Sat, Mar 17, 2018 03:12 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Smile Awhile

Worrying my life away

02/29/2008 - There is no use denying it; I am a self-proclaimed worry-wart. My mother always said that worrying was a useless thought process because 90% of the things you worry about never come to pass. However, I was the exception to that rule.

All my life I worried about contracting rheumatoid arthritis because I watched my Granny Wheeler suffer horribly from the rages of this crippling disease. I revisited that pain again when my father and younger sister battled it. You didn't have to wonder about the level of pain they were experiencing when the weight of a single sheet across their legs was excruciating. That's why I crumbled when I was diagnosed with it. Fortunately, newer medicines were developed that made it possible to avoid joint damage and helped to control the pain.

I also worried about losing the vision in my good eye (the right one). From 18 months old to the present, I have always struggled with my vision. So when I was diagnosed with bi-lateral non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma of the conjunctiva, I spazzed completely. The thought of being totally blind was so frightening to me, I almost lost my mind (or at least what little of it I still had).

The worry didn't stop there; as a chubby child, I was chided about my weight and was afraid that I would always be heavy. I've spent my entire life losing and gaining weight because my self-esteem was wrapped up my quest to be thin. As far as I was concerned, being thin automatically meant I would be loved, attractive, and more importantly, accepted. But, I lost the battle of the bulge and I didn't have to go all the way to Europe to do it.

Thank God I can now laugh at my disfigured, myopic impaired, fat self.

Obviously, Mother was wrong. All the things I worried about DID happen except for the tornadoes, atomic bombs, fires, leprosy, and hurricanes. That's why I laughed so hard when I read an e-mail my childhood girlfriend, Janie Prichard Davis, sent about what her doctor said concerning worrying. I wish I'd heard from him sooner.


Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it ... Don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain ... Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: You're not listening .... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO! Cocoa beans! Another vegetable. It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

I'm making my appointment with Janie's doctor in the morning.

Appalachian Regaional
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