Julie’s Valentine’s Day Diet and Exercise Program

I’m afraid I let out all the stops this past Christmas. If it looked like food and smelled like food, I ate it. I didn’t question its fat content, nor did I weigh proportions. Lactose, fructose, sucrose, and any other-ose was OK. ’Twas the season of put down the platter, with no further chatter, and pass the gravy, please.

It’s all right, though. It’s a brand-new year, and I’m on the Julie Dafydd all-out, no holds-barred, preparatory diet for Valentine’s Day exercise regimen, which I shall share with you now.

Feb. 9 Join a health club. Just being part of this fitness-oriented decade is a major waddle in the right direction. I suggest buying a pair of sweat pants and a sweatshirt with the club logo emblazoned on the chest. You’ll not only impress your friends, but also you’ll be amazed how limber you’ll feel climbing onto your favorite stool at the Uptown Diner.

Feb. 10 Do not absorb the egg puddle on your breakfast plate with your buttered toast. Leave it. Also, drink one less double latte with chocolate powder. Go to the gym. Wear your new outfit. Wrap a towel around your neck, and watch the aerobics class. Once you’ve broken a pretty good sweat, shower, and go to work. Today, take the stairs up to the second floor instead of the elevator. For dinner, order the lean pork ribs—one slab only—and light beer. Before bed, do a sit-up.

Feb. 11 You may be famished and a little stiff from yesterday’s workout—exercise does that to you. But remember: no pain, no gain. During breakfast this morning, you should stretch, so purposely leave the remote control just out of reach, and put it back out of reach during each Regis and Kelly commercial. After five or six good stretches, and an equal number of toaster waffles, walk over and shut off the set manually (no one said this would be easy). Now, go buy one of those bottles of imported-sounding water (which we now know comes directly from the public tap). Today’s workout will be considerably more strenuous. You will not only need to watch an advanced step-aerobics class, but also observe people on the treadmills and stair climbers. As a break, you are allowed to use the elevator today. Before bed, though, double your sit-ups.

Feb. 12 This is a pivotal day, as we head toward the peak of our body sculpting ascent. The word for today: grain. Bran muffins for breakfast, 17-grain bread for lunch, and all-wheat pasta for dinner. Buy several newspapers. At the gym today, we are actually going to mount one of the stationary bikes, and take our heart rate. Don’t be alarmed if it has dropped below 200. Like you, it is becoming a fine-tuned machine. Tonight, put on a bikini (men’s or women’s, your choice), and watch a Baywatch video. Pretend your beer can is a walkie-talkie, and that’s you running down the beach to save someone. Practice your breathing. Before bed, yet another sit-up.

Feb. 13 I know, I know. Will this torture ever end? Well, good news. Today is the last day to stop payment on your club membership check, so push the buttons on the stair climber, stand on the treadmill, and feel free to actually start up the bike. Today, we throw caution to the wind. At lunch, we need to replenish our carbs, so order biggie fries with your chili and cheese potato. By tonight, you must finish the bottle of designer tap water you bought on Day Three. Try watching a really dry show, like The Semi-Monthly Television Stars Self-Accolades and Glorious Appreciation Awards, hosted by Queen Latifah. Before bed, do final sit-up.

Feb. 14 You’ve done it, you sweetheart Valentine, you! You’re in the best shape since puberty. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the past few days, and revel in your extraordinary accomplishments. Now, slip on your sweats. Loosen the drawstring. Take a deep breath. And remember, no dish should go untried, no beverage untasted, no dessert turned away. You’re a lean, mean eating machine.

And if you find yourself without a Valentine this year? Fuck ’em all—consider the source—and buy yourself a big heart-shaped box of Russell Stover.

Bye for now.
Kiss, kiss.

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