The secret to weight loss is right in your back yard

ROGER SIMON

May 10, 1993|By ROGER SIMON

Attention, fat people!

Sorry.

Attention, glandularly-challenged people!

Some of you are probably feeling pretty low right now because Nutri-System Inc. closed 283 centers across the country after banks pinched its fat assets. (Ha-ha.)

How anyone goes broke selling diet products in the '90s, I cannot imagine.

All I can figure out is that when the dollars came rolling in to Nutri-System headquarters, the people there must have eaten them.

So now large-boned people everywhere are looking for new ways of spending thousands of dollars each year so they can feel even more like failures in life.

But I have good news for them!

I have a weight-loss system that requires no diets, no drugs, no leotards and, best of all, no pretense that Richard Simmons was born on the same planet as the rest of us.

My system is called: yard work.

It consists of going out in the yard each weekend and getting filthy dirty wrestling with weeds, dripping wet hoses, mud, rocks and leaves left over from Hurricane Anne.

What's that? You don't have a yard? No problem!

That is the beauty of my system!

If you don't have your own yard, you can come to mine!

Up until a few months ago, I never had to take care of a yard. As a child, I never lived in a house, only in apartments.

(How come columnists, like Borscht Belt comics, glory in how poor they were as children? Just once I'd like to see a columnist admit that he grew up in a mansion, pampered by butlers and housemaids, because his mother was a doctor and his father was a plumber.)

In any case, I never owned a house until about six months ago.

I have rented houses in the past just to see what they were like, but I never had to maintain these houses.

When a bulb burned out I would either call the landlord or move.

When Bill Clinton was elected president, however, he urged all Americans to spend as much money as possible in an attempt to help the U.S. economy move from dismal to merely awful.

Here is how it was supposed to work: You go to a bank and get a mortgage. You then spend tens of thousands of dollars each year in interest payments making that bank extremely rich. The bank then takes your money and prints up little credit cards and charges people 20 percent a year interest on their credit card bills, while paying them only 3 percent interest on their savings accounts.

How this helps the economy, I am not sure, but there sure are a lot of bankers walking around smiling these days.

So I bought a house, figuring that with a little practice I could learn to change my own light bulbs. (Does anyone know if they go in clockwise or counterclockwise, or does it change from lamp to lamp?)

But I never figured on a yard. I didn't even know the yard came with the house. I thought it was an extra like floor mats on a new car.

Then I found out that not only did I now own a yard, but it needed constant attention and this meant yard work, which fat people can benefit from. (This writing technique is called "coming full circle" or "getting back to the point", which they teach you in Columnist School.)

A yard, I find, requires more maintenance than children. Children you can check on once a year or so to see if they need new shoes or want to go to college.

A yard is a full-time job, however, requiring watering, weeding, fertilizing, seeding of bare spots, more watering, weeding, fertilizing, cementing over the bare spots and painting them green.

And do you know what happens when you do all this?

You sweat like a pig.

You lose pounds of fat.

You build up lean and hard muscles.

You commune with nature and wonder if bankers are going around smiling because they are rich enough to hire gardeners.

Here are the other good things about my yard work weight-loss system:

No keeping track of calories. No hard to follow diets. No messy powders or pills.

And best of all, you can eat whatever you want, because you will work it off in just one weekend.

So grab a rake, a bag of cement and a paint brush and come on out to my place this weekend!

The Dove Bars are on me.

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