"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein.
Okay, maybe Einstein isn't the source of this quotation. P'raps it was Confucius. Or someone in the Bible. Wise old King Solomon might have spit it out. Anyway, somebody smart or somebody with a good dose of Commonsense for sure.
For 40 years - give or take a January - I've begun an endeavor that, according to the definition above, proves I'm a raving lunatic.
"Harry, my level-headed Honey," says Dearest Duck, "you are no worse than hundreds of others who resolve to change their ways at the beginning of each New Year."
"Kind of you to say, my Duck," say I. "Nevertheless, I feel I break easier, or earlier, than all the others."
"What odds," says Dearest Duck, patting my ... well, let's say, evidence of indulgence.
B'ys, time this you've figured out I'm talking about New Year's dieting, eh?
Every January, along with an incalculable number others, I begin a weight loss/tone up regime that will have me lean and limber come the 24th of May. Of course, before the end of the month I'm always headfirst in the cookie jar.
Since I've added a seventh decade to my four score and ten tally, I swore 2018 would see me break the insanity cycle.
"By Ginger," - or words to that effect - I said, "this year I'll find and redefine the six-pack abs I lost before Father Time clipped my curly locks."
"Harry, I love you as you are," said Dearest Duck, patting my ... never mind.
Immediately after Christmas, me and Dearest Duck made our annual trip to The Capitol to return the Christmas sweaters whose yardage - in my case - failed to stretch sufficiently to cover all my belly flesh.
Sweaters returned, I visited Walmart to buy a brand-new bathroom scale.
Our old one isn't accurate," I told Dearest Duck when she spocked an eyebrow.
You wish," said she.
I selected a scale constructed of transparent plastic and aluminum featuring a built-in computer chip designed to accurately measure and record every ounce I lost. Weight Watchers recommended it, sure.
To encourage me, I s'pose, Dearest Duck held the scale on her lap all the way home.
After a traditional New Year's BBQ, I downloaded several inspirational diet plan/weight loss/fitness apps into my iPhone. One told me what to eat - nuts and assorted green flora. One - if I strapped my iPhone to my chest with a bungee cord while exercising - monitored my heart. It promised to beep if I neared exhaustion. One displayed colourful charts, allowing me to record my daily stats.
I spent a whole day learning the apps' functions.
"You're dragging your feet," said Dearest Duck. She wasn't referring to my pace on the treadmill.
Speaking of which...
I spent half of a second day excavating my treadmill from the rubble in the basement. I scoated it to a suitable space, dusted it off and plugged it in.
It groaned as I had done years earlier when I'd used it for a week.
I twiddled dials and altered settings and eventually the track commenced running with barely a clatter.
I was all set. My diet/fitness regimen was good to go.
I swore to start the following morning.
And I did - right after a breakfast of a handful of grains and seeds fit to feed flocks of famished birds.
"Harry, my love," said Dearest Duck, admiring [?] me all rigged out and standing on the treadmill in unsullied Skechers. She plucked at the bungee cord binding my iPhone to my breastbone. She reached for and held the hand hovering above the treadmill's control panel.
"My love," Dearest Duck repeated, releasing my hand.
I slapped the Go button.
The treadmill commenced to whine like a jet plane revving for take-off and its track rolled backwards beneath my sneakers.
Five minutes hadn't passed before the heart monitor app wailed like the proverbial banshee.
"You'll do better tomorrow," said Dearest Duck, catching me when the treadmill ejected me.
It took a week before the heart monitor app stopped screeching near the five-minute mark.
Now, at the end of January, the beep waits six or seven minutes before it sounds.
And - guess what? - the Walmart scale doesn't work properly. I fear its weight subtraction sensor has malfunctioned. It has only subtracted 2lb from the initial tonnage entered.
The cookie jar beckons, offering chocolate comfort.
For frig sake! Insanity!
Harold Walters lives Happily Ever After in Dunville, in the only Canadian province with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.