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     I chucked it all. The scale, the food, the diets. Especially the scale. I had a PLAN. No more weighing in every morning.  Nope – not ’til my clothes started falling off. No more food. I’d live on liquids. They don’t weigh as much. And exercise. Thirty minutes a day.

     That was my PLAN. Lucky you – you were going to be the first ones to learn about the PLAN. Lucky me – I was going to make millions.

     Too bad. The PLAN didn’t work. Well, it worked at first and those first days were quite a high. I wasn’t even hungry. I could hardly believe it. By the end of the third week I understood. I was living off all that body fat.

     The fact that I had a broad definition of liquids might have helped, too. Water, coffee, tea and fruit juice, yes. And soup, sodas and milkshakes of course. You need soups for nourishment and you gotta have sodas and milkshakes for good temperament, right?

     The exercise part – that was the darned hardest part. You can pass on the ice cream and have a cold soda. You can tiptoe past the scale without weighing in. But getting up off the couch to put on your walking shoes and go outside and walk for thirty minutes while everyone else is enjoying a good movie or reading Harry Potter’s latest adventures – that’s not easy.

     But I did it most evenings and sometimes during my lunch hour. I kept to the liquids without cheating too often and my clothes got loose and darn! I was in pretty good shape. Getting there, anyway…

     Then I stepped on the scale. Wow! I was halfway there. Ten pounds off - ten to go.

     I wasn’t s’posed to do that. The PLAN said STAY AWAY FROM SCALES. Scales trick you. They confuse you. They undermine your solid determination to lose pounds.

     That’s ’cause they’re so dang inconsistent. How can you weigh more the morning after you kill yourself walking at a brisk pace for thirty-five minutes than you do the morning after you don’t walk at all? How can you lose two pounds the morning after you ate a hearty dinner of prime rib, potatoes and lima beans?

     If I’d stayed away from that scale, I would’ve been fine. Soon as that scale told me I was halfway there, I decided to transition to a plan I could live with three hundred sixty-five days a year – well, maybe three hundred. You gotta allow for holidays and weak self-control days.

     So I began to eat some food now and then. And some evenings I just sat on the couch with everybody else. Ah! This was the life! Yes, I could handle this.

     It was going so well I got back on the scale.

     Darn scale. It wasn’t going well at all. I still had those same ten pounds to go – plus five more. I kind’a knew. Those clothes that were slipping off weren’t slipping off any more and me and the couch were becoming fast friends.

     So the scale is gone. Forever. And I have a new plan – my DUMP THE POUNDS PLAN. Liquids only? Don’t think so. Too close to the holidays. Food? Yes, but I’ll be careful – eat the right things ’n all that. Walking? Yep! At least thirty minutes a day. Every day. For years and years and years and years… 

     I thought a lot about this as I was throwing out the scale and I finally figured out a way to get me to do all that walking. Food. It’s gotta be food.

     So that’s the deal. My new DUMP THE POUNDS PLAN: No walk today – no food tomorrow. Think it’ll work?

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