F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines

Week of:
October 21, 2001
Here's Something Better Than a Diet

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Marriage changes a man; it makes him fatter. But now there's help!

When I got married in 1986, I was 30 years old. I stood five-nine and weighed 165 pounds. Not an ounce of fat on me. Within a year I'd gained 30 pounds. If I'd also grown a foot, that would have been fine, but I hadn't.

It must have been the full-course meals, something I'd never experienced during my single days. As a bachelor, it had taken me three or four nights to complete dinner -- a pork chop Monday night, a can of corn Tuesday evening, a can of peas on Wednesday, then on to the entree of another repast on Thursday, topped off with dessert on Sunday.

My wife, Evann, also gained 30 pounds after we were married, but lost it all in one day! She discovered the most amazing weight-loss plan: childbirth. She had a baby. She put on 30 pounds during the course of her pregnancy and lost it all on the day of delivery.

We had a baby, I should say, since it was something of a joint effort, but Evann lost the weight and I didn't. I'm still carrying my bundle of joy 15 years later; I'm now in my 180th month (that's 60 trimesters!). Boy does my back hurt! Women have no idea what we men go through. They don't even seem to care.

Of course, Evann has regained and re-lost those 30 pounds five times since then, and we now have five lovely daughters -- plus one really ugly daughter who happens to be a boy. No hand-me-downs for that one; we had to go out and buy a whole new set of clothes for him. Pretty in pink he wasn't.

I've tried various diet plans to take the weight off. I've even invented some of my own (See "Lite Motif: Diets with a Theme in Mind," on our website at www.behindtheheadlines.org), but nothing's worked. Nothing 'til now, that is. No, I'm not getting divorced. Bachelorhood is a proven weight-loss plan, but I like being married. It has certain advantages, even if a slim physique isn't one of them.

No, I've discovered something better than a diet. You see, it's not the extra weight I mind so much; it's the way other people react to it that bothers me: the look of horror in the eyes of friends and relatives seeing me for the first time in many years, the sudden gasps they give out like the floor's just fallen away beneath them. Now that I live in St. Louis, I rarely have to endure these boorish responses anymore. The people I've met here have never seen me slim. They think I've always looked this way, and don't seem to mind. I return the favor by assuming that they've always been just as ugly too.

Friends and relatives back home get to see me only in pictures now. And they're all amazed at how good I look, how much weight I seem to have lost. I eat as much as I want, too, and never worry about dieting. What's my secret? It's simple: Every time I have my picture taken, I scan the shot into my computer or upload it from my digital camera; then I open Photoshop and the unwanted pounds just melt away.