Our Voices: Diet watchers have a big job helping me

Whatever you do, don’t make it public that you are trying to eat healthier or that you are trying to lose weight. Just say nothing and do it.

So why do I say that?

Since I announced, through this vehicle, that I am trying to eat healthier, I have come across dozens of anti-fat special operations people. They are everywhere and they’re keeping tabs.

Here’s an example:

Earlier this week I was climbing to the top row of the stands in Lee Hines Baseball Field at Southern University, when I came upon a woman and her husband, both friends of mine. The woman asked: “How are you doing, Ed?” She never looked me in face. Instead, I could feel her prying eyes staring at my stomach the whole time I was passing by. I felt kind of violated or something.

A couple minutes before that, I was at the concession area trying to decide whether I was going to get a diet drink or water. But, before I could place my order, a plainclothes Prattwontbefatt cop asked: “What are you ordering?” I guess he wanted to know if I was actually trying to choose something from the menu that included hot sausage po-boys, fried chicken wings, fries, hot dogs…you get the picture.

I shrugged off the question and insinuation by boldly asking for a diet drink and ice. TAKE THAT FAT POLICE! I must admit, though, that the hot sausage po-boy is still dancing like a sugarplum in my head.

And, here’s more.

Occasionally, on my way home, I frequent a certain daiquiri shop — err, I mean, soft drink shop — to purchase one of those beverages you really shouldn’t drink while driving. My only intent is to take the cup filled with cold drink home before indulging in the splendid blend of juices, ice and a smidgeon of alcohol.

But, like clockwork, perched on a stool somewhere in the establishment is a certain friend who bellows “That can’t be on your diet!” Of course, then a couple of people, who don’t even know me, will look in disfavor in my direction. Or, worse, they will laugh.

I usually explain I am doing a nutrition lifestyle change, not a diet! That raises eyebrows because I look kind of stupid inferring that a daiquiri is some kind nutrition change for the better.

And, the comments don’t stop at church, either. Although, the people there are more approving in their comments. They say things like: “You’re doing good, Ed.” “You are definitely losing. Keep it up.” “Tell me what you’re eating.”

Then there’s the classic “You are really looking good.” I smile. I respond with a quick “Thank you.”

But, after a minute, I toss aside my vanity and rethink: “What were they saying about me before I started losing weight?”

This is what my life — a case of unabated public scrutiny — has become since I publicly announced several months ago that I would be going through a healthy lifestyle change. It is not a weight-loss diet per se, but I am losing weight. Since Jan. 1, I have lost 16 pounds.

So all of you diet police, who seem to be everywhere, please continue to make those comments and watch me. It’s working and I appreciate it.

Ed Pratt is a former Advocate editor. He is assistant to the chancellor for media relations at Southern University. His email address is edpratt1972@yahoo.com.