The Colonel's family doctor ruined the Holidays and probably saved the Colonel's life.
Nine years ago, during his last annual physical just prior to leaving active duty, the Colonel was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.
Could have been due to the fact that the Colonel's drug of choice for dealing with stress, since he was old enough to feel stress, has been sugar. The Colonel's sweet tooth is legendary among his family and long-time friends. If all there was to eat in this world was vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, the Colonel would be just fine with that.
Shortly after his diagnosis as a diabetic, the Colonel had an appointment with a dietitian who proceeded to tell him that, as far as the Colonel was concerned, sugar might as well be rat poison and that the Colonel was going to have to dramatically change his diet and eating habits.
For most of his adult life, the Colonel had lived by one of the more perverse Marine adages that eating during hours of daylight was a sign of weakness. The Colonel's breakfast was a steaming cup of joe, or three. Lunch was a long run, a gallon of Gatorade, and a candy bar.
Dinner, consumed over a two hour period beginning shortly after the Colonel arrived at the front hatch of his quarters and announced in his most effective parade ground command voice, "Lower the drawbridge; the King is home!" (shortened over the years to a terse, but nonetheless commanding, "Drawbridge!") consisted of enough red meat and starch to feed a family of four for a week.
After dinner, dessert was a large mixing bowl of vanilla ice cream and three dozen chocolate cookies.
That was then. Now, the Colonel had to eat three small meals a day; morning, noon, and night. Carbohydrate intake was restricted to fifty grams per meal. The Colonel was also required to take a pill big enough to choke a hippo with dinner to boost his slovenly sugar-solvent system's ability to process.
Fifty grams sounds like a lot...
...until you see the minuscule plated-portions of real food that provide that restricted intake.
Actually, fifty grams of real food in carbohydrates covers a plate about as effectively as Bo Derek 's bikini covered her...
...you get the picture.
But, the Colonel endeavored to persevere, and within a few short months was back at his service-entrance weight, with blood sugar under control.
For the next several years, the Colonel's semi-annual long-term sugar blood test regularly confirmed his maintenance of appropriate carbohydrate discipline.
Until the first of last month.
Seems the Colonel had fallen off the wagon.
Falling off the diet wagon when one is as active in a Southern Baptist church as is the Colonel, requires slightly less effort than blinking.
For the heathens among the thousands of you who regularly imbibe in the barely-literate libations ladled out in posts hereon, and who may have never attended a Southern Baptist church, Southern Baptists EAT.
The Southern Baptist Convention is seriously considering a name change to broaden its appeal and more accurately portray beliefs and character.
The Colonel recently sent a formal letter to the President of the Southern Baptist Convention recommending the name be changed to The Church of Chow.
Ushers at a country Southern Baptist Church hand out snacks along with the bulletins.
Many Southern Baptist Churches have changed to a earlier start and end time for Sunday morning service, so that their membership can beat the Methodists to the buffet line at Golden Corral.
Yep, it's the Colonel's church's fault that he has lately been tempted to strap on the feed bucket and once again find solace in sugared treats and high carb main courses.
The Colonel's doctor wasn't buying that load, however.
"Well, Colonel, how are you feeling?," the Colonel's doctor scanned the results of the latest blood test.
"Gettin' old, Doc. Not feeling my old self so much lately."
"That's no big surprise. Your weight's up significantly since your last visit and your long-term blood sugar is way too high," the Colonel's doctor didn't waste a whole lot of bedside manner coming to the point.
The worst part was the guilt trip he laid on the Colonel.
"Weren't you in the Marine Corps? How about applying a little Marine Corps discipline to your diet and exercise routine?"
There went the Colonel's plan to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus by eating his weight in iced sugar cookies and high-octane fudge.
One month into Operation: Return to Fighting Weight and the Colonel is down four pounds.
Well, three pounds. He's added a pound of hair in the meantime.