Satire Non-Fiction posted January 8, 2013

This work has reached the exceptional level
Resolving not to resolve


by Marisa3

Over the years I have been the world's worst when it comes to New Year's resolutions. The only one I manage to keep is the one I never make and that is my unintentional (yet compulsive) resolve to break whatever resolutions I make. A list of resolutions for me is a setup pure and simple, it is a self-perpetuating 'sting operation' and just Like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football, I fall for it every time.

Having grown considerably older and only somewhat wiser, I have finally gone several years now without the requisite 'List' of New Year's resolutions. However, I do love the start of a new year. It is a beginning and as with all beginnings it holds such promise.

Today I did my best impression of Rocky Balboa (minus the watch cap and the 'Fagin' fingerless gloves) when he first started his intense training to become a real contender in the ring. The weather even cooperated with me and provided a backdrop of an overcast, cold and rainy day (just like the one Rocky had in the City of Brotherly Love ... Philadelphia) to begin this new dimension in my effort to climb higher on the fitness ladder (not a resolution, a new beginning). Dressed in layers of Body Armor and a quilted vest, I braved the cold, damp day and scaled the 6 story parking structure at my work. It is built on a long, continuous grade to give it just enough resistance for a good little lunchtime workout. Not the 'Everest' style steps Rocky climbed, but the view from the top was almost as good.

I am an urban animal. The city is my home turf. The sounds of the cars on the expressways, police and ambulance sirens blaring, and the commuter trains whizzing past are familiar and comforting music to my ears. The landscape is dank and sparse at this time of year and one's breath is visible as it clings to the moisture ladened air. Now if I could only find a 'Paulie' with a meat locker my workout program would be complete. A good kickass punching session on a side of beef would be just the ticket.

Getting in the 'Zone' becomes more of a challenge as decades pass. It sometimes takes a little longer for the endorphins to kick in and send a message to the serotonin to get its lazy ass up and start mood elevating (the damn stuff falls down on the job every time if it is not diligently policed). Once these brain teasers are jumpstarted the benefits begin.

Having been a computer zombie for years now, it is a sure way to become a soft shell if necessary means are not taken to counteract the sedentary lifestyle it promotes. Hell, with remote controls for everything from TVs to oscillating fans, it's a wonder we have not 'devolved' into legless torsos. After a session of channel surfing at the speed of light for several hours the only thing staying fit is one's index finger. (Note: I do not channel surf; I consider that to be a male trait ... seems to be programmed into their DNA).

When it comes to exercise it is all in the way one perceives it. If it is viewed as a necessary evil then it will always be associated with torture. I find it very amusing to see how we humans can use seriously distorted logic when it comes to diet and exercise.

Take the women that decide after every workout they should treat themselves to say an ice cream sundae or a nice slice of pie. I overheard two women, in the locker room of the gym, congratulating each other on what a great workout they had and then promptly trying to decide where they would go to eat.

There was a Mexican restaurant on one side of the gym and a Marie Calendar's on the other (gym owners are smart when it comes to picking just the right locations to keep the chunkos coming back indefinitely). Both establishments served excellent food, but with portion sizes rivaling the size of a football field and a calorie count that would render the Jolly Green Giant unconscious.

Talk about one step forward and ten steps back. These ladies may have burned a nice little 300 or 400 calories doing their workout programs, provided they weren't chin-wagging and dishing too much between sets. They then proceed to go next door and put on the feedbag, which will most likely result in at least 3 to 5 thousand calories in one sitting. Their bodies just throw in the towel and start shoveling the excess calories into as many fat cells as they can find. The next thing you know these ladies are climbing on the scale and lamenting how they have managed to gain weight even after all their many workouts.

At this rate they may as well stay home and order a giant meatball sandwich and watch a workout DVD while consuming said giant sandwich from the comfort of a Barco lounger. Then they can delude themselves into thinking they will reap the benefits through osmosis.

It doesn't make a damn bit of difference to Jane Fonda whether you actually workout to her DVD or just use it as entertainment while dining on fast food, either way she makes the same amount of profit.

Maybe we need to take a page out of the playbook of the owners of Greyhound racing dogs (not that I in any way hold with this sport), as they get the dogs to run around the track by having them chase a mechanical rabbit. Perhaps, with a few modifications, we could do something similar for humans, such as have a bucket of fried chicken or a three-layer chocolate cake rigged up and let the games begin. Think about it, have you ever seen a 'fat' greyhound? They are the most anorexic animals on the planet and they can run like hell ... what's not to emulate, I ask you?

Let's face it, there are a fair few of us that have really hardworking metabolic systems and God bless their little hearts. I am ever so happy for them that they can stuff their faces and never gain an ounce of unwanted fat. However, the rest of us on planet earth need all the help we can get to keep within normal range. When it comes down to it there is no easy fix. As many times as a 'chunky fool' and his/her money is parted for some fad diet or other the results remain the same, which are little or no progress in the weight loss department and most likely a bigger weight gain in the end.

So I say to all in the most benevolent way, choose not to make resolutions to do fifty five pushups in four and a half seconds, even though the only thing you have been 'pushing' for the past year is a jelly donut into your face. Do not be tempted to follow the workout of a madman who would have you lifting SUVs and running with giant sequoias on your backs. Just take a breath and tell yourself that it has taken you some time to put the weight on and it will take some time to get it off. When it comes to weight loss the philosophy of the tortoise is much more successful in the end than that of the Hare.

In closing, I leave you with the words of Victor Buono in the "Fat Man's Prayer":

Lord, my soul is ripped with riot
Incited by my wicked diet.

"We are what we eat," said a wise old man,
Lord, if that's true, I'm a garbage can.
To rise on Judgment Day, it's plain,
With my present weight, I'll need a crane.

So grant me strength that I may not fall,
Into the clutches of cholesterol.
May my flesh with carrot-curls be dated,
That my soul may be polyunsaturated

And show me the light that I may bear witness,
To the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
And at oleomargarine I'll never mutter,
For the road to Hell is paved with butter.

And cream is cursed; and cake is awful;
And Satan is hiding in every waffle.
Mephistopheles lurks in pepperoni,
The Devil himself in each slice of bologna.

Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,
And Lucifer is a lollipop.
Give me this day my daily slice,
Cut it thin and toast it twice.

I beg upon my dimpled knees,
Deliver me from jujube's.
And when my days of trial are done,
And my war with malted milk balls won,

Let me stand with Heavenly throng,
In a shining robe - size 30 long.
I can do it Lord, if you'll show to me,
The virtues of lettuce and celery.

Teach me the evil of mayonnaise,
And of pasta a la Milanese.
And crisp-fried chicken from the South,
Lord, if you love me, shut my mouth!



Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse and Thou in the wilderness - Omar Khayyam (The Rubaiyat)

In todays portly world we would have to rethink Khayyams choice of fare when considering the high carb and caloric intake of a blasted loaf of bread and a flask of wine. One might assume that butter would be on the agenda, as well, so a perfectly lovely vision of two lovers meeting over a romantic repast, of bread and wine, would have to be carrot sticks and spring water. Where the hell is the romance in that?

I did not think the New Year could get off to a traditional start without some sort of tribute to the number one resolution made by millions every year and that is to lose weight through diet and exercise. I for one will not succumb to this foolish resolution, I shall just continue my efforts to stay fit and eat right. I most likely will not live longer, it will just seem like it! Ugh!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by avmurray at

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