I am 5% less of a man than I was 11 days ago.
5% of my body mass, and I suppose that it is appropriate to call it by that name, has evaporated into the atmosphere, or sweated onto the gym floor, and gone off to join the aggregated tonnage of good intentions out there each January. 5% more must go before it is allowed to return.
For return it will. Like the Marie Celeste, it will float about unseen on some lost adipose lagoon until I pass close to it one night, when it will re-attach itself to my body and wait for the next time round. I wish it were not this way, but it is.
But if I was a religious man, I would pray to my god. And I would pray to him or her that not only would the weight never come back, but that I could actively dictate which5% or 10% of me was to leave my body permanently.
And my prayer would go like this.
You know that weight I said I wanted to lose? I think I also mentioned a wish list of which bits of me you could have back. I have given this some thought, and here they are.
I want to give you exactly half of my dopamine neurotransmitters, the ones that persuade me every other Friday evening that a take-away will change my life, and that £48 is an acceptable price to pay for a bottle of whiskey, even occasionally.
I’m not quite sure how much bits of OCD weigh, but I would like you to have everything that makes me count every step I take, every stair in a flight and every window in every building. The spare time will be useful.
I would like to offer you back that bit of my left heel that won’t let the rest of my front foot go forward to a driveable ball and blast it through the covers. It is all yours.
I would like to offer you that bit of my right wrist that goes all floppy at the moment of striking my golf drive, thus causing it to go into that shrubbery over there on the right. Again, all yours.
I would like to offer you back the top of my right index finger. You know, the one that thinks it’s a good idea to press the button on the remote and put News at Ten on each evening, and Question Time on a Thursday, and then wonders why misery is its bedfellow. You may have it.
You can also have the tip of my right thumb, to prevent it from pressing ‘send’ before I have re-read what I have just written.
I ask you to take back the tinnitus in my left ear and the bone fragments in my left knee and feed them to the birds.
Finally, if I have any leadership left over from earlier days, please take it and hand it out as you see fit in the wider country.
For the rest, I would like you to help yourself equally from my backside and my tummy. Possibly slightly more from my tummy. It’s up to you.
Thank you, and Amen