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Abraham Lincoln Should Have Eaten More Than One Ham Sandwich

9 Sep

I’m sitting here struggling to figure out what happened. It’s a cycle that I’m trying to break. It starts as a small stressful nagging that chips away at my psyche until I have a complete melt down. “I’m fat and I need to do something!” And like I usually do, I resolve to live a healthier lifestyle. All the while in the back corner of my mind I think, “What makes this time so different?” I do well for a week, a month, and then a couple of months. I start feeling good about myself. I become comfortable. The stressful nagging disappears and that is when I fall apart. This is where I am at right now. Trapped in the downturn of a negative cycle. I’m eating too much and not exercising.

So what is it that has started me down this path this time? I could come up with a million lame excuses. I’ve been working too much and not getting any exercise. I burn allot of calories working in my yard but my allergies have been kicking my ass so I’ve been hiding inside. When I don’t exercise I tend to eat more, and more and more.

God it’s tough to stop eating, I friggen love food! It’s an addiction. I love the taste. I love how it makes me feel. The problem is those feelings are fleeting. They are short term. When I lay my head on my pillow at night I start thinking long term, primarily about the health risks. That stressful nagging starts chipping away at my psyche. I have four young kids. “If I die my wife will kill me!”

A crack junky can eliminate crack from his or her life. An alcoholic can eliminate alcohol from his or her life. These are serious diseases that make an eating disorder diminutive by comparison. But what I’m trying to say is a food addict can never stay away from food. We have to eat to survive so I am always tempted!

I look at society around me. Americans are fat. By my extremely unscientific guesstimate I think one out of ten people in America are thin. Our generation is constantly complaining about how much work we do and how little in return we get. I think we’ve got it pretty good. I mean take a look at a picture of someone or somones (if there are more than one person, plural) from the 1860s.

They are all extremely gaunt. You know why? Everyone had to work hard for his or her food. There were no superstores with rows of neatly packaged poultry, meat or fish. Nothing had any additives or preservatives. You either had to raise that chicken or cow from birth. Or you had to sit at a pond for hours to catch a fish the size of your hand. In some cases you had to chase the animal around for a whole day or days just to kill it. Then you had to take it home, skin it and cook it. You burned millions of calories trying to gather little food that didn’t last for long.

No wonder everyone looked so pissed off in those pictures taken before the turn of the century. That and they had to sit in front of the camera for hours. That would be a long time to say “cheese”. Plus they were posed so unnaturally. Seriously, who unbuttons their shirt at the chest so they have a place to rest their hand? Or who grabs their vest at the lapels or suspenders to rest their weary arms. That takes allot of damn work. I’m sure none of those people did that, sighed contentedly and said “Now I’m ready to take my photo for twelve hours.”

I also think they might have been a little irritated because society at that time was starting to realize how ugly they were. Six weeks later they would get their Daguerreotype back  and think “I sat around twelve hours with my hand in my chest for this?” I’m blurry, my hair is nappy, my ugly beard is messy and I look gaunt because it took me three days to slaughter a pig so my family could share one ham sandwich for a month.”

My point is, we have it too easy and that is why we are fat. To remedy this I am going to stop shopping at all of the big chain grocery stores and grab a spear. I am going to hunt and cook my own food and as a result burn all of my fat away.

I gotta go, now I’m hungry for a ham sandwich…

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Teleadicto (Couch Potato)

3 Sep

Mexican Couch Potato

My wife is awesome and I suckety suck! Let’s start with me.

While listening to peppy Mexican trumpets blaring El Jarabe Tapatio and sitting comfortably next to a colorful mural of a peasant with a black moustache chopping at an agave plant , I fell apart. It was a Matt Guise food free for all at the Mexican family restaurant La Hacienda.

Let me back track a bit to the night before. I stayed up too late. What has that got to do with eating and loosing weight? Let me explain. Staying up late makes me extremely lazy the next day. I’m tired and I have no desire to leave the confines of my couch. I’m not saying I slept on the couch all day because that is impossible for a Dad of four children. But that didn’t stop me from striving to do so. This usually pisses my wife off, rightfully so, to no end. Clearly she needed help with our mini army of children but I was too busy finding creative ways to take a siesta on that pillowy softness of our sofa.

I just chuckled because I thought of an idea I might patent. Camouflage outfits for lying on a couch. Rather clothes, something comfy like a jogging suit or pajamas that match the pattern of the couch. My wife would never find me! I’m brilliant! Don’t go stealing that from me because it was my idea.

I did manage to sneak away for a few minutes in the afternoon and plant myself in that beloved love seat. This was not a good time to do so because dinner was about an hour away and my small kids needed their mid day snack.

One thing I have learned through the years is that little kids are so busy growing that they burn billions of calories each day. Calories that need replaced. So they eat something like fifty snacks a day and if you don’t feed them they melt down.

My kids were due for a feeding but I took this opportunity to hit the couch. This action caused a negative secondary action. My one and a half year old toddler started screaming his head off. Seeing that his dad was undoubtedly ignoring him he almost ripped the pantry door off the hinges in a bout of hungry frustration. His prize was a pack of saltine crackers. Which created another bout of maddening frustration because he couldn’t open the package.

My shameless fit of self-indulgence did not end there. When my son presented me with the crackers I ripped open the plastic wrap and ate them all myself. My short-term selfish satisfaction will culminate into years of therapy for my son.

When my wife realized that I wasn’t going to do a thing to help prepare dinner she ordered the kids and I to get into the minivan. “We are going out for dinner!” We piled into the family Minivan and off we went.

One basket of tortilla chips, hot salsa, three grande enchiladas and a liter of coke later I was passed out on the davenport.

Pathetic, while falling off of the (healthy eating) wagon I pissed off my wife, ignored my kids and stole food from my youngest. I’m not too proud of myself right now.

To end this blog update on a good note, I have to congratulate my wife. She recently ran a 5k run and came in third place. I’m proud of you honey. You make me want to be a better person.

That being said I am renewing my resolve. From here on out, I will get my butt off the couch and help with the kids. You inspire me to live a healthier lifestyle. Henceforth we will be awesome together and no one will suckety suck.

…On a Stick.

12 Aug

Budder Cow

I’m from Iowa and since 1854 we have had a State Fair.

Cue the banjo music.

Each year about a million people (literally) show up for this thing. This is pretty impressive considering there is only three million people in this Hawkeye State. This means one third of the people in this “Land of Rolling Prairie” pile into their Ethanol fueled vehicles and head for this giant circus.

I have a love hate relationship with the Iowa State Fair. I go every year because it is good fun for the family. My wife enjoys it and the kids have a great time. It’s always a good thing when the family is happy.

I on the other hand, am miserable. We spend the day dodging 445 acres of manure piles spewed from the rumps of large hairy, sometimes feathered farm animals. All these people and creatures are packed within a fenced area much like a zoo or a prison. Whenever we attend it’s always an extremely hot day or raining buckets measured in feet. At any given time you are likely to see some smelly behemoth defecating in the street or giving birth.

Throughout the day there are five stages filled with acts such as folk dance cloggers, clowns, adults crowing like roosters and twangy blue grass country music. Some of the finer competitions at this shindig are as follows. The sheep shearing contest, pigeon rolling competition, wood chopping, pie eating, monster arm wrestling, outhouse races and cow chip throwing (yes they throw poop for blue ribbons). It also hosts the world’s only Lawn Chair Toss competition.

Then there are the food venders. Most of these cuisine peddlers are large sweaty people hovering over your hot food in small-enclosed trailers. They are all master chefs in the culinary art of deep-frying something on a stick. They can turn a bright, fresh, healthy, nutrient packed apple into a fried angry, artery-clogging, cauldron of black death.

I visited the Iowa State Fair website and looked at the menu. There are fifty-nine food items that they put on a stick. The following is a sampling, peanut butter and jelly on a stick, fried pickle on a stick, pork chop on a stick, cheese on a stick, for the refined palate there is the shrimp on the stick, taffy on a stick, chocolate covered bacon on a stick and the number one item on the menu, fried butter on a stick.

Excuse me while I get a triple bypass because just writing about this food has raised my low-density lipoprotein.

As if these obsessions over heart attack cuisine isn’t enough they have erected a shrine in homage to coronary inducing food. All patrons make a pilgrimage through a mile long line of people to witness the Dairy Cow. It’s a cow made of actual dairy, butter. This life size sculpture has been a traditional centerpiece at the Iowa State Fair for over one hundred years. It is incased in a glass-refrigerated room to protect the monument from external elements such as extreme weather and hillbillies who would try to climb and ride it.

As I conclude this blog I am currently with my family, riding in the passenger side of the minivan. Our destination is the Iowa State Fair. I am in deep meditation purging myself of any feeling or thought in hopes that I will deprive my senses from this journey of depleted patience and physical exertion.

I do have one saving grace that will carry me through this day, my family. I love them and they love the fair. It’s always a good thing when the family is happy.

I’m from Iowa and since 1854 we have had a State Fair.

Babies in High Chairs, Beef Tomatoes and Grills

9 Aug
My lovely grill.

Babies in High Chairs, Beef Tomatoes and Grills

I’m still hanging tough. At dinner, I passed on a chocolate chip cookie and ate a Beef Tomato. You should have seen this thing. It was the size of a bowling ball. I sliced it up and added a dash of salt and pepper. It tasted perfect.

I couldn’t help but notice the aftermath of the Cookie Monster feeding massacre that my twin one-year-old babies had just created. They beamed at me with those chocolate smeared mouths. I smiled back and it was genuine. I was truly happy because the old Matt would have joined those babies in the feeding frenzy but I was content with my twelve pound, juicy Tomato.

My wife has been working hard at a garden behind our house and it has paid off. We are nearing the end of summer and the bounty is plenty. We have been grilling zucchini, squash, and eggplant. I even threw a tomato on the Weber the other day. I added a little olive oil, some garlic salt and threw that red, ripe, succulent, fruit? Vegetable? Pulpy editable item on the flames.

I love my grill. I’m not sure what I would do without her. And yes she’s a she. I’ve had her for about ten years now and I’ve grilled just about any meat, seafood, poultry and vegetable item you can think of. I’ve marinated, barbequed and skewered about every edible thing on this planet. No wonder I weigh the size of a baby elephant.

My Father N Law gave the eighteen and a half inch bright red charcoal grill to Beth and I as a wedding present. I was a new husband and I couldn’t wait to try her out and impress my new wife with my cooking skills. These were skills that I had yet to acquire. We had a couple brick meals but my wife never complained once.

Over the years that grill has received a few war wounds, minor dents and dings. She’s started to rust a little and her wood handle has started to crack. It all adds character. You can tell who’s a manly man by the condition of his grill.

I’m not a Master Chef by any means. I blame that on the beer. You see, whenever I fire up the gridiron I have a routine that invariably ends with me flipping foodstuff while precariously balancing above the hot blazing charcoal.

I like to drink when I grill. If I have a spatula in one hand in the other I will have a cold beer. I’ve even grilled the beer can. I placed it in the rump of a chicken over an indirect slow cook heat. Beer Can chicken is the best.

That’s one of my belly problem challenges I have not overcome, back yard culinary arts and beer drinking.

In a feeble attempt to compensate for my calorie inducing barley and hops binges I have started to cook healthier meals. The days of throwing an entire dead swine on the grill and slathering it in Honey BBQ Sauce are gone. I’ve replaced most of the dead mammals with vegetables and fish.

That doesn’t mean I don’t cook up a steak or chop from time to time. I’ve just cut back on the portions.

So here’s to you my metal framework used for cooking food over an open fire (whenever pressed for finding descriptors quote the Webster Dictionary). And here’s to you giant Beef Steak tomatoes and vegetables in gardens around the world.  And here’s to you beer can grillers and chocolate chip eating twin babies in high chairs. Without you I wouldn’t know what the hell to write about today. Cheers.

Shuffling to the Truffle

4 Aug
Truffle Shuffle

Truffle Shuffle

Ok, I have been at this “fat abolishing” thing for a few weeks now. I no longer eat meals with a portion size to feed an entire Napoleonic Army. I have started a calorie burning exercise routine that is slowly increasing in intensity. I use the word “intensity” loosely because my idea of a hard work out is shuffling away from a McDonalds lest I have a relapse.

I’m having some interesting side effects. Usually about three in the afternoon I start to have an eternal debate that sounds something like this. “Oh man I’m feeling kind of tired…I think it’s siesta time…” “No Matt, it’s only three o’clock and you need to keep working…” “I feel bloated, maybe we shouldn’t have eaten those three extra chili dogs…”

This is about the point were I unbutton the top button of my pants to make room for the chow in my belly from the solo food eating contest I had at lunch.

Then I struggle to motivate myself. “…Just two more hours, we can do this” “Well if you’re not going to let me take a nap then it’s time to take a dump…”

At this point I may flatulent or belch to relieve the pressure in my inflated tummy.

This debate goes on and on until either I pass out slamming my head into my computer keyboard or I pass out while relieving myself in the office bathroom. As you can see the productivity in my day ceases to exist.

Recently I have been eating less so the internal debate in head has been somewhat subdued. But I have noticed around three o’clock something happens to my belly.

It’s hard to describe because it is foreign to me but I believe most people characterize it as hunger. And not in a, I’m fat and I’m starving all the time hunger but a true and honest my tank is empty hunger. I relish this because to me it means my body is cannibalizing itself. And not in a Professor with a pith helmet in a big pot, on a fire with aborigines dancing around kind of way but in a healthy calorie burning kind of way. My body is using my excess fat, for fuel. Cool.

Another interesting side effect is that as the fat has disappeared I have become jiggly. Kind of like a gelatin mold. My body has become malleable and soft. I’m starting to look like a deflated balloon. I’m getting droopy man boobies. It’s like I put on a zoot suit made of skin. I’m starting to get saggy arms that you see on old ladies.

One great advantage to having all of this extra pliable, wobbly skin is that it helps me to perform the perfect “Truffle Shuffle”. This is always useful for making the kids laugh, annoying the wife and scaring everyone in the office.

If you are not familiar with the “Truffle Shuffle” I suggest you watch the movie Goonies. It’s an eighties classic, a great flick. I have provided a link to the scene in the movie where the character named Chunk performs this dance brilliantly.

So we are making progress and this is good. Before you know it I will have transformed my squishy one pack into a six, rock solid pack. And then I’ll be able to fight a Napoleonic Army instead of eating all of their food.

Cake is Crack!

2 Aug
Cake is Crask!

Horking on Cake

My wife’s Birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday Beth, you’re as beautiful as the day we met. I on the other hand, have become very round and look just a skosh less sexy. Never the less, for you, in celebration, I will be happy to wear my finest Birthday Suit. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

I feel confident in my Birthday Suit because I made an incredible FATastic breakthrough! Progress my friends. You see, my parents paid us a visit and they brought cake.

To say I love cake is an understatement. It’s my vice and my weakness. Superman has Kryptonite I have cake. Not that I am comparing myself to Superman but I do think if we got in a fight I would win by sitting on him.

When I was just out of college one of my very best friends got married. I was at the reception, having a good time, drinking a few beers and shoving plates full of cake into my face.

Never the type to let a scene of indignity go unnoticed, my Fraternity brothers decided to capitalize on my cake debauchery. They all pooled their money and bet me that I could not eat seventy-five pieces of cake in less than thirty minutes. I was broke and I love cake so I took them up on this offer. Suckers, little did they know how much I lavished cake.

I took a couple of swigs of beer and the clock started.

Now there is cake and there is wedding cake. In my experience most wedding cakes do not skimp on the frosting. Wedding cakes are pure sugar molecurely bonded together to create a shrine in loving homage to the life the bride and groom will share together.

Fifteen minutes into the carnage I gained the attention of the entire reception hall and the wedding videographer.

Yes it was caught on video and it has since been replayed for me…the shame.

Twenty minutes into the bet my friends could see that they were all about to loose their money. They began to sneak more plates of cake onto the feasting table. I kicked their asses! Everyone around the table, minus my friends, swelled into congratulatory cheers!

I was so proud of myself I downed a bottle of beer and ran to the dance floor to shake my money maker (my belly). I have no words to explain what happened. A trajectory of barley, hops, champagne, pieces of marinated flank steak, bile and cake batter flew from my mouth to the floor. It created a large pool of disgust right there for the DJ, wedding party, bride, groom, family and friends to enjoy…all caught on video. And after all of that, I still didn’t think I had a fat problem.

Today, I stand taller and a little bit less round for when my mom offered me a piece of birthday cake, I declined. It was not easy. I had thoughts of smashing my face into that festive desert even at the risk of drowning myself in a binge. I would have eaten the candles as well.

When my parents departed from us they left the cake. I still could have had a moment of weakness but no! I stood strong and flushed that bastard down the toilet! I win!

So my lovely wife we have much to celebrate! You have grown in beauty and wisdom.  And I have grown in resolve but not size. For this, and for you, I will be happy to wear my finest Birthday Suit. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

You know you are fat when…

1 Aug
That's some PHAT FAT!

That's some PHAT FAT!

You know you are fat when your back touches your back.
You know you are fat when your belt buckle comfortably settles in the cozy belly nook created by your excess fat.
You know you are fat when your body ripples when you slap yourself.
You know you are fat when you are a guy with boobies.
You know you are fat when you can lean against your own belly.
You know you are fat when rolling becomes an easier option than walking.
You know you are fat when you can use your belly as a table.
You know you are fat when you text someone and your index finger presses six letters simultaneously.