September 29, 2023

The Three Fs by Brendon Marks


So you’re suffering from the three F’s: fat, forty, and frustrated–well, help is available. I can’t do much about “forty”, except suggest you slap on a coat of Oil of Old Lady, to cover your basketball complexion so you don’t look forty. And you’ll have to get “frustrated” advice from another source, but “fat” is right down my alley.

Before everybody starts writing letters, let me say that I am not saying that you’re fat. I’m also not saying there is anything wrong with being fat. I’m just saying you may think you’re fat and you may have decided to do something about it. If you have, read on.

Everybody knows exercise burns fat, but not everybody knows which exercises are best. Some activities, such as handball and the bow paddler in a Hawaiian war canoe, consume tremendous amounts of calories, but are not ranked high in terms of popularity.

Any exercise regimen starts with a simple warm-up. Sit in a chair and hold your hands near your chest, then push your arms straight out in front. You will notice this warm-up is very similar to pushing yourself away from the dinner table. Practice it often. If you do it with fingertips pointing upward, you can also fend off pastry offers.

Once you’ve mastered the warm-up, you can move on to one of the following: Walking. The major attraction of walking is that most people require no instruction or equipment. There are no physical limitations unless you are attempting to simulate breaking things with your elbows or using hand weights. What usually happens with the novice is that the arms become tired, and get out of sync with the feet, causing unnatural vibration in the pelvic region that can lead to a nasty spill. There is one new skill that must be mastered–reading the mall directory map. This is required if you ever hope to find your car. It is also a common misconception that walking reduces stress. Ask any postal employee.
Golf. Jack Nicklaus plays tennis to stay in shape; Jimmy Connors runs–you figure it out.

Gyms are very popular. They have all the equipment that would collect dust at your house, available for you to use, as long as you don’t mind paying, and waiting, to use it. Once you have a membership, it is a simple process, remarkably similar to mall-walking: A.) Drive to gym. B.) Exercise. C.) Drive home.

This process does not seem to be simpler than: A.) Exercise.

But looks can be deceiving. One advantage of gym workouts is that results are usually immediate. Nobody wants to be seen in public wearing Spandex that is stretched to the point where it has the potential to rupture.
Bicycling. Making the observation that most bike riders are skinny would lead one to believe that bike riding takes off fat. Maybe it does, but for the price of the bike, bike rack, helmet, special clothing, gloves, and shoes, you could have a standing liposuction appointment for the next five years.

Running takes off fat like a knife, and requires virtually no equipment. A pair of shoes, (socks optional), and enough material to prevent socially unacceptable displays of certain body parts, are all that is necessary. Forces are at work trying to mechanize running, but the only advantage that I can see for a treadmill is the fact that no matter how far you run, or what happens while you run, getting back home is never a concern–unless you’re running on a treadmill at the gym.

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