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Giggle the Pounds Away With Laughtercise
By Rev. James L. Snyder

Finally, someone has come up with a weight loss program I can sink my teeth into without guilt. And, I say it's about time. I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm fed up with diet programs that simply beat me to death.

I'm tired of starving myself under the pretense of dieting, and exercising my body to the brink of absolute exhaustion. It's about time someone looked on the lighter side of dieting.

According to a recent study in Athens, Greece, scientists have found a good laugh is a calorie burner not to be ignored. You can be sure this gained my attention.

Some American researchers found that 10 to 15 minutes of genuine giggling can burn off the number of calories found in a medium square of chocolate. These scientists discovered a way to measure how many calories people burn when they laugh.

When I read this, I laughed for 39 minutes, allowing me to eat two medium squares of chocolate. At this rate, I'll be able to eat several pounds of chocolate a day.

Now that's what I call a diet.

According to their findings, the average person burns 20 percent more calories when laughing, compared to not laughing. If somebody laughs for 10 or 15 minutes a day they would burn up to 50 calories, depending on body size and the intensity of the laughter.

This means if I laughed for 10 to 15 minutes a day, I would burn enough calories to lose 4-1/2 pounds in a year. That's nothing to laugh at.

This means in 50 years I would completely disappear from the face of the earth. Which poses a question; when a person loses weight, where does that weight go?

I'm not one to jump on the latest bandwagon but there is nothing funny about carrying around extra weight. For some it's like having a monkey on their back for me it's more like a gorilla.

Up to this point, my weight loss program has been a laughing matter. Little did I know my laughing was burning calories!

My exercise program has been a real joke, which may have done me good and I didn't know it. To be honest, my regimen has not produced the results I desired.

Several months ago, I exercised my right as an American citizen to vote for the president of my choice, which has been quite taxing on me, you can be sure. This kind of exercise takes more out of a person than realized at the time and must be good because I lost a great chunk of money in paying my taxes this year.

Every day I exercise my right to remain silent when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is giving me a piece of her mind. Although I have not lost any weight with this exercise, I haven't lost any arguments, either. Personally, I think it's a good trade-off.

Now, with this new information I shall change my whole approach to dieting. Instead of working hard, exercising every day and watching what I eat, I shall throw caution to the wind and laugh all day long.

I shall laugh off all criticism with good humor. I shall roll in the aisles with uncontrollable mirth. My only concern is that I don't die laughing.

For the observant person, like Yours Truly, each day provides plenty of things to laugh about. My only problem is to know exactly where to start. I could start laughing at my Beloved but I'm sure I would lose something other than weight, so I don't want to go there, if you know what I mean.

A good guffaw, I've discovered, carries more than just personal benefits. An old proverb says, "Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you." So, I can see where my laughing is going to help other people lose weight as well.

Why didn't somebody think of this before? I may have lost some time; but be assured I am determined to giggle my way to supreme health in the days ahead.

To begin my regimen of laughter, I only need to wake up in the morning. Believe me when I say, not waking up in the morning is no laughing matter.

When I wake up, I yawn, stretch and then go to the bathroom. One look in the mirror is good for a great belly laugh, which helps start the day in the right direction.

For the next laugh, I turn to the early morning news programs, which is good for a laugh-a-minute. We truly live in a funny world, at least for the person who takes the time to see the funny side of the street.

All those people on early morning television seriously think what they say is important. When in reality, very little of what they say makes any difference in anyone's day. If they only knew how insignificant their opinions are, they probably wouldn't get up in the morning and go to work. They give, on any given morning, sidesplitting, rib-tickling, laugh-a-minute exercises.

So if you happen to see me walking down the street with a smile all over my face, don't be alarmed. I am engaged in my Laughtercise for the day.

In this matter of gaining and losing, there is one thing I don't want to lose. Jesus said, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Or, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26 KJV.)

Losing your soul is no laughing matter.
James Snyder has been a Christian Pastor for 30 years, during which time he has written six books and hundreds of articles and essays. James currently writes a weekly syndicated religious humor column which can be found at whatafellowship.com. You can write to Rev. James care of the Letters page of this magazine.