dieting lifestyle for long!

Of course, when each of these individual efforts has failed me, I tend to revert over to my fall-back diet plan, which currently consists of saying, “Man, I’ve really got to start focusing on this diet…” and eating a salad for dinner that night, then repeating this process about every 2-3 weeks while eating whatever I want and watching loads of TV in between. The time for procrastination and shuffling of feet is over … the way I see it, I’ve got approximately two options left:

Scott’s Last-Ditch Attempt to Losing 21 Pounds in Four Easy Weeks:
1. Stop eating.
2. Choose least favorite limb, just in case step 1 doesn’t produce adequate results.

Boy, is it going to be interesting trying to figure out how to carry my bride over the threshold with only one arm…