Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Fat Farm

My closest friends and relatives have been hearing this same old chestnut for a few months, “I’m going to get on the stick and start exercising!” There must be a better way to phrase this. But I bought gym shorts, New Balance shoes, gym socks, a towel (to protect the gym equipment from my body instead of using a spray to wipe down after use) and even an incredibly cheap gym bag to throw all this junk into as I head down to the Beaton Park Fitness Centre.

This place looks like was originally a high school with a gym large enough for 3 basketball courts, an outside track and a large indoor swimming pool. There are also several other rooms for free weights, machines, spin bikes and floor exercise. The weird thing is a hot tub is located between the dressing rooms with a window to the hallway, across from the daycare area. I guess they want to scare the kids into fitness by witnessing beluga-like creatures frolicking among the waves and froth of the Jacuzzi.

The fitness centre (operated by the local city council) has a double sided application form that required a doctor’s signature since I am over 35 (45 for women) and don’t participate in rigorous exercise regularly. Odd. I guess the lawyers and insurance companies are as bad here as they are back home. The doctor laughed when I asked him to sign it. He apparently had done several in the past and told me, “Hey! If you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die!’ Such a comforting bedside manner.

So with that taken care of today, I will see if I can get hooked into going to the fitness centre on a regular basis again. I did that several years (decades) ago at the time I met Holly and for a variety of reasons, stopped going. My weight gain really took off while in Japan. I discovered that they make beer deliveries! We’d walk by the little hole in the wall shop and the workers would certainly recognize our Western faces and yell out. I’d hold up one finger (no, not THAT one) and about 10 minutes after I arrived back at the school where we lived, a delivery of a case of quarts (or whatever is the metric equivalent) would show up nice and cold and all too ready to drink. By the time I’d left the land of wa, I was rivaling Holly who had become pregnant with Nick!

In spite of now living here in the Second Fattest Country in the World! I do want to try and fit in (yeah, my pants, too) with the locals. You see, Australia is a far and distant second to the US. You can always tell when factory reps and sales people call on the office that they’re from the US by the sheer size. I understand that being on the road doesn’t allow you to eat healthfully and often evenings are spent at the bar, but most of my fellow workers will look these behemoths up and down, then look at me and quietly go back to work with a strange look on their faces. Probably a cross between pity and relief that they’re not in the same (sinking) boat.

Nick is 24 now and I’ve been fat since shortly after his conception, so this is going to be tough but I’m really going to try and get hooked again on the gym. I’ve even started eating a bit better but just like any past attempt to diet, I’d start buying food that wasn’t all that good and lots of it. Instead, this time I’ve found myself making the Australian adjustment by buying lots of booze. I have a bottle of almost every kind of spirit and I usually don’t drink the hard stuff. I mean, sure a gin and tonic when its warm (it’s almost always warm here, though) or a rum and coke with a slice of lime to liven it up, or maybe a sip or three of some Jameson, but really I don’t usually drink more and beer and/or wine usually. And I do usually drink. I guess I’ll have to…you know…cut down a little bit. Actually in the past, when I would only stop drinking beer, I’d begin to lose weight. At my age now, I don’t expect that to happen, but stranger things have happened and the thought of not drinking beer does seem strange to me, especially in Oz! Well, maybe only on Fridays with Mark, and only in the evenings, and….(joke).

When Holly and I went to Italy in 2003, some of my friends asked me how the Italian woman looked. I told them they had 3 looks. First, they looked at my face, then they looked at my gut, then they looked away. I do notice some people here in Oz do the same thing.

Hopefully by the time I make a return visit in August, I’ll appear a little slimmer than I am now. Notice no pictures, you can thank me later for that. I don’t really want any before pictures but if you want to visualize an after picture, Google “Tony Abbot Speedo” and that should answer any questions as to why I won’t do pictures. Imagine our President in a Speedo and that is similar to Tony Abbot as far as fitness and as a public entity. Actually Abbot only wishes he was Premier.

Wish me luck. I’m hoping to lose at least 25 kg. Carly has been working out with a friend who's in a Nutrition program at university and is an inspiration!

I’m already Australia’s biggest loser as I’m living here without Holly (and the kids) but hopefully that will change in the near future, at least as far as Holly is concerned.

This is Pork Chop, signing off.

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