Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gym fascist - Fitter, Happier


I'm worried I'm turning into a gym fascist. I promised myself I wouldn't and while I haven't exactly gone beyond redemption the warning signs are definitely there.

These include:
  • Looking disapprovingly at people chowing down greedily on a burger and chips and thinking to myself about the fat content and the damage it could be doing to their heart. I often imagine myself wrapping a brotherly arm around these random shoulders before giving them the benefit of my experience on matters salad and tuna. I tried this at 3am in a Burger King on O'Connell Bridge and after getting an emphatic burger in the face, it would appear I had forced my message home. "Cast away your burgers! Embrace life" etc.
  • Also, I almost lose the plot when kids in nearby flats go into the Seashell every day for chips and you know it's all their parents give them to eat. Now you don't need to be a gym fascist to find that distasteful.
  • Being genuinely perplexed and almost a little bit angry when people ask me for a lift or they refuse to walk somewhere when it's actually quite close by and the weather is good. Feel like launching into a short sharp shock treatise on cardio health, fish oils and the advantages of increasing bone density for life, but generally don't, despite encountering lots of people who would thumb a lift to the far side of the table during a game of snooker. I have a suspicion people don't like this sort of lecturing y'see, I'm very intuitive that way and have half a notion that individuals have a right to live their life the way they see fit
  • Wanting to shake overweight people who do nothing but sit and moan about being overweight. This is dangerous territory. How do you balance well-intentioned advice with the real danger of sounding like a latter day Hitler urging that fat folk be ostracised or something horrible like that? Nevertheless, somewhere deep within I feel duty-bound to tell weight-moaners to do something about the problem making them unhappy and leaving them lacking confidence, and that nobody ever lost weight sitting and belly-aching about it. Going and doing, instead of standing and staring, is a universal pearl of wisdom applicable to many situations besides health and I don't dilute this one for anybody
  • Hating salmon all my life but developing a taste for it because it's a good healthy food and, probably more so than any other reason to be honest, Donegal Catch have brought out frozen fillets that are piss easy to cook. Am concerned that this could be an emerging trend, and I have been known to jump bolt upright in bed some nights sweating profusely and fearing that prunes, avocados and carob-topped rice cakes could well be next. That and dung cakes and dried goats blood on rye bread. Sweet Jesus. However, I shall never ever like broccoli. Fuck off broccoli!
  • Having a silent tut and superior shake of the head at the gym when girls arrive in wearing full make up and then doddle their way through ten mins on a machine without perspiring in any way. Often consider sneakily bumping the treadmill up to Speed 18.5 while they're diverted by yapping about Justin Timberlake or reading a mag, but always pull back at the crucial moment when I realise that being an asshole who can't live and let live is way worse than being someone who doesn't know how to work out properly
  • All too easily getting sucked into delivering long boring missives on health and nutrition to some hapless soul who happens to innocently say something like: "Those tracksuit bottoms are nice" or "Jesus it's roasting, I'm sweating like a horse" etc. etc. Am amazed how a conversation prompted by an simple conversation spark such as, say, Guinness being full of vitamins, can quickly morph into a full-scale account of the calories therein and from there it's rapidly downhill all the way to the amount of carbs in spuds, the hidden nutritional value of nuts and why six meals a day is better than three drone drone blah blah. I make a mental note to myself on every social occasion: No gym talk to the unconverted. If there's one thing worse than a gym Nazi, it's a gym bore.
What can I do except promise to keep an eye on myself.
But, typically, here's one last effort to get you all into the exercise vibe, to help you see beyond the comforts of your sedentary lifestyles to the rosy-cheeked and shiny-browed benefits of a gentle cardio session beyond. This stirring (and not a little catchy!!!!) exhortation from my like-minded brethren was what brought me into the fold, maybe it will work for you too : GO WALKING, IT'S WHAT YOU DO

It might be all over for me. I'm a parody of Dave's parody of myself.