Diet Homework?

Shortly after joining “the program”, I received my first email from my personal health coach Amy. She gave me all of her contact information so I could contact her whenever I needed. I’ve decided if I ever want to become a stalker I am going to go out and join diet web sites and get people’s information. Not only do you have access to people they are likely in better shape than you are.

At first I thought this was the standard welcome message then I realized that this email had a purpose. Attached at the bottom of the email were three documents. I had to go back and re-read the message to find out that I actually had homework!

Nobody told me there would be homework. I had to go back and check the web site. Did I make a mistake filling out the forms and put that I was going to take this diet for credit? The last thing I need is to flunk diet; that would be embarrassing.

My first inclination was to suggest to Trina that maybe she should do the homework since she was the one who thought this was a good idea. But then I remembered the last time Trina helped one of the kids with their geography homework. Let’s just say Trina’s license plate “IBLOST” is not a coincidence.

The homework didn’t look too bad. There were two PDF files that talked about fat burning and getting started on a diet plan. Those two weren’t too bad. I was kind of thrown for a loop when the third document was Lesson 8 from some book and it referred to other chapters of the non-existent tome. I was about to call foul when Trina explained that the book was coming as part of my “Welcome kit” that was being shipped to my house.

The final part of the homework was to go out and take a quiz. Wait what? First homework and now quizzes; this is not good. I figured I better nip this in the bud right now before I was asked to write a research paper on fat or something.

A quick email to my personal health coach and I was told that it wasn’t really a test as much as it was a baseline to understand my weight loss goals. Hopefully one of the test answers is that I am being forced into this by a nagging liver and a wife who never gains weight.

I was beginning to feel a little better about this until Amy suggested that one other item I would need would be a before picture. I’m pretty sure we have all seen these pictures that look like someone just swallowed the yellow short bus with a marshmallow chaser.

This is not good at all. It is an absolute no win situation for a person beginning a diet to provide a before picture. If the diet is successful you will forever see the before picture as a constant reminder that you were one fish away from being Shamu’s roommate at Sea World.

On the other hand, if the diet is not successful you will have that before picture that looks the same as the after picture except that at least in the before picture you have the look of hope on your face whereas the after picture looks like you are depressed to find out you are having fish for dinner and Shamu is still looking for a roommate.

Neither of these two options sounded like a good idea for me. No what I needed was a picture that no matter what the outcome of this diet may be I would at least feel better about myself. And since I have a copy of Adobe Photoshop and Google I have all the tools I am going to need.

After a quick search, a download of a file, and a couple of small edits I had the perfect before picture for my diet. If at the end of this adventure the diet works I am going to look amazing compared to this picture. If the diet fails I can be content knowing that it could be worse, I could look like that guy in the photo.

After my edits I was ready to unveil my picture to my family. A couple of things to note, never show pictures like this to anyone drinking milk or if you do be prepared with a camcorder to get a great video of milk snort out their nose. These kinds of pictures also seem to cause involuntary spasms in children especially teenage children.

Trina of course had to pretend to be the responsible parent and chastise me for my photo selection. She exclaimed that it didn’t look as though I was taking this seriously. I had to look around at whom she was talking to; it couldn’t be me could it? Of course I’m not taking this seriously it’s me.

It’s not that I am not taking losing weight seriously it is that it doesn’t have to be that serious. I mean I’m trying to lose weight not my sense of humor. I seem to remember a similar conversation we had after one of my doctor visits when I was asked whether I had any side effects from a particular medication and my response was, “other than hair growing on the tops of my feet and the ability to speak telepathically with dolphins things seem normal”. Hey they’re the ones asking, not me.

I’ll probably end up having to have a photo taken but for now I’m really thinking of going with this one.


  1. Myra Hutchinson says:

    I feel your pain! I didn’t like photos of myself when I was skinny…and now? Started a new diet plan. 11 weeks later I have lost 25 lbs., but feel like shredding the before photo I HAD to take. May The Force be with you.

  2. Amy says:

    Oh, Jeff, this is hilarious! LOVE the bathing beauty shot. I’m glad you’re having fun with this! 🙂


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