Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Flabbiness

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for people to discard the hope of successfully dieting and exercising, and to consume the culinary blessings of the earth, the delicious yet fattening array of burgers and fried chicken which the laws of Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders entitle us, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that we should declare the causes which impel us to the separation. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all chubby men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of flabbiness.

The other night while paying the monthly bills[1] I noticed that I've been throwing away $85 a month on a "fat tax," or as it's more commonly known, a "gym membership."  When we moved into our new home last April, I signed the family up for membership in the local country club, including use of the pool, gym, dining hall, and an assortment of other amenities, all for the very reasonable price of the aforementioned eighty-five bucks.  It seemed like quite a bargain at the time, and it would've been, if not for one minor detail.  I never go.

I shouldn't say "never."  In truth, I've been to the gym exactly three times, and that includes stopping by on my way home from work to get my picture taken for the membership card.  But I can't bring myself to just quit because that would be like, well, quitting.  I cling desperately to my gym membership as a way to convince myself there's still hope, the same way a jilted husband refuses to take off his wedding ring even though his slutty ex-wife dumped him years ago and is currently humping her way through the entire starting lineup of the San Diego Chargers[2].  Time to let go, man, it's over.

My self-delusion can be fairly persuasive, but let's face it, I'm not fooling anybody, least of all myself.  Even if I could work up the motivation to hit the gym two or three times a week, there would still be the other four or five days to contend with.  And, if history tells us anything, those remaining days would be festooned with In-N-Out burgers, stuffed-crust pizza, KFC and Subway (Jared can go screw himself, there's nothing healthy about the foot-long Italian BMT with the works).  There's nothing more frustrating than busting your butt in the gym for two days and then throwing it all away on a Ben and Jerry's binge.  It makes you wonder, "why the hell did I waste all that time working out?"

So here's how I justify all this, in case you were wondering.  I'm forty-five years old, and in a committed, happy relationship, so I don't have to worry about impressing chicks with my chiseled physique.  Which works out just fine because my physique isn't chiseled at all.  It's molded out of Play-doh.  Also, while I'm admittedly overweight, you wouldn't necessarily look at me and think, "damn, look at that fat guy."  "Look at the bald guy," sure.  "Look at that goofy dude over there," absolutely.    But at this point, I don't believe "fat" is my primary defining characteristic.  So I've got some wiggle room here.

Which is why I've decided to stop beating myself up over not exercising as much as I should (how's that for understatement?), and sticking to a diet plan that could best be described as "tasty, enjoyable, and won't kill me for at least fifteen more years."  I mean, seriously, when you enjoy burgers as much as I do, you're not going to get over the bar unless you set it pretty darn low.

But I haven't completely given up just yet.  I'll continue to pay the "fat tax" as long as I have to, and maybe someday I'll find the motivation to start working out and eating right.

Then again, you know how many Double-Doubles you can get for $85 a month?

[1] I mean this literally, it's not a euphemism for "it's my significant other's time of the month."

[2] Offense, defense AND special teams.  Even the kicker, a five foot seven Scandinavian guy whose last name contains no vowels.


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Eva Gallant said...

I hear you louda and clear! I go to the gym 3 times a week and it makes no difference; this could be because I refuse to give up my pizza and burgers!

Simple Dude said...

How about this. As part of my job I get a free membership to one of the top gyms in our area. And they have about a dozen locations around town. It's about a $70/month value. I have worked there 2 1/2 years and have used my membership all of once.

It depresses me a little, but at least I am not paying for it.


Boom Boom Larew said...

A... a man after my heart. I think we share the same waistline and love of burgers. I, too have been paying that "fat-tax" and keep thinking I will have "failed" if I cancel my membership... despite the fact that I haven't been there in two months and with my broken leg, it's going to be several more months before I can get back. Oh, well... pass the french fries, please!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I have the solution to your diet dilemma...

Move to a state that doesn't serve Double-Doubles. I couldn't do it but maybe you have more willpower than I do. Let me know how that goes. ; )

Heff said...

Gym memberships are B.S.

If you ARE (WERE) gonna work out, you could do it AT HOME on a reasonably priced machine that would only cost you as much as a few months of a gym membership, anyway.

Kelley said...

So glad you stopped by my silly blog today! Your writing is so funny and creative. I like how you said you had some "wiggle room". Wiggling and jiggling goes perfectly with your theme here. BTW, I can totally relate. I have a gym membership and try to go 3 times a week but usually average only once. That's pointless! Ahhh!!!

IT said...

I get plenty of exercise lifting Double-Doubles.
I only wish they weren't so far away.

離婚 said...

Wow! I love the new look of your page.

Funnyrunner said...

Very clever and articulate conceit, love it. I'm all for not stressing out about looking chiseled, but I do think it's important to try and stay healthy. Yes - go ahead and eat hamburgers, but not every day. :) lol about Jared. Yup - he probably eats a half of a turkey sub with no mayo. Have you seen the ads that he'll be running the NYC marathon next weekend?

nonamedufus said...

You could always walk to In-and-Out.

Holy crap! I just read about their secret menu with 3x3s and 4x4s and something called Animal Fries. Um, do you think you could mail me some of this stuff? There's nothing like it in Canada.

Janna said...

Let's trade places.
I'll pretend to go to the gym, and you can be vegan for a week.
You can eat miserable glop covered in vegetables, and I'll just hang out in your living room.
You have cable, right?
Make sure the freezer is full of pizza rolls.
I like pizza rolls.

Peter Varvel said...

"Oh, no - Mister Bill!"

Charley W. said...

If nothing else, it give you the right to say in a conversation (even if it's not applicable), "Yeah...I belong to gym" and make sure you're out of sight when you allow yourself to exhale.

otin said...

I had a membership to Gold's Gym for a year and never went.

I started going to a pay as you go, 24 hour cheapo gym about 5 months ago and dropped 75 lbs. (It might be the decrease in blogging that helped!)

Fred Miller said...

You just got a new subscriber. You write well.

Working out is never a waste of time. It's not necessarily unattractive to be padded. Hey, I'm forty-three and a karate nut. You'd be surprised at how portly the senior black belts are when you go to a tournament. They may be rotund, but they can still kick and punch and hold their own. Looking like you want and being fit are two different things.

I avoid the "fat tax" by working out at home. My only equipment is a pair of 30# dumbells from Wal-Mart. And a jump rope. And a heavy bag. Hundred bucks, total.

Jeff said...

Every time I buy some food I shouldn't, I justify it by telling myself: "Ah, just this one time."

I've probably said that a thousand times.

But I'm going to get serious about it. But before I do that, I'm going to have one more big sloppy cheeseburger. Just this one time.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

This is one of your very best posts ever, Knuck. Although it pisses me off because I just realized that I've been paying my club for about 10 years even though I only go about...well, never. Not anymore. I'm too busy and too tired and too, uhmm, portly to bother anymore. They can just bury me in a van when I die.

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