I have been noticing these weeks all the ads about how to lose weight. Why does anyone believe you can lose weight without exercise and any change in your diet if you just send in your money for the secret promise? That you can eat all the sugar or carbs or sweets or bacon or meat…even pure lard, and you are “guaranteed” to lose pounds. You can almost lose the weight while you sleep if you just send in your check to find out the miraculous answer to your dreams. Am I so naive again to not grasp what is beguiling millions of others? Is it the instant gratification, the something for nothing philosophy? Tell us what you think.

One undesirable consequence for me of all this activity is that I am losing weight—down to 165 this morning. That’s nearly the lowest I have been since high school, and I am the guy who wants to build muscle and gain weight. So I have to be the goose who is cramming food down his own gullet. Not for paté, but for muscle. Some of the articles say that I need to eat at least 500 to 1000 more calories a day than usual. Have 5 or 6 little meals a day. And drink protein shakes!

So I trotted off to the health foods store and bought some protein powder. I chose a soy derivative, rather than the whey powder from meat. I have to watch out for cholesterol that is easily avoidable. And my doctor assured me that my hepatitis-damaged liver would not be strained by too much soy, which I had read is a possibility.

Then I had two meals for brunch, full of pasta and pizza dough for carbohydrate energy before my workout, and will drink my first protein shake afterward. The clerk in the health food store promised that I would really bulk up with this drink. As long as I also did the exercise.

My ankle is still sore, so I needed some reassurance from my doctor that nothing was broken. He said it takes time and rest, emphasizing the “rest.” I had told him about my hours in the woods. Basically my hunting experience has been more of a hiking experience for years now. Except it begins in the dark on 4 to 6 hours sleep.