Moment of reckoning


1 by the judge’s reckoning, this comes to close on $2 million: calculation, estimation, computation, working out, summation, counting; addition, total, tallyscore.

2 by her reckoning, it was high time her luck changed: opinion, view, judgement, evaluation, way of thinking, estimate, estimation, appraisal, consideration.

3 the terrible reckoning that he deserved: retribution, fate, doom, nemesis, judgement, punishment, what is coming to someone.

Well! By my reckoning – by which I mean to include all three usages (calculation, opinion and retribution) – I’m in for some serious working out, way of thinking and doom unless I weigh into (pardon the pun) the unpleasant subject of dietary control. As we complete a year of the pandemic, my report card isn’t looking healthful. Let me put it this way, I have just spent an hour on-line ordering summer shorts – without which I am confined to the sweat pants I’ve been wearing all winter. The proverbial “moment of reckoning” has arrived!

When the day of reckoning comes, we will have to face some unpleasant truths.

It is fortunate that I already have experience in these matters.  During one memorable period of my life – a moment of transition, shall I say – I undertook acute alteration to overcome a like problem. It meant unqualified commitment to a new – but not distasteful – régime. Time to adjust accordingly.  Yesterday I jokingly set a start date of April 1st.

I have since however accelerated the reconciliation somewhat.  Granted there is yet half a carrot cake remaining – and perhaps some bagels and soft ripened cheese – but I am at least picturing the advent of my capitulation. In fact I went so far this afternoon to reanimate the diet which historically worked for me, including for example primarily green (not coloured) vegetables for dinner. I prefer them raw (celery, English cucumber and green pepper doused liberally with fresh squeezed lemon juice –  note the deliberate absence of olive oil). To these I add salmon filet or jumbo shrimp for service à côté so to speak. I have also initiated once again the steel cut oats production for breakfast. It is a time consuming habit but predominantly innocuous. If I can’t have bacon I insist upon some element of sinful gratification at breakfast. Overall it is admittedly a tarsome recipe and one to assure most people instant boredom but to my obsessive mind it tends to work well. I can only hope that it succeeds to reduce my girth as incrementally as did the maple syrup, baguette bread, etc. so manifestly did in the opposite direction.

There are so many estimations, views and judgements regarding eating habits, especially those which portend or pretend to have anything to do with weight control. I’ve read a great deal of them and practiced one – the Atkins Diet – religiously. Dr. Robert C. Atkins died at age 73 years in 2003 a year after Time magazine named him a “person of the year“.

Robert Coleman Atkins was an American physician and cardiologist, best known for the Atkins Diet, which requires close control of carbohydrate consumption and emphasizes protein and fat as the primary sources of dietary calories in addition to a controlled number of carbohydrates from vegetables.

The Atkins Diet worked its magic for me.  I went from 210 pounds to 150 pounds in three months. Apparently it was designed to enable fat airplane pilots to lose weight quickly so they could fit into the cockpit.  I believe it was never intended to be long-lasting. It did however have lingering after-effects not the least of which was a soaring appetite for carbohydrates which naturally translated into astronomic weight gain – and, importantly, not one from which it was easy to resile. Ever.

A more digestible diet is the household rationale that it’s not precisely what you eat but generally how much of it you eat. On that thesis it’s considered acceptable to have bread, cheese and sweets – in moderation.  What it doesn’t take into account is that sugar is addictive.  Celery by contrast is not usually something you can’t get enough of. Without entertaining the science behind any of this, I have learned by experience alone that confinement of my consumption to raw vegetables and fruit has a better chance of success than anything else.

While it is arguable at my age that restriction of any sort is abhorrent, I have to admit that whether by virtue of vanity or health I am yet inclined to seek a less indulgent agenda. When eating peanut butter by the spoon from the jar or drinking maple syrup from the bottle, it has to be confessed that quite apart from the dietary issue there is maybe something psychologically wrong.

Not that it particularly matters, but the last time I entertained strict dietary control was upon graduating from law school in 1973. As I mentioned it represented an important transition in my life; viz., moving from Nova Scotia back to Upper Canada, separating myself from old acquaintances and making new, starting Articles and beginning a lifetime career. It was in retrospect an enormously challenging period of my life.  While I don’t acquaint the past year of pandemic with those events, it has nonetheless been a trying year when I think about it. For one thing we’ve abruptly halted our retirement plan; and, just as significantly, we’re yet uncertain when it will be reactivated.  The continuing news of increased illness and death globally is not exactly encouraging. On the other hand I have no more idea now than I had exactly 48 years ago how things would turn out. Nor might I add am I bewildered by the imperative. Indeed I welcome the opportunity to change just as I unwittingly did then. If the only cost of my reckoning is the price of some short pants, I think it’s worth the try!