THE GREAT MONDAY IS COMING by KELVIN HUGHES. | GBAMLOG.COM

“Hurry, Hurry, get your stuff together…the Great Monday is coming!”

What is the “Great Monday”?- you ask, as you scurry about to find whatever stuff it is you should take to greet the “Great Monday.”

Well the Great Monday comes on June 3d this year- and as one must do the week before the Great Monday appears – you have a week of preparation. Actually, two weeks, but I didn’t write this until week one was over. So there.

On the Great Monday – I will become bionic. Yep. A brand spanking new hip. All shiny and pain free. I won’t see it- except a few hours before they put it in me- but I am told with great certainty that I will feel the difference immediately. No pain. That is good enough for me.

However the preparations have some difficult parts to them like: will power, sacrifice, self control and dedication. First you have to do just four simple exercises on the floor, and two while seated in a chair. You are supposed to do ten reps of each, twice daily.

First they wanted to see if we could do 20 pushups. Just 20. Form wasn’t judged at all. Just could you lower yourself down to your chest (belly) and back up. Everyone but me had to do a chair pushup. Where they sat in a chair and did pushups with their arms. So I was feeling pretty good about myself. Having done twenty actual pushups, and breezing through twenty chair pushups.

To be fair, everyone was over sixty five years old. The only thing we had in common besides bad hips and knees- was pain. Everyone was in pain. And overweight too. All but two guys who somehow managed to live their whole lives with discipline, self control, and will power. I bet they weren’t even human. One of those guys weighed exactly what he did when he graduated from High School. Six foot one inches tall, and weighs 155 pounds. Thin, but not rail thin.

The other guy was my size, but lighter. LOL He got up to 199 pounds at one point around age fifty three. Since he was only five foot six inches tall- just like me- he decided he didn’t want to weigh two hundred pounds- or anywhere close to it- so he changed his diet dramatically.

Listen to this and weep: He stopped eating sugar in anything. Cereal, tea, cakes, ice cream, soda pop- if it had sugar in it- he doesn’t eat it. And…he didn’t replace sugary drinks with the chemical laden “sugar free” substitutes. He amped up his intake of vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Way up. He still eats meat, but only small portions and only fresh cooked. He hasn’t been to a Fast Food Restaurant in more than twenty years.

He allows himself two kinds of treats: Two table spoons of plain vanilla ice cream on Mon- Weds- Friday. And on Saturday he goes whole hog and allows himself chocolate covered almonds- up to ten of them! Oh, and no beer, wine, or whiskey.

It took him two years to go from 199 pounds- to 135 pounds. And he hasn’t weighed more than 137 pounds since then. His name was Nick. I called him Saint Nick after he told me his story. But neither of those two guys could do twenty push ups on the floor. I was smug.

Except for this simple fact: I weigh 215 pounds. When I did my pushups, my belly was very close to the floor. To make my chest hit…well, I had to squeeze my belly out a bit to the sides so I could reach the floor. Sad.

Then we moved on to another exercise- snow angels without the arms. That is what I call them anyway. You lay on your back on the floor, and then you move one leg out like you were making a snow angel. Just one at a time. And slide your leg, do not lift it. If you have bad hips you are supposed to move it as far as you can- even an inch is good.

Okay, so I don’t have any will power, discipline, or self control- but I do have an ego. I went home and did two sets of ten snow angels. And I moved even my bad hip leg about twenty inches away from the perpendicular. I was stoked. Then I tried to get up. Ouch. For the next few hours my hips let me know how stupid I was to invoke my ego instead of my common sense. I have to skip that exercise for a few days before the Great Monday arrives.

They also recommend no caffeine, no smoking, and no drinking of alcohol. I don’t smoke or drink, but caffeine? I drink two litters of Pepsi in twenty four hours (Hey, don’t sound so shocked- I am not done yet!). I also drink between three and five cups of tea a day. And each cup has three heaping teaspoons of sugar in it too. I know, I know, why aren’t I a diabetic? Or dead. I eat sugared cereals- and add sugar to them. I know most of you are grossed out by now- even I am getting a little nauseous as I read what I write. Yech.

I also make buttered toast and add sugar (with cinnamon) to it. And donuts. I love donuts. I will even eat stale donuts while bemoaning the fact that they are stale. And cake. And chips. And candy bars. Hmmm…as Phil said in Groundhog Day: “I have a problem…I may have a problem.”

So in preparation for the Great Monday, I have to cease sugar, caffeine, and eat dark green leafy vegetables to increase my Iron. That means I need self control, self discipline, will power and some sacrifice. I haven’t used any of those in decades. And I had to ask where the Produce Section was in the grocery store. It isn’t anywhere near the bakery.

I do walk every day, even with my two canes- but that is habit not discipline. Walking – for me- is like breathing and peeing, just something I do without notice. LOL

One week of truly healthy dietary habits, fluid intake, and religious application to the exercises. Can I do it? Part of me knows I have to. Why? Because I want the best possible outcome for this surgery. I want to go for long walks again- without the companionship of pain. But a part of me knows me well enough to know that just not having Pepsi for a week would be a Hero Level Effort on my part.

And I have to wean myself off of caffeine. Going “cold turkey” from the amounts of caffeine I take in can cause massive headaches, or worse. But I have made a start. No tea. None for three days so far. And I have slowed my Pepsi down to a one liter bottle that lasts me two days. Oh, and I didn’t buy any cereal last week- so we are out of that.

Donuts? Don’t ask. I am on a roll. LOL

I do like vegetables and fresh fruit – and I never used salad dressing on my salad. So that was a point for me. I am eating lots of green things- even rabbits and squirrels are looking at me with envy. No fruit juices though, just the fruit. Last time I ate this many apples, cherries, or pumpkins, they were in pies. Pies covered with whip cream, and a scoop of ice cream on the side.

I have also learned about squash. Squashes. There are many kinds of squash, which is kind of like a thin movie star version of pumpkins or gourds. I bought butterscotch squash…only to find out it got that name from its color- not the taste. But it is good though- especially as a cold soup.

I have eaten enough tomatoes to be considered a pasta sauce all on my own. And spinach, kale, and celery. My stools are coming out like rattan patio furniture. I have so much fiber in me now, twice I got accidentally caught by hay bailing machines. I am fairly certain – if I keep this up- I shall become wicker furniture.

No processed food. None. All my favorite Marie Calendar frozen dinners- gone. Replaced by blueberries, strawberries, and peaches. Oh, and mango too. I do add a dollop of whip cream to them though. Okay, a big dollop.

I drink mostly water now. Lots of water. Maybe that is why I am shaped like a sagging water balloon.

The Great Monday is coming. I will be ready.

Smiles, Kevin

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