Dec 8, 2012 19:20 Our Voices for Dec. 1, 2012 Our Voices for Dec. 1, 2012 I will win this time — I have to Advocate story Dec. 08, 2012 Comments OK this is my annual “I’ve got to lose weight” column. I know, I know, you are tired of my whining and yapping about how I’ve got to do better with my caloric intake because of my health and all that. I get that and I feel bad about it. Honestly, each time I wage a heroic battle against demon barbecue and smothered things, but after a couple weeks I surrender and the weight returns. What usually gets my attention is the admonishment from my doctor at my annual checkup. Just before going into his office, I create a pitiful and useless scene at the scale. I remove keys, wallet, shoes, glasses, and even sticks of gum — anything that weighs an ounce from my pocket to lessen my total weight tally. The nurse routinely offers a sarcastic smile then slides the weight indicator right where it was last time — or fudges it a pound or two higher. I think she does it just for fun. What got my attention this time was watching myself recently on TV. While I aced the interview, it was really painful looking at myself. There is an adage that the TV camera adds 10 pounds. I didn’t know that meant it added it to every part of your body. Even my loving wife made a comment about the interview. “That button on your jacket ... did they tell you to button it?” She suggested that the button’s life expectancy on my jacket seemed tenuous during the interview. I reviewed the video and sure enough, there was cause for concern. This time I am getting with the program. I will go to the YMCA branch where I am a charter member. Sadly, I have used my membership card only twice, both times to show the facility to my son and grandson. I have never broken a sweat there. In fact, on both occasions the folks at the reception desk asked, “Have you ever been here before?” On each occasion I should have reported their indifference, but alas, their questions made my son and grandson laugh. I have gone on Facebook seeking helpful suggestions. Some geniuses have asked if I have tried to reduce my caloric intake. Some suggest fad low- and no-carb diets. Others have recommended drastic measures, such as going to the gym three times a week. I have decided that I will take advantage of working at a university where there are nutritionists on staff and students seeking to become nutritionists. I will offer myself as a class or student project starting in January. I know it would make much more sense for me to start my transformation immediately, but with the holidays upon us, avoiding the parties and food will be tough. The stress to avoid deep-fried things and smothered stuff will be too intense — and I must maintain my sanity. On a serious note, this will be my last failure column. I have seen in my close friends the consequences of being overweight. I will win this time. I have to. Ed Pratt is a former Advocate editor. He is assistant for media relations to the chancellor of Southern University. His email address is email@example.com.