Half a Chicken and a Red Radio Flyer Wagon

Red Radio Flyer WagonBecause I’m one of these systematic people, meaning I devise what I feel are clever ways to monitor my Sacramento real estate business such as staying on top of new listings coming up, escrows in progress, short sales about to be approved, that sort of thing, I also apply this analytical process to track stuff in my personal life. For example, I track my weight. Of course, of all days to look at how much weight one has has gained or lost over the year, what better day to do it than Thanksgiving, I ask you?

I know what you’re probably thinking right now, what kind of goofball counts calories on Thanksgiving? That’s a day to stuff your face and not think about the amount of fat swimming in the gravy you dumped all over your giant mound of dressing, which you had crafted to look like that mountain in Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Unfortunately, I am privy to the disgusting fact I never forget on Thanksgiving, which I will now share with you so you can recall it as well: adults on average gain 1 to 3 pounds every Thanksgiving. That equates to an extra 3,500 to an additional 10,000-plus calorie intake.

If you’re one of those skinny rails that can work it off just by glancing crosswise at the treadmill, well, we all secretly hate you. There is an image that sticks in my mind when I think about fat. It’s not that I watched The Oprah Show on a regular basis but I happened to catch one episode, for some unknown reason, in which she recently lost weight. Like most of us, she’s a yo-yo dieter. Oprah pulled on to the stage a red Radio Flyer wagon filled with 67 pounds of gross fat, which represented her weight loss at that point in her life.

The other thing that struck home was the sad fact I never woke up on Christmas morning to find a Radio Flyer wagon under the tree, no matter how many wish lists I scribbled to Santa Claus. My sisters and brother all at some point received a Radio Flyer wagon for Christmas or birthdays, but not me. You’d think being the oldest that I would have been the first to get a wagon, but it was not to be. This was a depressing moment from my childhood in the 1950s, not as bad as living with an abusive and alcoholic father, but I learned how to cope with that. I never learned how to cope with not receiving a Radio Flyer wagon.

My girlfriend, Margie Moreno, upon hearing that story in 1988, went out and bought me a red Radio Flyer wagon. She put it together herself and delivered it to my house with a big red bow. That wagon lives in my garage now. I use it in the garden and it’s become an integral part of my life. Margie has long ago died. Yet, memories survive just like calendars.

I pulled out my calendar yesterday and noted the weights I have posted over the past 11 months. Yes, goofy as it may seem, I track my weight every few days. When I averaged all of my weights, which believe me I struggle to maintain at my age, my weight had gone steadily downhill from January to July, and then back up to the point where I’m at the same weight as I was in January, plus two pounds. It could be worse. It could be 3 extra chickens, which would be an extra 12 pounds. But when I put it into perspective, the weight increase amounts to only half a chicken. That’s not so bad.

Back in the last century, chickens used to weigh 3 pounds a piece, but for some reason today they are much fatter, and now they all weigh 4 pounds or more. Could be chicken steroids. I use the chicken-weight method when I ponder weight gain or loss. When my husband mentioned that we have the power to just not go for a second helping at Thanksgiving yesterday, that was an extremely good idea. Who knew he was so motivational? Just like Oprah! Of course, we didn’t skip dessert, though. We’re not that foolish.

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