He Always Knew the Mirror Was Lying

May 02, 1994|By JOE MURRAY

ANGELINA COUNTY, TEXAS — Angelina County, Texas. -- Every time I look in the mirror I think, geez, I gotta lose some weight. Then I think about Homer.

Homer was a big fat fellow like me. Like me, he'd lost weight and gained it back oh so many times. Like me, Homer worried he'd have a stroke and end up in a wheelchair.

Unlike me, he decided to do something about it. Homer joined a health club.

For a while, everything went well in his wellness program. Then one day he was working out on the stair machine, which is a lot like trying to walk up the down escalator.

The idea is put one foot in front of the other, not that complicated a concept. I don't exactly how it happened -- maybe Homer was trying to chew gum at the same time -- but he lost his concen- tration and, in the process, his balance and his footing.

Homer fell down the stairs on the stair machine.

Anything that's supposed to be good for you, but at the same time resembles having a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder, I have to wonder about.

That was some time back. Last I heard, Homer was on the mend and is out of the wheelchair.

Besides, while channel surfing, I happened onto one of the daytime talk shows that have taken the place of the old carnival freak shows. This program featured the human skeleton, some poor woman who was little more than skin stretched over bones.

But the thing is, she THINKS she's fat. Every time she looks in the mirror, she thinks, geez, she's gotta lose some weight. It's not a physical problem that she's the way she is. It's a mental problem.

All of a sudden it occurred to me. Good grief, I've got it, too! I have the very same symptoms. Every time I look in the mirror, I think I'm fat!

No wonder I can't lose weight. I'm already skin and bones and don't know it!

I told a couple of buddies of mine. Lo and behold, it turns out they have it, too! No kidding. Every time they look in the mirror, they think they look fat. It's an epidemic!

Evidently, we're in the advanced stages. We even look fat to each other.

We all agreed that it was lucky we caught it in time before we wasted away to nothing.

Now, if only I can find some way to convince my doctor. Whenever I go in for a checkup, it's always the same thing. He tells me I have to lose weight.

Poor, doc. I hate to be the one to tell him. He's got it, too.

Joe Murray, editor-publisher emeritus of the Lufkin (Texas) Daily News, is senior writer for Cox Newspapers.

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