Monday, January 18, 2010

18 JAN 10: Pound for Pound

"You must not eat a lot," a man said to me over the phone Sunday. He guessed this based on reading this blog - which tells me I haven't blogged nearly enough about my stops at doughnut shops.

To be honest, I probably belonged at the Columbus Civic Center Sunday for the launch of this year's "Trim Down Columbus" campaign. This year's goal is for the area to lose 10,000 pounds - and everyone who helps accomplish this will prove they're five tons lighter, by standing together on the Brown Avenue bridge.

The web site for Trim Down Columbus offered several incentives, to get people to start losing weight....

+ Six weeks at a gym for only five dollars. It's a bit like Golden Corral, only all-you-can-lift.

+ A session with a personal trainer. This part would be a little scary for me - because what if he works part-time at Fort Benning?

+ A T-shirt. The web site should specify if this is the "before" or "after" size.

If this weight loss program sounds familiar, it should. Gold's Gym has done this for several years. In fact, the Trim Down Columbus campaign had a 10,000 pound goal five years ago [11 Jan 05]. If the goal hasn't increased, maybe those reports about the obesity problem "leveling off" are right.

Statistics show there's plenty of reason to have a Trim Down Columbus campaign. The latest federal report shows almost 35 percent of Russell County's adults are obese, as are 30.5 percent of Muscogee County's adults [22 Nov 09]. Maybe that's why the drive started on a Sunday afternoon - to lure people away from those long brunch and buffet lines.

I also find it interesting that Trim Down Columbus always starts in January - this year pegged to a Cottonmouths hockey game. Gold's Gym never seems to start this when the Columbus Lions are playing indoor football. Weakling linemen could cost you wins.

But here's the strange thing: Trim Down Columbus held its kickoff event on a day when the Cottonmouths had a "Burger King Kids Night." I realize Burger King is offering more healthful menu options these days - but c'mon now. How many eight-year-olds actually are asking for salad and apple wedges, without any parental prompting?

And even though the Cottonmouths are promoting Trim Down Columbus on their web site, have you checked the team roster lately? It shows 11 members of the 19-player active roster weigh at least 200 pounds. While none of them apparently are obese for their height, at least one player is at the edge - and with a few more pounds, he might "lose an edge" and fall over his skates.

(Come to think of it, why don't hockey teams sign bulky football linemen to play goalie? Some of them look big enough to block the entire goal simply by resting on their sides.)

So with all that said, let's move on to other.... what?! What's that you're asking? Am I obese? Really now - some people complain when this blog gets too personal and self-centered....

Someone left a comment in one of our Big Blog Questions last year, claiming I weigh 250 pounds [12 Mar 09]. A check of my old bathroom scale showed me at 200. But another check late Sunday night put my weight at 207 -- four pounds over the "obesity line" for my height. Maybe it's time to try those "growth spurt" pills offered in spam e-mail.

This is what happens when I can't run regularly. The recent cold snap made it too chilly for me to run outside for 15 days. I finally returned to the Riverwalk Friday afternoon, and made it about 1.5 miles non-stop. So those nights shivering in bed apparently burned off a little fat.

And contrary to what the caller thinks, I tend to nibble often between meals. Take Sunday, when I downed a can of Lay's Stax potato chips and a small bag of chocolate-covered raisins. I should take this moment to thank Walgreens for the sale prices which made this possible....

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. Visit "On the Flop!" <--

E-MAIL UPDATE: A reader prompted us to make a courtesy call Sunday afternoon....

Richard, Do you have an update on Stephen King's condition?

"My feet are getting better," the man behind Sky-High Pyrotechnics told your blog. But two months after an assault in Richland, King says he faces two possible skin grafts today. He says the removal of MRSA infections left holes in his feet - and it's hard enough to walk on "hole-y ground" with no holes in your feet.

Doctors wanted Stephen King to undergo hyperbaric treatment for his feet - but he quickly discovered he was claustrophobic, and couldn't stand the chambers. Isn't this amazing? A man who sets off fireworks shows can't stand to be in confined spaces. Now he knows how some people feel about fireworks inside sports arenas.

Stephen King says an attack after the Richland Pig Fest also left him with a broken back. He can stand up for short periods now, but has to sleep in a lounge chair. But don't worry - King says he and his dog simply have exchanged sleeping spots.

Stephen King had much more to say, but I'm going to leave it at a medical update. Here's one more item from Sunday's InBox:


You're an asset to our community and our minds. You steadily keep both moving forward. Thank you for making Columbus Georgia your home and sharing your unique wit about events and such taking place here in Columbus.

Happy 10th and Many More.

Jeremy S Hobbs

After ten years of humor writing, here's hoping I'm still moving forward. But if I take enough steps backward, I might fit in better at Westville.

Thanks to all of you who write us - and there's a little more for us to write about the Sunday news:

+ WTVM "Sunday Sports Overtime" reported two Columbus residents were kicked off the Duke University football team. John Drew and Kyle Griswould face felony gun charges in North Carolina. Those young men should come home on weekends during the off-season - because I'm hearing there are lots of deer in the woods to shoot.

+ Kentucky clobbered Alabama in women's college basketball 88-63. I don't want to say this game was boring - but I hoped the SEC Network would show analyst Abby Waner a lot more than it did.

+ Instant Message to the Uptown Tap: Was that simply an "Internet legend" I read? Or are you really planning to stage "baby oil wrestling" tonight? And exactly what does that have to do with Martin Luther King Junior Day? Baby oil doesn't really cover someone's skin color....

TEN YEARS' LAUGHTER/18 JAN 00: Our town marked the Martin Luther King holiday with a big "Unity Service." But we're not sure we heard the preacher quite right. We THINK he said if our neighborhood has an alcohol problem, local churches need to host "A-A-A chapters."

(Of course, this might not be a bad idea. All those alcoholics might need designated drivers to get home from meetings! Wouldn't want them to "trip-tick" on the sidewalk!)

Parking was in short supply for the service, because of construction. We heard one nearby business owner offering to let people park in front of his place for a dollar-50. (True!) So much for "Free at last, free at last...."

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