Is He Still Going to Be Funny Thin?

Wow! Look at Him!

I was a little surprised when I went through the Sunday Commercial Appeal while watching the Titans game. No, not that going through a Sunday newspaper is a much simpler affair than it used to be (seems that there’s a lot less in what used to be a pretty big edition… I think it’s the shrinking comic pages. Just 4 pages? What’s up with that?). It was the cover of Parade Magazine, showing the now 185-pound Drew Carey.

Joining the Empty Plate Club

Honestly, seeing him at a buck-85 when he used to be 262 was amazing. It almost doesn’t look like him. He says a series of health problems, coupled with being unable to keep up with his girlfriend’s 5-year old convinced him that it was time to change the way he was doing things. About 10 years ago, I went from 246 to 186, and believe me, it’s a life-altering feeling. I’m plain enough not to be vain, but when you’ve been fat, it’s a joy seeing a thin you in the mirror.

It’s not always the issue of dropping the weight. Not for me, anyway. I can always shed a few pounds when I put my mind to it. I was up to 235 when we started our office weight loss contest in July. I was down to 215 when I got on the scale last week. That’s 20 pounds in 7 weeks. If I can match that over the next 7 weeks of the contest, well, do the math. I’m a pretty happy guy when I’m under 2-bills. But that’s where the trouble starts. It’s keeping the weight off. I’ve been running, walking and biking pretty regularly, but as soon as this contest ends, right about the time it gets too cold to want to be outside exercising, I have a feeling that the pounds could come roaring back. After all, that’s what happened after I lost 35 pounds in last year’s contest.

Maybe It’s the Shoes…

My KSOs

One of my problems is my slowly-deteriorating left knee. Every year, I get a little slower when I run, and my knee aches a little more. I know joints wear out, and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on here. Unfortunately, running is about the only exercise I’ll do consistently. I thought about making the move to a different type of shoe last year, but finally pulled the trigger after a co-worker made the move (it’s easier to make a decision when you have some empirical evidence to look at). He got a pair of Vibram 5-Finger running shoes. After he used his for a while and had good results, I got a pair of my own.

First, they are funny looking. Inside of being a box surrounding your feet, like most shoes, these fit like gloves, with a little pocket for each toe. It forces you to distribute your weight differently when you run, approximating running barefoot – although there is enough of a sole to keep you from laying your foot open running through the street. You can get socks (with little toes sewn in) or go without. I’ve got a pair of KSOs, which have a mesh top to “keep stuff out.”

The makers urge users to take a few weeks to get used to the feel of the shoes before running or hiking in them. Mine fit, but I’m still not quite used to the way the two outside toes on each foot feel. Still, I took them out running for the first time and managed my fastest 3 mile time this year. The temperature was down about 25 degrees from where it’s been and I haven’t done any exercise for 3 days, so I was well-rested. Still, I’m willing to give credit to the shoes. And, my knee isn’t aching like it does when I run in my Nikes, either.

The Great One

Back to my original thought. The great comedian Jackie Gleason said he was funnier when he was fat (according to The TV Guide TV Book: 40 Years of the All-Time Greatest: Television Facts, Fads, Hits, and History). I don’t get much chance to see Drew Carey on “The Price is Right,” but I wonder whether we’re pre-disposed to laugh more quickly at a fat comic than a thin one.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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