On January 1, 2016, as I entered my 27th consecutive year of trying to lose five pounds, I must admit I had lost both hope and interest. The pattern had become eerily consistent. I would go on a diet, lose three pounds, and then celebrate by eating like a pig until I had gained it back.
    Then my oldest daughter announced her engagement and a wedding date, which will take place this weekend. Suddenly, things changed around our family. Everyone started obsessing about what they would look like at the wedding.
   "I've got to start searching for a dress," announced my wife back in January, a mere 7 months before the big date. "There's so little time."
   "The wedding is in August," I cried. "I could knit you one myself by then, if I knew how to knit."
   "If you want to look good in the photos," she answered, "you might want to lose those five pounds."
   Not interested. In fact, just to show her who's boss, I GAINED seven pounds over the next few months. Meanwhile, she and our younger daughter tried on about 3000 dresses during that time, none of which made them happy.
   I was still plodding merrily along, eating and drinking whatever I wanted, not buying into the "looking good for the wedding" thing. And then it happened. With six weeks to go, my 27 year old son went out and bought two new suits.
   "By yourself?" I asked, incredulous. "With your own money?"
   "Yep," he proudly replied. "One for the rehearsal dinner and one for the wedding. I'm going to be looking good."
   This was a monumental eye-opener. I was clearly missing out. To be sure, I checked in with my 26 year old son. Sure enough, he had started hitting the gym and was actually lifting weights.
   "Got to look buffed for the photos," he said, showing me a newfound muscle. "You might think about toning up a bit."
   "What about a suit for you?" I asked, a little afraid of the answer.
   "I'm not buying a new one, but I'm taking my old one to the cleaner and having it pressed."
   This is a kid who until now didn't know dry cleaners existed. I was shocked. It was time to get on the bandwagon. I wasn't about to be the only slovenly member of the family in the photos.
   First up was the dermatologist. He froze all the harmless keratoses off my face. I looked like I had gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, but there was plenty of time to heal before the wedding.
   Next up was checking on my wardrobe. That was wise. My two suits were 25 years old, and I hadn't worn them in 20, preferring sportcoats when forced to dress like an adult. Let's just say they no longer fit. They could be altered, but it would take a small truckload of fabric, and they don't make that fabric anymore.
   "I've only got three weeks to find a new suit," I wailed to my wife as I threw my old suits in the Goodwill pile. "This is an emergency!"
   She was off to an appointment with both of my daughters to practice makeup and hair for the wedding. Yes, practice. And she had narrowed her dress choice down to four, all of which she bought. Hopefully, three of them would be returned.
   "Deal with it," she said. "I told you it takes time. You didn't want to listen."
   Actually, I didn't care, until my sons showed me the way. I went straight to Men's Wearhouse and picked out a navy blue stunner of a suit, all within about five minutes. It wasn't quite as hard as she made out.
   But there was still the issue of the weight. Could this be the catalyst that would finally make me lose those pesky five pounds that have plagued me for 27 years? I had already lost the seven extra pounds I gained out of spite. I was back at my regular weight. I set my sights on those elusive five. The wedding and photos called.
   Sure enough, the inspiration did the trick. Last Saturday, exactly one week before the wedding, I finally hit my magical weight.
   Needless to say, it was cause for celebration. Guess I'll just suck it in for the photos.



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