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

imageLike many 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 was probably defective.

At a friend’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 reporters here at the newspaper who, realizing the implications, told me to stay out of their candy drawers.

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 fast-food place nearby. 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 just turned 50, am married and have four children; 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.

1) 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.

2) I understand that my metabolism is slowing down and that, 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 and require a government subsidy just so I can fill up with gas (not counting the natural kind.)

3) 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 finally,

4) I will stop using the scale as my measure of success.

What’s the point, really?

They’re all wrong anyway…




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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...

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

  1. Scale?? What is this scale you speak of? I know not of a thing called a scale… LOL!

    It is very difficult to stay off of said appliance when you are trying to lose weight, but it is something I try to do. I pay more attention to the way my clothes fit and how I look in the mirror. Scales DO lie! and they are NOT a good source of measure when you are working out because muscle weighs more than fat. If you are truly working out, then you are replacing one with the other so do not use the scale to measure success!!

    Now if you will excuse me, I have a white thing to retrieve from my front yard! HA HA! 😀

  2. I’m still laughing about buns of aluminum foil. Fantastic goals! Although there’s nothing wrong with rocking a nice bod after 50. 😉 I’m still working on mine. Might get there by 2025.

  3. Oh, this one really made me smile. Also, it reminded me of a WHOLE Costco Christmas cake, which I LOVE & you don’t!) that I ate, over a week. It was round. I see the whole thing sitting in a circle round my belly. I THINK it was worth it… Happy week, it was. (Wearing a lot of black these days. 😉 HAPPY NEW YEAR, Ned! Kisses from Canada!

  4. Actually, when it comes to managing weight, you do want your body metabolism to have the efficiency of a Humvee: wouldn’t be great if your body burned 50 calories at every step?

      1. List of is dead right. Your body actually uses fuel MUCH MORE EFFICIENTLY as you age. Of course people will be jealous, and talk about your extra flab to distract everyone from the marvelously efficient machine that is you. Screw ’em!

  5. I am at that stage where I am pretty sure my buns are exquisite, at least tin quality. It’s probably good that I can’t actually see them, butt they FEEL good.

    Am I the first that not so long ago, you appeared in public in a red thong?

  6. Oh the life of a writer. I’ve gained 5 pounds since I began writing books that won’t go away. Never in my lifetime have I sat on my arse so many hours in a dayl LOL, thank goodness my 2-3 times a week at the gym still allow my pants to fit. 🙂 Happy New Year Ned. May the scales be with us (or away from us) 🙂

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