Fading Away


Stretching an analogy to the breaking point, I’ve been trying to reduce my corporeal presence somewhat myself. This is typical for the time of year; it is hard as hell not to gain a bit of weight over the holidays. But long experience has also taught me that once January hits, it’s time to start grinding the diet and exercise.

Because this is Southern California, and before too much longer it will start being triple digits, and there is nothing more miserable than being fat, white, and sweaty during the sunny season. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s best avoided if you can manage it.

Problem is, this kind of wisdom only comes with age, and the problem with age is that it also brings a seriously reduced metabolic rate. Workouts or not, you are no longer a Growing Boy, and the blunt truth of the matter is that you just don’t need much food.

Now, I’ve done insane diet things in my time. I once went sixty days without eating. Anything. I had two multivitamins and black coffee and water. The vitamins were so I would not die from vitamin/mineral deficiency, which is what kills most people who go on hunger strikes. You can suffer permanent nerve damage in 45 days if you pull a fast like that without supplements.

Know what? I was fine. Dropped sixty pounds in sixty days. I mean, you start seeing weird visions and develop the ability to communicate telepathically with animals, but nothing really unusual.

So trying to eat as little as possible is something I’ve grown used to. Earlier this year I was getting by on grapefruit juice, protein shakes, and those little packets of trail mix they sell at Trader Joe’s, with Sundays off for the traditional Breakfast With Boys. But even that, plus daily exercise, wasn’t loosening the belt at a rate that I considered adequate.  So I stopped with the trail mix.

But then I started getting cramps in my arms, legs, and abdominals. And I’m not talking little strains, or aches. I’m talking massive crippling charley horses, the kind where the spasming muscle actually stands right up and vibrates so prominently that it is visible to horrified observers. It looks like the preliminary stages of an Alien-style chest-burster.

Well, Google to the rescue. Such things are generally caused by a magnesium deficiency. Prayers and sacrificial offerings of money were tendered unto the benevolent Amazon Prime, who did, in the fullness of His mercy and Two-Day Shipping, deliver unto my unworthy self a bottle of Magnesium Citrate tablets. And lo, the cramps did vanish and were no more.

Still, I felt that it would be good to know what foods were high in magnesium so that I could not be forced to rely entirely on the tablet-maker’s art. Google once more.

Know what foods are super-high in magnesium?  Dark chocolate, molasses toffee, and nuts.

Oh yeah, here we go.

Diet be damned, baby.  It’s health food.

— Bob out

Artist’s Notes:  Can you tell I tend to surround myself with lots of smoke?  -Max