No. You Really Can’t.


I was having dinner with heavenly Nancy and Ed tonight. We were talking about health and fitness (because I monkishly ordered the steamed vegetables with my omelet but was then filching potato chips off their plates) and Ed – who has one of the biggest brains on the planet – was marveling at my list of trainers. He applauded my effort, and opined in passing “I guess with real determination, we could all get healthy on our own, but…”

I was nodding along (that’s what you do when you’re with Ed and Nancy; they rarely speak anything other than sterling truth or impressive charm), but that stopped me.

I thought of the years – YEARS – I’d spent applying “real determination” to the challenge of my ever-expanding posterior. I thought of the 436 days I spent exercising a minimum of one hour a day in a row. (On the 437th day I forgot – and then I stopped for three years.) I thought of diets and written charts for how little I was going to weigh by which day and overwhelming feelings of remorse and shame.

I remember thinking – I’ve been able to do just about anything I set my mind to so far. I drove in Ireland, for God’s sake. Why can’t I do this?

I HAVE real determination. What I didn’t have was Barbara. And Grace. And Chip. And Gwynn. And Chad. (All at Body Dynamics in Falls Church, VA.) It took two – no, three trainers, a nutritionist, and a massage therapist working together to finally equip my body with the skills and knowledge needed to at last begin to carve away some of the styrofoam padding from around the sleek, porcelain body I think is down there.

So I went against type and disagreed with Ed. “No,” I said firmly, “You really can’t do it with just determination. I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. I needed help. And I’m not giving these people up!”

When I win the mega-millions lottery, I’m going to hire all five of them away from Body Dynamics. I’ll pay them an obscene amount of money and build them each a house (to their specifications) on my enormous compound and they can live there with their families. I’ll get each of them for an hour a day – five hours spent doing good for my body.

Dang. I gotta go buy a lottery ticket!


Peas with melting butter in a silver bowl because I forgot to take a snap of blissful Nancy and Ed.

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