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I have called Cedar Rapids, Iowa home for sixteen years. This fair Mid-Western city is just beginning to throw off its yoke of oppression commonly known as winter. We are staggering out from under the weight of our seventh coldest winter ever recorded. The mercury was so low that any moment I kept expecting some Vaudeville comedy team to break out in a routine where one man says something like, “This year in Cedar Rapids it was so cold….”

Only for him to be interrupted by his straight man asking, “How cold was it?”

And for the first guy to finish off with, “It was so cold babies were nursing at a witch’s teat just to stay warm,” or some such nonsense. It really was a long cold winter in a location known for long cold winters.

At the beginning of the winter I declared before all the gods of heaven and earth that not only would I not gain weight this winter, but that I would actually emerge from winter having shed some extraneous fat. I started off alright as proven by the fact that I lost two or three pounds in the months of October and November.

Great starts do not always great endings make. I gained over ten percent of my body weight in subcutaneous insulation of the superfluous sort- or in other words I added nearly ten kilos of fat around my middle.

This extra weight wasn’t bothering me too much as I have been active this winter and even though the weight gain has been fairly extreme I can tell myself that my fitness level has not suffered too badly. At least I could tell myself that until I tried on my slim fit Calvin Klein black wool suit that I was planning to wear. To say that my mid-section was putting a strain on the pants’ waist band and that the jacket’s vents were being used to accommodate my little pot belly would be in no way an exaggeration. I quickly came to the conclusion that this winter I would have to be content with something a bit less noble than my sartorial center-piece.

So I am glad that winter is ending and I will soon have ample opportunity to reduce some of my ample proportions. The calendar says that here in the northern hemisphere things will be both heating and lightening up and I hope the latter part includes my weight. “To everything turn, turn, turn,” and I hope that includes a return to my former smaller, healthier size. It’s time to get to work; and it’s not like I haven’t heard this tune before!

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