Dear Crabby, I Need To Lose Weight!

Dear Crabby,

I need to lose 50 pounds, but I just cannot seem to do it. Can you help me?

Sincerely, Bob Beefcake

Dear Mr. Beefcake,

My battle is not with the fat demons that lurk about – I have other areas that need my attention – but I am very close to people who do battle those issues. Let’s just pretend that Mrs. Crabby has battled with being overweight and has tried various weight loss programs through the years – purely for the sake of discussion, of course. I imagine if I were married to such a person she might bring home books like Thinner Thighs in Thirty Days, The Atkin’s Diet, or The South Beach Diet from time to time. And I would imagine that whenever the missus went on one of these crazy diets, she would bring all this low fat and fake food home for all of us to eat. I would even go as far as to say, every time my spouse goes on a diet, I lose 10 pounds. What’s with all that diet food anyway? How can they make something look like a normal candy bar, but then have it taste like the box it came in instead?  I understand that when someone struggles with weight, it is difficult to change their behavior enough to see the weight come off. But I will tell you, it’s not really rocket science – eat less and you will lose weight. When I went into the Army, I saw fat guys and skinny guys all getting on the bus with me, and let me tell you – six months later, we all looked about the same! We all ate what they told us to, exercised, and slept the same amount and our bodies all equalized out in a matter of months. People call me insensitive since I don’t struggle with weight, but I can’t help but think that if you just don’t eat, you couldn’t help but lose weight. Now, before I get every dieter in the world sending me hate-mail this week, let me just say that there are a few diets that I have seen benefits from. For example, there was the one that after 8:00 every night, you could eat whatever you wanted – I loved the ice cream! Then there was the cleanse where you eat only steak for 7 days – perfect! And of course, if you are married to a dieter and they go on the two-bite diet, you can really make out like a bandit!  This is the diet where they can eat anything they want as long as they only take two bites and then pass the rest off. But in all seriousness, if you can listen to your doctor and stick to a healthy, yet restricted diet for about six months, I think you will see the results you are after. I’ve been told that if you give up the junk food and add in some exercise, like walking or biking, you will see results faster than you thought. So good luck and be strong out there!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Dear Crabby:

    I enjoy reading your column, and usually take the comments in the spirit in which (hopefully) they are intended, but today’s column was over the top, and even mean. Like “Bob Beefcake,” I have struggled with my weight almost all my life. While I was in graduate school, I joined a 12 Step group to get my weight under control. It worked reasonably well for me for about 7 years. Then I began traveling extensively for work, and the weight crept back on between long hours, fast food, and irregular eating schedules.

    It is not as simple as just saying “No,” for some people, any more than it is simple for some people to say “No” after one drink, one bet, one dose of illegal drugs. True, for some folks it’s simple to say, “No.” For others it’s a sure path to destruction.

    That said, there is one key difference between food addiction and other addictions. As the anonymous group I formerly belonged to used to say, “With those other addictions, you lock the tiger in the cage and throw the key away; with our addiction, we have to let the tiger out for exercise 3 times a day,” and that is the key difference. One can walk away from those other things for life. Spend much time without eating, and one does wind up with a permanent solution, death!

    There are only a couple of effective proven solutions that I know of. All require constant vigilance. The first, I already talked about. Another is a medically supervised liquid fast. I’m pursuing that option right now. I’ve lost over 100 pounds, with more to come. Once I’ve reached my goal, the medical program I’m on, will teach me how to eat properly, something I haven’t done for a very long time and was not taught as a child. After that, it will indeed be up to me, but with a support structure behind me. I can rely on my medical friends indefinitely, and I plan to. That’s the only way I can succeed.

    Please let “Bob” know that there is help. He can find Overeaters Anonymous in the local phone book or at There is no cost, though a voluntary contribution is requested at each meeting. A program like the one I’m on is available through many hospitals. (Please note, the program I’m on is not a surgical program.) Healthcare, if “Bob” has it, will pay for much, if not all of the cost of the program. The results of either program will be measurable if not life changing.

    Please Crabby, you seem like a reasonable man. Don’t judge what you don’t know. Tough love is OK. That’s what the medical programs are all about as is the anonymous program, but there are two words there, tough and love. We all need both to succeed. So have a little heart.

    Sam from Michigan

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