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No cease fire in the battle of the bulge

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Guest columnist - Nancy Gaston

Everyone knows that eating three to five servings of vegetables each day is necessary for good health. Howver, what if you’re like me and hate most of the vegetable kingdom? Would it be acceptable to count hash browns and French-fried potatoes as part of that daily vegetable requirement? On the other hand, is it necessary to adorn my cheese-crust-filled frozen pizza with thin slices of carrots and celery?
Oh sure, I’ve been down this road before. A woman doesn’t reach my age and super-plus size dress without more than one failed attempt at changing her life through better eating habits and food choices. Through the years I have become the Mecca of self-improvement, cook books and diet plans — a one-woman pioneer of cutting-edge books on weight loss, eat-right for my body type, and thinking thin to lose weight — that promised to end my body fat forever and transform my life. The problem is that my body was designed to gain weight and keep it on at all costs.
In addition to not being able to reach my desired weight loss and obtain a younger looking, more attractive, slender and healthier body, I also managed to fall prey to every scheme and diet product money could buy. I paid for expensive spa memberships and ordered cumbersome exercise equipment that remained permanently in place in the corner of my living room. The reality was, after I struggled through the warm-up exercises, I found myself out of breath, overheated, and too exhausted for my 15-minute workout on the treadmill.
It soon became painfully clear that despite every diet pill and powder; calorie-, fat- or carb-counting diet; and exercise plan I tried to become a lean, mean muscle machine, they only resulted in increasing my belly-fat, throwing me into a crushing depression, and raising my blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerdies.
The more I think about it, the more I think my husband is right. Actually, the idea of joining an exercise group never entered my mind until he came into the kitchen late one night to find me sitting on two kitchen chairs in front of the refrigerator making a midnight snack.
When you’re new to a gym room, the first thing you notice is that everyone else has a certain place they like to workout, and they will defend their space to the death.
While I was looking around for a place to call my own and lay down my floor mat, I overheard an older man talking to his friend. “What machine in here should I use to impress that sweet young thing wearing the pink leotards?” He asked, pointing to the young lady in the front row.
The friend took a moment to answer while he silently look the old man up and down. “In your case,” he finally replied with deep assertion, “I would suggest the ATM in the lobby.”