George and I have lost a total of about 45 pounds this summer. Since starting out on the truck, I had gained close to 30 pounds – and that’s just in a year. Since I figured I might live for at least another five years, I got real serious about losing some weight, because my 5’3” fireplug frame definitely could not hold another 150 pounds. George had also gained about 30, but his was spread out over a 6’4” silverback frame, so it was a lot less noticeable.
I’m miserable when I’m overweight, and I think we’ve all deduced that being around me when I’m miserable is akin to living a nightmare hell. I was huffing and puffing after mild physical exertion, had to unbutton my pants to sit down, and I even bought a pair of pajama jeans. (Our son affectionately calls them my “gave up on life pants.”) So at the beginning of the summer, I decided it was time for us to do something.
Instead of our one big meal a day, we started eating breakfast and having several small, healthy meals throughout the day. We quit drinking soft drinks altogether, and started drinking a lot more water. These things helped for sure, but the biggest difference we made was forcing ourselves to do some kind of exercise every single day.
Everyone out here knows how hard it is to climb down out of the truck after a 700-mile day and go run a mile. Hell, there are some days I’m fairly certain the truck would have to be on fire for us to leave it at all. We broke the exercise up, parking in the furthest spots when we stopped anywhere during the day so we’d get a good walk to wherever we were going, and tried to do at least a mile walk in the evenings, when we shut down.
After one particularly horrid day, George pretty much refused to go for the evening walk.
“You’re not going to walk with me tonight?”
“Babe, I’m beat. I just want to sleep.”
“That’s fine, I’ll go alone.”
“What do you mean, ‘no?’ I’m perfectly capable of walking around a parking lot by myself.”
“No. Just get your jump rope out and exercise beside the truck. I don’t want you walking around out here by yourself.”
“Oh that’s a great idea. I’ll provide the rope for the kidnappers. Good call.”
“Listen, I’m tired and I’m not arguing with you about it. Jump rope or forget it until morning.”
“I can’t jump rope. I used my jump rope to tie my clothes together so they would fit in the cabinet.”
“You had me go out in the dead of night, in the rain, to get that damn jump rope for you. Do you know how hard it is to find a jump rope in the middle of the night? Now you don’t even use it.”
“I’m totally using it. The reason I can’t use it is because I’m using it.”
“I really am exhausted, because that actually made sense.”
“We could do yoga instead.”
“Uh, hell no.”
“Jumping jacks? Running in place?”
“If I go with you, do you promise to be quiet the rest of the night?”
“What? I’m always quiet. I’m like a little mouse. Well, a fat little mouse, who needs to take a walk.”
I’m not sure he heard the “fat little mouse” part, because he had already climbed down out of the truck and begun the walk without me. Sometimes, being healthy on the road is more dangerous than you’d think.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.