COVID-19, ALAN AND THE FAT PROBLEM

Alan Ross was feeling frustrated and angry and he only had himself to blame. He had gone shopping at Costco for some necessities and had ended up buying all kinds of junk food. His cart was filled with chocolate covered raisins, a wide assortment of potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, and butter pecan tarts.

As he sat at his computer eating the chocolate raisins he thought about the time he had spent in home isolation. He had conducted all kinds of meetings over Zoom and Skype and had enough work to keep him very busy. His biggest problem was he had become very sedentary.

Home Isolation had led to a kind of laziness that he had never experienced before. He went grocery shopping, and he walked his dog Munster, but besides doing that and cutting his lawn his movements had become limited.

As he was finishing the chocolate raisins he decided to do something different, he would go and weigh himself. He figured that the scale would show he had added six to seven pounds during his three months of quarantine. He stripped down and was standing naked when the the familiar ring of a Skype call interrupted his thoughts. He threw on his shirt and underwear and took the call. It was from a client who had a new project that he wanted Alan to work on. Alan tried to focus on the conversation but instead kept thinking about how distended his stomach had looked. The business call lasted for forty minutes and when it ended Alan put together a deal agreement and emailed it over. He then went to the cupboard and pulled out a bag of Sour Cream chips and started munching away.

He spent the next couple of hours finishing off another project and then stopped to grab lunch. He warmed up some left over Mushroom and Cheese Pizza and ate a couple of slices which he washed down with a cold diet coke.

As the afternoon proceeded he finished off the chocolate raisins and looked out the window. It was getting very hot out so he thought he should walk Munster before it became unbearable.

Munster stopped a couple of times along the way and Alan realized that his dog was no youngster anymore. At thirteen years of age he didn’t have the same energy he used to have and Alan would not be able to walk him as far as he used to. At Sixty, Alan could relate, his energy levels had dropped dramatically.

When they got home, Munster was exhausted and flopped on the floor. Alan felt a feeling of sadness. He decided to have a cold drink and grabbed another diet coke. He looked at a wiped out Munster and gave him a treat.

Alan thought a shower would be appropriate as it might pull him out of the melancholy he was feeling about the Munster situation. It dawned on him that he had been interrupted when he was going to weight himself, so he would combine the two.

He walked into the bathroom and once again stripped down. He pulled out the scale and took a step onto it. He had a talking scale and after five seconds of waiting it proudly and loudly announced his weight. Alan felt nauseous. He was heavier than he had ever been in his life. He was not just heavy, he had fallen into the obese category and hadn’t even known it until that moment.

All of a sudden Alan felt completely miserable. In the back of his mind he knew he was heading down a slippery slope when he kept eating the junk food, but he never realized how many pounds were around his waist.

Like anybody in the internet age, he searched for ways to lose weight quickly. He had been eating bagels on a daily basis and that was one of the things he would change. He next would stop eating all the chips, popcorn and junk food. He would give up diet cokes, and if he had to, he would walk by himself.

He thought about everything and made his plan. He would start his diet and begin a committed exercise routine the next day. That night he tossed and turned and felt extremely unhappy about what he had done to himself.

The next morning, he skipped his regular bagel with lox and cream cheese, he went for a brisk walk. Came back and went right to his office. He stood up about an hour after he started working and drank a bottle of water.

At lunch he made himself a couple of hard boiled eggs and that was all he ate. Things were moving along very well till three o’clock. He usually had a snack at three, so he decided that he could have two chocolate chip cookies. He ate the cookies and was feeling very proud when he decided to have a small slice of pound cake with the cookies.

When he left his office at seven o’clock Alan felt hungry. He looked at Munster and asked if he wanted to go for a short walk and Munster answered enthusiastically.

He cut their normal walk in half and came home and for supper had edamames. The next part of the evening was continuing to watch a series called The Last Ship. Alan thought he would have a little popcorn while he was watching the show.

After a few episodes he went to bed. When he woke up in the morning he stepped on his talking scale to find out he had added one pound. Alan wondered if his scale was still working properly.

Over the next week, he watched what he put in his mouth, but his weight issue continued. He was getting fatter instead of losing the needed pounds.

After deep thought and with a desire to not be a blimp, Alan made a strong resolution.When the junk food was gone he would not replace it. He would also stop eating bagels everyday.

It was not the fastest way to lose his weight, but at least it would be a start. As he started a Zoom meeting, he started thinking about the impact of Covid-19 and he realized that it had hit people in more ways than he could have ever imagined. His stomach was proof.

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.