Fat Man

In our bedroom there is a gym set. It is in the bedroom because of necessity; there is no other place in the house to put it. It is a tower of cables and flexi thingys that stretch out like a metallic scarecrow. I also have a stepping machine that simulates climbing stairs. Ironically, I have to climb a set of stairs to get to the bedroom where the stepping machine is. I could just go up and down the stairs for 20 minutes instead of using the stepping machine but…well, there is no reason.

I have a glorious moment each night when I am in my PJ’s, jump into bed and drink my cup of tea. I am a simple man who is satisfied with simple things….cough cough! With my head elevated by fluffy pillows I can see my idle gym set waiting…….waiting for me to do something with my life. I stare at it, it stares at me, I stare back at it. With the gym in our bedroom, I can never quite relax and with each naughty treat I sneak to my bed, I have to deny my conscience of oxygen with the hope it will asphyxiate and leave me alone.

My peripheral view past the TV is filled with the metallic scarecrow mocking me yelling, “hey fatty, that chocolate is going to cost you 67 bicep curls.” Then in my direct view I have the TV screen filled with a 20 something guy and girl showing off on the latest gym that everyone needs and looking spiffy. The Ken & Barbie TV models look like they use Botox as an energy drink and ripple from 23 hours of gym routine a day no doubt. They even have muscles in their nostrils!

Depressing….I feel like yelling at the TV (after wiping the left over chocolate from my mouth), “so what ripple girl, I can sing you know and I have lots of friends!” Then I feel really guilty because a World Vision ad comes on TV (which is where I work) showing children needing help and I slowly hide the chocolate bar as though everyone in the world can see me and make a beeline for the gym set. After 27 minutes of guilt ridden exercise I give myself permission to be OK with me again.

How the heck can I live in this world without feeling like I don’t measure up? I can hear Yoda saying, ” Chocolate you don’t need and heart attack you will have.” Self improvement often only involves peoples bodies…hardly ever will you hear someone at the pub bragging about doing a session with the psychologist and all the boys clinking their beer glasses in affirmation. Even though my body is getting older and droopier, my soul is getting fitter and perkier. Is it possible to get younger while you age? I think it is!

OK…I am not giving myself permission to eat like a glutinous horse with a chocolate addiction, but surely it is better to focus on matters of the heart than your heart itself? Alright, alright…. I can hear the chorus of the self-righteous saying, ” you should be looking after both hearts fat man!” I actually think it takes more discipline to exercise the mind and soul than it is to crank up the dusty gym set (my wife thinks that is a cop out). I know the world would be a better place if we had healthy minds and less rippled men with a bone to pick – that’s how wars start! If we exercised our mind and heart instead of our ego, peace may even have a chance to fill every home, along every street, in every city.

So for now I’ll trade an extensive exercise routine for a little longer time with my kids, a deeper conversation with my wife, a creative writing session or heaven forbid…a conversation with God! One day when I stop making excuses I’ll exercise my physical heart, I promise! If it weren’t for Cherry Ripe & Turkish Delight, I would have muscle bound nostrils too you know – Cadbury have a lot to answer for!

One thought on “Fat Man

  1. Oh man…I hear you: welcome to your (our) 40's.

    Have you also noticed that the Cadbury recipe is getting A LOT worse? At first I was a little upset, but now I understand they are doing me a favour…LOL!

    “Even though my body is getting older and droopier, my soul is getting fitter and perkier.”

    Love this line!


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