Open contempt for those in better shape is first step to a healthier you

imageLike millions of Americans, I recently stripped down, prepared myself for the worst, and stepped onto the scale. Soon after, I retrieved the scale from the front yard and accepted the fact that, yes — it probably was defective. At my wife’s suggestion, I tried our neighbor’s scale. This led to the discovery that, of the 23 scales I tested within a five-mile radius of our home, every single one was off by exactly 11 pounds. Being a journalist, I had to wonder: Was this a widespread problem? Were we being duped into needless exercise by faulty scales?

I immediately brought this to the attention of my editor, who, realizing the implications, told me to stay out of her candy drawer.

The truth is, I have no one but myself to blame for putting on these extra pounds. This is why, every year around this time, people just like me make a commitment to start going to the gym. I know this because I recognize most of these people from last year. We all have the same expression: grim determination mixed with a sense of purpose in knowing that, afterward, there’s a KFC right across the street. We come dressed with headbands and towels over our shoulders even though we spend most of our time wandering around the gym looking for water bottles. 

After making this realization, I was motivated to do things differently this time. Never again would I splash water on my face, then stand close enough to someone to appear as though we are workout partners. It was time to get serious about fitness by accepting the fact that the closest I’ll ever get to having buns of steel is if I happen to leave the bread box open overnight.

I’m nearly 50, married, and have three teenagers; what do I need washboard abs for when I know perfectly well that my wife gets more turned on by me doing the laundry?

With these things in mind, I put together a list of goals that will motivate me because they’re actually achievable.

First: buns of steel are out. Instead, I will settle for buns of aluminum foil; as long as they can hold their shape and don’t leak, I’m happy.

Second: I understand that my metabolism is slowing down and, as a result, my body’s fuel-burning efficiency is similar to a Humvee. Unless I’m careful, I will also weigh as much as a Humvee.

Third: I will no longer waste my time comparing my body with anyone else’s, especially if theirs is better. This should make my workouts twice as productive since I will be avoiding eye contact with everyone else at the gym.

And lastly: I will stop using the scale as my measure of success.

What’s the point, really?

They’re all wrong anyway…


This has been an excerpt from Ned’s book, Humor at the Speed of Life, available from Port Hole Publishing, Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble or even the trunk of Ned’s car! Either way, I promise it will be as riveting a read as it was for humorist and podcaster Tom Nardone… depending on how much coffee you’ve had.


Published by

Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

64 thoughts on “Open contempt for those in better shape is first step to a healthier you”

  1. First of all, clearly you haven’t accept that it is everyone else’s fault that you are in bad shape. The candy companies and the fast food restaurants, plus gosh knows what wonderful meals your wife cooks up for you. It is a giant conspiracy to keep you out of shape and less attractive to other women. So, it must be your wife’s fault or at least other 329 million American’s fault but certainly not yours. You can read about “the truth” over at my blog sometime….

  2. The difference between men at 25 and 50 is this statement … “what do I need washboard abs for when I know perfectly well that my wife gets more turned on by me doing the laundry?”

  3. This year I managed to secure a medieval rack in the January sales. Working to add 8″ to height, which will bring BMI back in line… The wife is enjoying turning the ratchet much more than I am… :/

    1. With all the exercise you get lugging the luggage of all those crazies, I’m sure you’re doing fine. Besides, “middle-aged spread” is what I call mayonaise that’s past its expiration date…

  4. Sigh. I think I better finally accept that a bikini is no longer a possibility – ever again and so, why suffer? I am kind of watching what I eat and trying to be healthy until the salad kits I found in my fridge were the ones with Listeria!! See, it’s better to just have cake. 🙂

  5. Didn’t I see you eating a can of coffee yesterday? I can’t imagine why you’d have weight issues with a diet like that. You just jitter off the pounds.

    I tossed my scale years ago and rely on the waistband of my fave jeans to tell me if I need to cut back from three jellies to two with my morning latte. *grin*

  6. Three weeks ago I swore off carbs and sweets, and started working out. This week I had Pizza and Chocolate Cheesecake and have talked myself out of working out for 7 nights in a row. Stick with what your good at, that is my motto. ( She says while chewing on a chocolate granola bar)

  7. I go through periods of time when I really want to lose the weight. I get disgusted by the fact NOTHING fits me in my closet (well nothing I want to wear anyway) and I will be really good for a week or two, drop 5 or 6 pounds, then I give up! :-/
    It really isn’t as difficult as all that to lose weight. But it does take some discipline and no Ding Dongs or Oreo cookies. *sigh* watching carbs, eating good protein, drink LOTS of water and exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes and you should average 1 to 2 lbs a week. Good luck! 🙂

    1. I’ve never had a weight “problem.” I’ve been between 180 and 190 pounds for the last 10 years. But this year I hit 200. I’m 6’1″ so it’s not a big deal, but I want to be ahead of the game when I turn 55 in 2022 and gain another 10 pounds!

  8. I know that this post is a little older, but a friend sent me the following video, and I just had to find a way to send it to you. Baby’s First Bacon….is this an old family movie featuring you??

No one is watching, I swear...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s