Friday, September 10, 2010

Fitness For Life

Regular visitors to this blog will be well aware by now that given a choice between fasting for a week in order to attain spiritual perfection, and stuffing my face for an hour until I’m fit to burst, I’m 100% likely to go for option #2.

Problem is, at my age, the ability to sport a permanently unswelling waistline (to the extent that, on a good day, I can still fit myself into a pair of jeans I wore when I was 21 — if I iron myself for an hour or two beforehand, exhale till I’m blue, and leave my skeleton at the zip) doesn’t cut the mustard like it used to. Now, the inner horrors exceed the outer ones in both number and severity. There’s so many things you can do to ruin your internal organs these days, all from consuming a humble Hob-Nob or two, it seems.

I mention this because I bumped into an old fiend at the weekend, an old friend the same age as myself. An old friend the same age as myself who nearly died of a heart attack last Christmas. As I understand it, he overdid the fags in his youth, but in all other respects, there was absolutely nothing wrong with him bar a genetic predisposition to ticker trouble — and biscuits loaded with polyunsaturates. Again, as I understand it, I fall into the same boat. Watch me topple now from the quayside into the chugging tug of heart rot and Digestives, there to consider my fate.

Perhaps, I say to the spectre in the mirror, whose ethereal fronds I still wish to see flickering before me 25 years from now*, perhaps it’s time to start looking at food from a wider perspective than flavour, amount, texture, yumminess and bliss. O mirror of the future, light my way towards responsible calorie counting, additive awareness and the Fat Free Misery ‘n’ Wretchedness Aisle of my local Tesco.

* and if you’re wondering what a mirror is doing on a workaday ole chugging tug, let’s not forget that even for burly sailors, there’s a fine line between looking roguishly manly and unashamedly scruffy, beardwise.
I’ll say one thing for mirrors on stubby sea vessels: the magic works faster than that genie and bottle thing. The moment I resolved myself to rectify my pre-rectal digestive habits, I was drawn to search the internet for diets, principally those involving no minimally plump thirtysomething women in leotards or Mr Effing Motivator. What I got was this:

I have no idea whether Mr Ehret’s system matches up to the nutritionally sound, scientifically researched, regimes du jour, but to be honest, I’d rather trust a snappily coiffured German fruit enthusiast of yore to advise me on diet than any number of cash driven modern day fitness gurus. Especially if I can combine my improved food intake with an exercise regime from roughly the same era as the mucus-free stomach nirvana proposed by Ehret.

I’m thinking of something along these lines — simple exercises involving minimal effort, minimal stretching (except, perhaps, for the elastic in whatever dinky trunks I purchase for my 20-minutes-a-day Lean Against A Chair marathon).

If I’m still here next week, I’ll let you know how I’m getting on.


fairyhedgehog said...

Oh Lord, now I'm feeling guilty about my terrible eating habits.

If you start to do those exercises, Whirl, we need pictures. To encourage us to follow suit, that is. Yes, that's right, so we'll exercise too, and not for any other reason at all.

Phoenix said...

You do realize he overdid the fags in his youth has an entirely different meaning here in the States? Although I suppose early demise from heart trouble could arise from overdoing that as well.

Those do look like manly man exercises -- are you sure you're up for them? And, yes, please, pictures of you in a flesh-colored Speedo. Preferably the same one you wore when you were 21.

Old Kitty said...

I always believe that to be slim you have to think yourself slim and what better way to do this than to release the inner diva in you and start vogueing. Preferably without any mucus, with dinky trunks, a chair and a nifty little moustache.

Oh and a hobnob or two.

Take care

Whirlochre said...

Creepy Weepy Spiky Rodent (Aglow)
Somewhere, I have a great book of isometric exercises for home and office. From the mid 60s. The girl with working out with the typewriter and filing cabinet is especially ammusing. Remind me to post.

Tut tut, the old fag mismatch. Almost as bad as 'pants' rather than pants and 'pissed' instead of pissed.

As for my 80s beachwear — shrivelled as the skin on a freeze-dried mummy.

Old Kitty
Ok, that settles it. Watch out for the home and office isometrics photos. Makes vogueing look like a ridiculous 80s fad favoured by world famous female vocalists and dead Sex Pistols managers...

Bernard said...

Aye, the trick is to place the Hob-Nobs on the groond, spread yer feet shoulder width apart, and then strrrrrretch to reach 'em withoot usin yer hands.

Alex said...

Ah tried tae poot them in a blender wi' some mulled wine, idea being tae make a pair o' dumbells.

But ah got bloody splattered...

jjdebenedictis said...

So leaning against a chair looking like a narcissist groping himself constitutes exercise? The world is a strange and wonderful place.

I fail to see how mucus enters the picture, but that's a good thing. It's always better to fail to see mucus.

Random word verification: ration

Perhaps the elves that run the internet are trying to offer advice re: biscuits?

writtenwyrdd said...

Thanks to FHH's encouragement, I fear we will be treated to a series of photos involving chair legs and stripey socks.

All I can do is plead that you *please* wear some Pink Crocks!

Seriously, though, luck with the diet. But you can find some great food that has no saturated fat, added sugar, added salt, or too many calories. Just that it's not so tasty...

Whirlochre said...

The narcissistic pictures in question come from a 20s fitness book entitled "My System" by Lieut J P Muller. As far as I can see, it's a hundred page advert for his manliness, and these pictures are just the start of it.

Looks like Whirl's Fitness Guide is on its way...

No pinc crocs I'm afraid. And the socks have gone missing. Again.

Robin B. said...

I think you look great - and hyounger than your years. Are you saying jackets hide tummies? Well then, yours must be a miracle jacket, boy-o.

That said, it IS weird when you first start hearing about your school friends having health problems related to food and lack of exercise or whatever - it's the stuff we used to think the 'older people' had, and then we say - oh shit, that's me now.

I found out recently that two of the guys I dated in my 20's are now dead - heart attack for one, cancer for the other. Christ.

Robin B. said...

P.S. Yes, as Phoenix mentioned, I'm totally up for a pic of you in a Speedo. I've always thought the kilt was the ultimate, but with a Speedo shot, the kilt would go the way of the penultimate. (So sorry, Mr. Kilt!)

Whirlochre said...

One of the saddest people I see round the place is this guy called Les. When we were kids, he terrified us. He was one of the special kids that had to be taken out of school, always in trouble with the police. Later, it was prison, and games of table tennis with jetted-in entertainers like myself. 30-odd years on, he always says hello in the street. Withered by a lifetime's want, he looks haunted these days, as if the ghost of his former rebellious self is waiting to rise up for one last adventure. My guess is, if it ever did, he'd try to hang himself. Old man's face, baby blue eyes — Les was always going to fall off the world.

Robin B. said...

Whirlio -

Your comment is a gorgeous nugget of the underlying truth about life. I swear I believe it deserves to be a story with that comment of yours included, verbatim. Seriously - it's good.

Whirlochre said...

Character sketches are on their way as a new blog feature...

sylvia said...

perhaps it’s time to start looking at food from a wider perspective than flavour, amount, texture, yumminess and bliss.

Don't be ludicrous! Ohhhhh, that's fiction, isn't it. I get it now.

I too, loved your character sketch of Les.

And I've been away from home too long, I didn't even notice the "fag" issue until Phoenix pointed it out!

And now even my Word ver is messing with my head: lecomers