Monday, December 30, 2013

Disguise the Gym

Perfect people dominate the gym. They have flat stomachs, firm buttocks, and defined everything. Yes, they go to the gym to maintain these bodies, but these are not the people who need the gym.

While on the treadmill, I stumbled upon an idea: disguise the gym. The sign outside should not include the word "Fitness." Instead, label the building "Buffet." Consider your favorite gym with this change: "LifeStyle Buffet" or "24 Buffet." The "Gold's Buffet" sounds like a nice Chinese buffet.

As I've written before, the last people who need buffets tend to patronize them []. These people need a gym, but I sense that few would wander, by choice or by accident, into the local fitness clubs. I write this because, sadly, I see too few people in need of a trainer at the gym.

Gaining weight is easy. Staying overweight is easier. I know, because I did that for years. Losing weight and staying in shape requires effort and self-discipline. You have to count calories, shop for food wisely, reduce dining out, and exercise. You don't need to go to a gym or a track, or anywhere special, but it helps.

You could buy exercise machines, weights, and other equipment — but those usually collect dust after a month or two. There's a reason secondhand equipment is plentiful enough to spawn dedicated stores. Admittedly, we own some of that over-priced and underused equipment, sitting in our basement laundry room.

Going to a gym with someone, on a schedule, helps. A weight loss buddy encourages you to keep up the effort.

Where we live, obesity is endemic. Fried foods, starches, bacon, and beef are a way of life. The mall food courts include such places as "Potato World" and "Bacon Fries." Yes, there is a place that specializes in french fries with chili and bacon bits on top. Cheesesteaks and stacked sandwiches with fries and coleslaw between the slices of bread, not on the side, are standards. Eating beef on inch-thick Texas toast with French fries and mayonnaise-soaked coleslaw? Yeah, that must be a health food.

Walking around the mall is a good reminder of why we walk around the mall. Curiously, the gym is located in a former restaurant… in the mall, not far from a pretzel stand.
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