My 2015 resolution is to embrace healthy living. Why? Well, soon after this year’s cake-, meat- and beer-filled Christmas, I took a shower and looked down. Not only did my enlarged belly block the view of my feet, I couldn’t even see the bottom of the tub. A few days after that, taking off my coat as I entered a restaurant, a little boy asked his mom, “Is that man pregnant?” I snapped at him, “No, I’m a bit overweight — from eating little brats!”
I’ve tried sucking in my belly when around other people, but that makes my abdominal muscles too tired. Then I tried hiding my Yule-gut behind a large inflatable beach toy, holding it in front of myself at all times. But this meant that, in order to prevent the thing from getting a puncture, I had to stay a safe distance away from cacti, unicorns and people holding lit cigarettes or medical-cannabis joints. Plus, people at social events would sometimes ask awkward questions, like, “Hey, Mark, what’s with the inflatable sea-turtle?”
So, now I’m on a diet. Following some convincing-sounding nutritional advice that I found at random on the internet, I only eat foods that begin with the letter “x”. That may sound too strict for some, but it’s working quite well for me so far. Xanthan gum and xylophones are a lot yummier than I’d ever imagined, though I find that most X-rated DVDs are not to my taste.
According to online nutrition experts, hunger often leads to mood swings. Apparently, it’s normal for dieters to experience euphoria, despair, confusion, shame, nostalgia, regret, sexual dysfunction, nightmares, insomnia, ennui, panic and absolute delight — often at the same time. The more insane you seem to others, I’m advised, the better the diet is working. So if you wake up in a straightjacket and/or a jail cell, your extra pounds will soon melt away!
I was worried about my fitness level. It was so low that I would get exhausted from rolling down my car window at the Wendy’s drive-thru. We have an old-fashioned manual window-control, you see, and once it wore my arm out so much that the Wendy’s staff found me passed out in the driver’s seat; I only revived after a manager with medical training delivered my chocolate Frosty by I.V.
Vigorous exercise is essential for achieving a healthy lifestyle. However, to prevent injury, it must be done prop- erly. Before your start your full-contact Zumba, boulder- bowling or Death Valley Double Marathon, it is essential to warm up all your muscles, tendons and ligaments, relaxing any tight spots that may cause injury. Some do this with a stationary bike or light stretching. In my experience, however, the best way to warm up is by lying in a bathtub of warm, bubbly water. Add more hot water when you start feeling chilly. Add to the routine a steaming mug of “hot toddy” — i.e. sweet, spicy liquor, administered orally — and a soothing backrub from your loved one and you’ll be so deliciously warmed, so soothingly relaxed, that injuries will be almost impossible. Generally, after such a highly effective warm-up, I’ll postpone my exercising to the next day and shuffle off to bed. So far, zero injuries!
However, I do sometimes suffer from insomnia. I’ll lay there for hours, thinking all kinds of odd thoughts, like what would happen if the U.N. sent peacekeepers to the Ainslie Wood/Westdale border or whether Brian McHattie and Brad Clark should team up to form a rap duo. I’ll toss and turn, spinning under my blanket like a roasting pig, awake for hours. This is a problem, as proper sleep is essential for healthy living. Some insomniacs turn to sleeping pills. However, that is a bad idea, as those drugs are highly addictive. Even though you rarely find journalism by Jon Wells in The Spectator about sleeping pill junkies mugging people in alleys to pay for a “fix,” the problem is real and serious. The reason you rarely hear about crime by desperate sleeping pill addicts is because, whenever an opportunity for crime arises, they are usually at home, napping. Even when they set their alarms to get up nice and early to do crimes, sleeping pill addicts often hit their snooze button so often that, by the time they arrive at the scene, there are no crimes left to commit.
The best way to fight insomnia is by filling the bedroom with relaxing sounds. I own a “soothing sounds of the ocean” CD — featuring rhythmic sounds of sea waves and the gentle calls of sea-birds — that I play often. It never fails to help me drift to sleep. The only problem is when it triggers a recurring nightmare where I’m bobbing in the Bermuda Triangle, being attacked by a pack of giant squids. I wake up screaming, “Get back, tentacled freaks!” while I’m frantically front-crawling under my blankies.
Despite such occasional setbacks, I’m pleased with my progress in embracing healthy living. By the time summer comes, I hope to be fit enough to compete in the Pan Am Games, in the individual bubble-bath event. That gold medal will look great hanging on my towel rack! At the very least, I expect dramatic improvements in my performance at the Wendy’s drive-thru.