At the beginning of the year I resolved to lose weight.

And you know what? It worked! For about 10 minutes.

Then the pound returned. And it brought friends.

I tried to lose weight this time around by enlisting the help of a buddy who also wanted to lose weight.

“We can support one another,” he said. “When I get the urge to go to the donut store, I’ll call you first.”

“Great!” I said. “We can ride together.”

Having willpower is not one of my strengths. If God had intended for us to diet, he wouldn’t have created chocolate. (Can I get an “Amen?!”) And if we’re not meant to have midnight bowls of ice cream, why is there a light in the freezer?

I guess it doesn’t matter as long as I can still see my toes when I look down.

Which leads to me to ponder one of life’s greatest mysteries. When we lose weight, where do the pounds go? Do they just float away in the middle of the night and land on someone else? That would explain why so many married couples sleep in separate rooms.

Perhaps the lost pounds join the single socks “lost” in the dryer.

Is there a lost and found for missing pounds?

Do they go into pound cakes?

For centuries, health experts like Richard Simmons, Abe Lincoln and Napoleon assumed that lost fat was converted to heat or energy, hence the term “burn off calories.” But according to a recent poll conducted by the international organization CRAP (Citizen Response to Aggravating Pounds), about half of 150 doctors, dieticians and personal trainers believe fat was converted into energy. The other half claimed it was the work of the “fat fairies,” who use magic wands to lift the fat off one person and place it on another person, usually a spouse sleeping in another room.

However, the latest research out of Australia, where entire towns have been overrun by fat fairies, shows that people actually “breath out fat” in the form of carbon dioxide. It’s true. It was reported in the Australian medical journal “We’re Not Making This Up!”

“(Lost mass) goes into thin air,” explained Ruben Meerman, a biomolecular scientist at Australia’s University of New South Wales.

Meerman and fellow scientist Andrew Brown tracked the voyage of lost fat atoms in people trying to lose weight and, to their surprise, found that people trying to lose weight don’t like being poked and prodded by scientists from Australia. The scientist also found that 84 percent of the lost fat was converted to carbon dioxide. The rest becomes water, which people lose through peeing, crying and sweating while running away from scientists from Australia.

Explaining just how fat becomes CO2 involves a lot of very complicated chemistry that has no business being in this column, but the revelation may eventually help the makers of late-night weight-loss TV commercials develop better sales pitches: “Lose pounds just by breathing!”

I decided to test this theory by rapidly breathing in and out. For five minutes. I didn’t lose weight, but I lost consciousness. Three times. When I woke at the hospital I hunted down a sliding scale to weigh myself. I hadn’t lost any weight. In fact, I gained several pounds.

Next year I’m going to resolve to take more naps. Because I can’t eat anything when I’m sleeping.


Scott Graves was editor of the Curry Coastal Pilot from September 2000 to November 2017. He can be reached by calling 541-469-3123 or