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The Baby was fixed, basically. Life was good and we were headed on vacation.
Each July, a group of my friends from college go on a weeklong jaunt to a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This trip started as a chance to keep in touch with everyone and grew into this focal point for all of us during the year. It’s funny…many of us measure time by when we start our vacation for this trip.
When it first started, we were renting a ski house in the Adirondacks. It was basically an excuse to consume as much alcohol and junk food in the space of four days as possible. We actually kept a food log for a while, impressed at the devastation we had caused.
The 2009 trip was a watershed. I was tipping in well over the 300-pound mark and was riding what was possibly my highest alcohol tolerance ever. Childless, I was also drinking a 12-pack of beer a night. Why? Because I could and you couldn’t. I was a wasteland of calories. The result was Breathe-Right strips to prevent snoring, a wheezing climb of the sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park and some unflattering photos of my largesse.
Fast-forward. The demons of this trip, in terms of calorie intake, are many. I love Cheerwine soda, but had basically sworn myself off the stuff. I love beer, particularly the brands like Shiner and New Belgium that I cannot buy in New York State. And, I’m a man possessed when it comes to crab legs. The first was easy. Instead of knocking back a 12-pack or two, I bought a two-liter bottle. I don’t know what it is about Cheerwine. My friend Brian describes it as crack for sugar junkies. It’s one of the few redeeming qualities of The South. The best I can describe it is that it’s like rum without the alcohol.
The second was difficult, but manageable. I kept the drinking to a minimum, for me. A couple of beers here and there, but instead of 12 beers a night, I knocked it down to 12 for the week. It worked out okay. The third, well…yeah, you see, I keep in mind something the nutritionist told me long ago. “Eat all of the seafood you want. Shrimp, crab or scallops, it doesn’t matter. The calories and fat are worth it, as long as you don’t fry it or dredge it in butter.” I remember that line as I make my sixth or seventh trip for crab legs at Captain Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet.
When I came back, I shocked myself. I was a net zero at my weigh-in. No weight lost, but none gained.
I was elated.
My doctor was confused.
I had beaten vacation.