When I graduated from seminary 23 years ago and became the minister of my first pastorate, I hated being introduced by some of the older women of the church, who would trot me out in front of their friends and say, “This is our little preacher.” I felt like little Lord Fauntleroy, wearing knickers and a bow around my neck. Over the years, especially the last few years, however, I became a big preacher, much bigger than I cared to. Each year, my weight would inch up (or I should say inch out), and I would buy slightly larger pants and resolve to lose weight. Of course, I never did. I developed sleep apnea and considered having uvulopalatopharneoplasty, an unpronounceable word meaning “cutting your throat.” Then reason intervened when several of you urged me to try losing weight before going under the knife. So I got serious and tried a really radical weight loss plan – I ate less and exercised more. What do you know? This radical plan really works! I have lost 25 pounds. I suppose I lost so much so fast because I was so overweight. My weight has now plateaued, but I'm still hopeful that I can shed a few more pounds. I'm embarrassed that I let myself become such a big preacher.
Here are a few more dieting tips I'd like to pass along:
1. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.
2. If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are canceled out by the diet soda.
3. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count as long as you don't eat more than they do.
4. Foods used for medicinal purposes never count, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast, and Sara Lee cheese cake.
5. If you fatten up the people around you, then you look thinner.
6. Movie-related foods do not have additional calories because they are part of the entire entertainment package and are not part of one's personal intake. Examples are Milk Duds, buttered popcorn, Junior Mints, Red Hots, and Tootsie Rolls.
7. Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking causes caloric leakage.
8. Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something. Examples are peanut butter on a knife while making a sandwich or ice cream on a spoon while making a sundae.
9. Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. Examples include spinach and pistachio ice cream, cauliflower and whipped cream.
10. Chocolate is a universal substitute and may be used in place of any other food.
The Slightly Smaller Preacher