Since late January I have been enrolled in a food-management program to shed the weight of so many carefree and reckless years (o iced latte, my old friend, you have been both my sin and my salvation). Today I am a few pounds below what they call “mid-weight” and I’m past the time of needing a new belt.

At first this regime wasn’t easy because after ten years I have very much grown custom to my wife’s five-star cuisine. She could totally kick Wolfgang Puck’s ass, while reducing a glaze, and then use it to cut Emeril in two (Bam that you cajun Betty Crocker) while grilling salmon to perfection.

The idea of eating out of a box was akin to taking a month’s vacation to Gary, Indiana but it’s working so I can’t really complain. It also helps that they conditioned me so I can not say the word potato without having bad flashbacks, loosing bladder control, and yelling “It puts the potato in the bucket” over and over again until the wife utters the safety word.

There have been a few good laughs along the way. Like most food programs I am regimented to a certain caloric intake per day (about a third of what I was eating apparently). During the first weekly call from the Food SS (A person who calls each week and asks a series of questions to make sure you haven’t snuck a pound-cake in-between salads) asked if I had any questions. I did. “How do I buy more calories?” The counselor cleared his throat, “uh, Mr. Storey, uh, I thought the plan was to…loose wei… uh, reduce the amount of calories.” I had a hard time not choking on my noodles laid to rest in tomato sauce.

Last weeks call has been the best so far. “How many calories are there in cocaine,” I asked, “because I keep telling my wife that she needs to cut down on Jello servings for every hit she takes, but she says un-uh.” This was followed by, quite possibly, the longest intentional pause in telephony history. Eventually I laughed and so did the counselor but with that kind of nervous chuckle that told me he had no idea if I was joking or not — mission accomplished.