Hubby recently turned fifty-five, that middle-age milestone when you realize that no matter what else happens decaf is here to stay. You also become aware that for the first time in your life, your thirty-something coworkers are calling you “Gramps.”
A sure sign that hubby was beginning his inevitable journey through the Golden Years began five years earlier when he received his first issue of “Retirement Today” magazine, featuring such riveting articles as “When Tennis Elbow Kills.” In addition to this informative periodical, hubby now enjoys the added benefits of senior discounts at movie theatres, department stores and Bubba’s Bistro.
Reflecting on this sad state of affairs, he made the life-altering decision to get a complete physical to assess the damage caused by decades of armchair football. The diagnosis wasn’t surprising. Hubby is fifty pounds overweight, his cholesterol is off the charts and his blood pressure exceeds that of an espresso-addicted monkey. Consequently, the kitchen counter has become a pharmacy with bottles of pills for his various ailments, which include the aforementioned maladies, along with acid reflux, back pain and shin splints.
Following doctor’s orders, hubby undertook a mission to lose weight and get more exercise. Over the years he had tried every diet known to man: Northwest Beach, the Twilight Zone, Cupcake Busters. His favorite was the Gazpacho Jack Daniels Diet; every meal included a bowl of tomato soup with a whiskey chaser.
Despite his failure in the past to lose weight, he was enthusiastic about changing his lifestyle and determined to slim down. His excitement was inspiring. Just the other day at the grocery store I was delighted to see him rounding the corner with a bag of fat-free potato chips and a six-pack of diet root beer.
Hubby had better luck with his exercise regimen, which meant a work out at the gym three times a week. He used the treadmill for aerobics and lifted weights to tone his triceps, biceps and abs. I’m sure there were abs in there somewhere. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But apathy set in about two weeks later and the excuses started flowing like melted butter on corn-on-the-cob. Weak ankles. Blister on toe. Denver Broncos didn’t make the playoffs.
After thirty years of marriage, I’ve learned that hubby needs my encouragement and support if he’s going to achieve a healthy lifestyle. I’m up to the challenge. Maybe an incentive will work. When he loses his first fifteen pounds, we’ll use his senior discount and make a reservation for two at Bubba’s Bistro.