Put down the lard and diet soda

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

I came to a conclusion the other day that I wanted to be healthier.

The idea just sort of hit me in a burst of inspiration, and I was determined to succeed at it.

So I put down my bowl of sugar-coated lard candy and came up with a strategic strategy. This ingenious plan included going to the gym, eating less junk food and becoming more organized to reduce stress. Sounds simple, right?

Actually it would be simple if I had millions of dollars and no job. Sadly, however, that is not the case. Between three jobs and being a full-time student, I have little or no time to do much of anything except maybe go to the bathroom -- and sometimes not actually in a bathroom.

A couple of days ago, I worked out for the first time in several months. Unfortunately I was not aware that on this same day, the gym I stood in was also holding a Giant People Who Could Kill You With Their Big Toe convention.

But I stood strong. I was not going to let these people intimidate me. I casually walked past the GPWCKYWTBT members and proceeded to lift weights.

"That wasn't so bad," I thought to myself as I left. If only I had known what awaited me.

As I rolled out of bed the next day, my chest hurt so badly it felt as though the Yuhup tribe of the Amazon had performed an emergency breast augmentation on me with the help of two particularly vicious piranhas. Tools they might have used included a rusty hammer, a poison-soaked fork and maybe even a blender, although I'm not quite sure where they sell blenders along the Amazon.

To further my quest for better health I also stopped drinking soda. This has been a simple task for me so far, since I never was a big soda drinker, but to some it's like a drug habit.

Supposedly, the diet kind is even worse for you. The aspartame used in it can kill off brain cells. This may explain why one of my teachers in junior high -- and I'm not kidding -- took us outside during a tornado drill since she thought it was a fire drill.

I'm not sure what she was thinking as she watched the only 20 teenagers outside huddle together in the wind.

"Ms. Diet Soda Drinker," the principal yelled from the doorway, "this is a tornado drill!"

Being the sane and mature junior high students we were, we all screamed in unison at the top of our lungs and scampered off like wild, prepubescent antelope.

In closing, make sure all of you get enough exercise and please make sure you aren't drinking diet soda, because you might just forget why you're trying to get healthy in the first place, or kill a group of innocent children.

Sam DeReign is a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State University. Reach him at sdereign@semissourian.com.

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