Excuse me, is that an XL?

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

In the Saturday and Tuesday edition of the Star-News, we ran stories regarding the obesity problem in the United States.

Those two stories couldn't have come at a better time for me. You see, I'm in the process of trying to drop a few pounds, and the stories just served as a little added incentive.

I mean, I don't want to be a part of those statistics contributing to the ever expanding belt of the America. Do you?

Granted, for me this is not something that's an easy thing.

For the majority of my life, I've been a "fat boy," and hadn't thought too much about it. Shoot, I even make jokes about how hard it can be to find clothes that fit just right.

And don't get me started about going into the trendier stores in the mall to find clothes.

"Excuse me, sir, I don't think we've got what you're looking for."

Oh, really?

How do you know what I'm looking for?

Fortunately, I've outgrown (age-wise, anyway) the clothes that I wanted to wear in high school. But, now that I'm actually losing weight, I have a tendency to stop in those stores and browse around a little more often.

"Excuse me, do you have that in an extra large?" I can proudly say now.

Yep, gone are the days of the XXL. I've dropped one whole shirt size and dropped two digits in pant size. It's a good feeling, too.

Now, I can buy clothes without having to spend the extra two bucks for the "big boy sizes." Normal prices for me!

But, after reading the two stories we've ran in the newspaper about healthy eating, I wonder if there are more adjustments I can make to further my cause?

I've thought about the "Atkins Diet." I'm not so sure about it though. All the women here at work have tested it out at least once.

What about counting calories? Does that really work? I mean, I was a journalism and public relations major in college, not a math major. That's too complicated.

What about surgery? I know several people who've had the surgery. You know the surgery, where they have half their stomach by-passed or closed off. I'm too scared of knives and needles for that.

I've tried exercising, but I never could get the weight off in the right places.

They say women are the ones constantly bombarded with the stigma to be thin. Maybe.

Single men are too. We're exposed to the images of uber-athletes and movie stars just as much as you gals Š and don't think we notice whose movie you want to see.

We've got pressure too. I don't see you women swooning over Kevin James, but Brad Pitt - watch out.

Maybe there is a double standard there.

All I know is, I can't wait to walk into the Gap and say, "Excuse me, do you have that in a large? Do you have those khakis in a size 34?" (OK, 36 will be just fine.)