For many, many years we didn’t have a bathroom scale.

The only time I got weighed was at my yearly checkup with the doctor who insisted I step on the scale.

I closed my eyes.

We now have a bathroom scale, though. Someone must have given it to us as a present a few years ago.

It sits lonely by a sink in the bathroom in the basement along with the barbells, treadmill and Gazelle. There is a television mounted on the wall.

Not sure if it works.

The scale is pretty fancy, too. It’s not one of those with a mechanical scale. This one is battery operated with a digit readout that lights up.

Monday morning, on a whim, I stepped onto it, and peeked down cautiously.

Now, there are certain four-letter words that we just don’t print in newspapers.

The one that came to mind, “diet,” is not on that list of banned vocabulary.

It appears I’d better get back on the diet wagon.

Like most people I have tried many diets over the years. Nothing as fancy as the Atkins diet or the South Beach diet, but if I lived on the South Beach of Miami I probably would eat better.

Many years ago I tried the grapefruit diet only because it was something my mother and father did once.

I even had a special serrated spoon to dig out the fruit.

Apparently the grapefruit diet has been around since the 1930s and there is little evidence that it works.

According to, the plan is for dieters to eat grapefruit, drink grapefruit juice or swallow grapefruit capsules at or before every meal.

One study showed that by eating a grapefruit before each meal, the average weight loss is three pounds in 12 weeks.

THREE pounds!

I can put that back on with one trip through the buffet.

There was the soup diet.

The premise is, instead of chewing food, drink soup that comes in cups and the whole thing goes into a microwave.

Cheap, handy, ready in minutes.

I also found that if I add a shot of vodka, a couple olives and some celery, I got my daily allotment of fruits and vegetables.

One year I tried the plate diet. That is where you fill the plate to just 60 percent capacity and don’t get seconds.

I loved that diet and the 14-inch plate I found tucked away in a cabinet.

Last year it was the salad diet.

Like the cup of soup diet, this one is very convenient.

The mixture of greens for the salad come already chopped up and in bags.

Add toppings of shredded cheese, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sliced eggs, sesame seeds, onions, lots of diced ham or crispy chicken and bacon which really spices up the salad topped off with three tablespoons of salad dressing and there goes my daily calorie allowable allotment.

So here is the goal.

• Eat less.

• Move more.

I plan to start that right after I finish eating this half-pound hamburger I cooked on the grill topped with BBQ sauce, cheese and relish. Naturally, that is served with French fries or potato chips, and sometimes even both.


Contact Tim Horan at

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