Feeling the burn
Over the past few years, my parents have been urging me to rake up some cash every month, gather it into a pile, and burn it. Rather a weird request, but they were quite gung-ho about it. They even offered to put up the money if I came short. It wasn’t part of some bizarre ritual or religious tradition, but the sentiment has also been echoed by many of my other relatives. More and more dear and near ones have been suggesting this option in the recent past.
Of course, they don’t really say so in so many words. What they say is “Hamish, why don’t you go join a gym?“. Some of you may be thinking “Hey, that’s not the same as asking you to burn money!“, but bear in mind that some of you don’t really know me very well. My willpower, or lack thereof, is quite infamous; it’s usually the chief culprit in those tense family mysteries like “The Case of the Disappearing Cake“, “A Study in Chocolate“, and “The Curious Case of the Piling Pizza Boxes”
This willpower of mine is versatile, in the sense that it doesn’t limit its incompetence to food issues. It is equally inept in activities that require more muscle-power than what’s needed to change the TV channel. Gyms, by design, demand intense activity, and for any sort of positive result, it requires it on a consistent basis. Being a straight shooter, I am certain I’ll be prompt on my payments… almost as certain as the fact that I’ll be visiting the gym less often than Salman Rushdie visits Iran.
Of course, I can understand the source of concern. Ever since my body discovered that I’m too lazy to actually resist any strategic advances, it has been claiming new territory, adding to the sovereign territory of Hammy’s bulk. And the rate of expansion has been commendable. The brave legions of Fat and Cholesterol has been on a victorious campaign against Health and General Well-Being. There was no retreat; no surrender. Alexander the Great might have been impressed. Well, ok, maybe not Alex. But Genghis Khan, surely.
But the territorial encroachment has been condemned in the form of insurmountable opposition from foreign lands of Family and Friends, and finally, it has entered mainstream media in the form of wry social commentary (“Hey, fatso. Yeah, I’m talking to you“). So, this idea of exile into a popular gymnasium, while evident in its futility, was not entirely unanticipated.
They don’t run into dispute over this either. Hamish need to reduce some weight – The sentiment is universal, and I can’t fight that anymore. Ok, fine. So it’s time to shed a few pounds…. a few dozen pounds, to be more precise. Throw out about 50 pounds and Hamish is ready to enter the Legion of the Elite Thin. But there are skeptics all about. “50 pounds??“, an ex-close friend commented, “Hammy, ol’ boy, the only way you’re gonna lose 50 pounds is if you get mugged in London.”
Crude old joke from some local magazine, no doubt. But I’m not going to let the critics faze me. I’m going to persevere. I’m not too keen about the gymnasium idea, but I can do things on my own… I can do some exercises… FIFTY sit-ups a day! AND fifty push-ups! Well, let’s say five each to start with. No point setting impossible targets in the beginning. How about five sit-ups OR five push-ups a day… gives more variety to the day, and hence has better chance of me sticking to the grueling schedule.
Hmm… five sit-ups OR push-ups per day… I’m not a physical trainer, but I’m getting that instinctive feeling that this may not be adequate. But I’m not really worried. I’ve got another trick up my sleeve. A rigorous diet! That’s right, a no-fat, no-oil, no-meat, no-potato, no-rice, no-taste fruit-heavy veg-heavy diet. No fried stuff. No chips. And no sweets either. No chocola… Eh?? Ok, no chocolate milk shake, at least. And this is going to be STRICT. No exceptions. None! Well, unless I’m catching up with friends. It’d be impolite to just stay with my mouth closed while they load up. So I guess I can make that exception when I’m meeting friends, or attending a party… or I’m visiting family… or someone’s celebrating… or…
God… I’m not gonna make it, am I?