Regular readers of this column will recall that I recently put out an open invitation for a few stout-hearted friends to join me in my next weight-loss competition. (Okay, not necessarily stout-hearted… just stout!)
You may remember that I had come to the realization during my recent class reunion – at which several of my classmates observed me on the dance floor and later asked me how I did “that jiggle move” –that I’ve let my stylish-figure slip a little, resulting in a body-fat-ratio that medical doctors refer to as being a “hippo-pig-whale”.
So the call went out for a competition. Eating a proper diet is not my strong suit – I like taters, and lots of ‘em, the greasier the better -- and the thought of exercise is so objectionable to me that I can’t even watch it on those early morning cable TV infomercials. But competition… that’s another story.
As a full-fledged red-blooded American, I thrive on competition. It’s what we do in the USA. You know, like when our hockey team beat the Ruskies in the Olympics a decade or two ago. Or NASCAR, when Little-E is battling the Evil Jeff Gordon. Or the WWF when… well, not so much the WWF, I guess.
As for me, competition is in my blood. In grammar school, when the other kids were dreading a pop quiz, I saw it as a challenge: a competition with the teacher. Granted, the teacher usually won, but it was good sport, nonetheless. (And don’t even get me started if there was a spelling bee.)
I have learned over the years that the ONLY way I can lose weight is to make a competition out of it. For me, that’s all it takes. If I can find just a few people to give me a challenge, I’m golden.
So the challenge went out a few weeks ago, and sixteen very naïve, even gullible, amateur contestants from round the Midlands answered my call. Very foolishly, I might add. As if there is even the slightest possibility that any of them – other than Yours Truly – might have a chance.
The whole gang met last Tuesday at the Sunset Restaurant in West Columbia for our last meal before heading down the street to C.C. Vaughn Scales for the official beginning weigh-in. (You can actually see video of that now famous Buffet of the Big Bellies on the Internet by checking out YouTube, or visiting my blog at: www.doingthefirst.blogspot.com )
Each of the Super-Sized Seventeen put $100 into a pot, which will be split by the two winners, to be determined by the “Most Pounds Lost” and the “Largest Percentage of Weight Lost” during the three month (13 week) contest period. In reality, of course, there will only be one winner – Yours Truly – who will prevail in BOTH categories, and walk away with ALL the loot. (And when I say “walk away”, I really mean “half-trot/half-jog”, which is what people do when they lose as much weight as I’m going to lose.)
Now, I know there are those who say all my bluster is merely false bravado: an effort to psyche out the other competitors. But I ask you, would I do that? Would I? (In my years of competition, I have developed a motto: “If I can’t win fair and square, I don’t want to win fair and square.”)
Not that it matters, but there are sixteen other people in the competition with me, who, for the sake of clarity, we shall refer to as “Runner-ups”. They are: Senator Jake Knotts, Stan "The Man" Bowen, Ricky Wingard, R.J. Shealy (that’s Junior), former Secretary of State Jim Miles, Gerald Head, Irmo Town Councilman Barry "Fatback" Walker, ETV’s Andy Gobeil, Scott Malyerck, Terry Campbell, Brian Jeffcoat, Douglas Adam, A. L. Wingard, Kirk Luther, Lexington Town Councilman Danny Frazier, and Tim Kelly… along with Yours Truly, your publisher.
We’ll talk more about this interesting collection of Out-of-Shape Individuals, and keep you posted with the progress of our little competition (or lack thereof), during the weeks and months ahead.
In the meantime, I thought I’d generate a bit of competition among our readers to get in the spirit. I’ve listed the 17 contestants above, and we’ll publish our individual beginning weights in a few weeks. But first, I want to see who can come the closest to correctly guessing our total beginning weight. (The closest guess will receive a $25 gift certificate.) Send your best guess to me by email, at RodShealy@aol.com, along with any disparaging remarks you wish to make about the group as a whole.
In the meantime, if you run into any of the other contestants (runners-up), tell them Rod said “thanks” for the swell money they’re going to give him.
Like taking candy from a baby.