Retirement benefits…

January 4, 2010

In the age of the omnipresent Wii and the ubiquitous iPhone, it shouldn’t surprise me that pensioners have come to access newer technologies. Funny, I always thought that retirees embracing modernity meant getting a titanium hip or knee replacement rather than the saw and peg treatment of the good ol’ days. Little did I realize that this video from YouTube better represents the 21st century’s influence on the over-65 set than any HGTV Design Star series.

I strongly suspect that this is the entertainment now provided in most old age care facilities. If not, then the drugs these two fabulous ladies are on should be standard fare in them. They crack me up.


This is one of those (regretful)  instances when my competitiveness got the better of me. Katharine was describing her performance in last year’s upstate triathlon a few months back. With four months of training on her side, she did quite well in her overall rating with running being an area she really excelled in. As a consummate braggart, I declared how easily I could slay her rating and the triathlon course. And now, here we are: it is three months later, and nearly at a time to register for the triathlon. And going back on my claim to kick her time to the curb would seem weak on my part, and I cannot concede that. Damn.

Where does that put me? Well, I’ve been attempting to exercise a bit more and eat healthier.

West Side Highway Biking/Walking Paths

West Side Highway Biking/Walking Paths

The former was easy enough to accomplish considering my complete lack of exercise before I began this “training period”. I have gotten into a fairly regular pattern of exercise now after two weeks. Usually, I try to run as often as possible (trying to reach about 15 miles per week) with a little bit of swimming mixed in for flavor. Utilizing both East River Park’s and the West Side Highway’s biking/walking paths, I’ve been able to attempt a 3 mile run twice a week and a longer 5-6 mile run once a week. That may sound very tame (and it is!), but it gives me a large amount of recovery time in between and room to grow. My endurance is certainly not what it used to be, so I am working to get that a little better. The swimming helps that a lot, I think.  Though I do find swimming at the gym terribly awkward. The biking has been ignored thus far, and I do not expect that I will get much biking in before the triathlon other than on the gym’s awful machines. I have yet to attempt any real gym workouts (aka weight room exercises). I am a little too scrawny and feel silly using a machine that a much more dedicated gym rat may find more useful.  But I think today may be the day to try it.

The brand that I rely upon, Green Giant

The brand that I rely upon, Green Giant

The latter item, the food one, I knew would pose the greatest challenge for me. Without a doubt, I am under the psychological spell of food. I need a snack before bed. I need to eat certain foods while watching a movie. I have to eat foods to know I am full even if my stomach is already filled to capacity. It’s unhealthy, but has always worked for me so far. BUT there is hope! Considering I love vegetables so very much, I try to cook as much as I can. Throwing in a little plain ole’ chicken to my veggie mix adds the protein I need to “bulk” up. And fruits, now somewhat neglected, are saved for my dessert (and may or may not have a dollop of pudding or yogurt on them). It has been incredibly successful in keeping me satisfied, and I would guess that it is also very healthy. Most importantly, I have been guzzling water and tea, as many people have suggested. It is said that one should drink [their weight / 12] 8 oz glasses of water. I doubt that this number is scientific, but I am willing to try it.

2 months left! Overall, I am not sure what kind of results to expect and when to expect them in terms of my actual fitness level.  But I have hope…and that hope is that I will devastate my sister in this contest!

Any recommendations?

Why I love Ricky Gervais…

January 11, 2009

Ricky Gervais has taken a lot of flack recently. The star of (the british, original edition of) The Office and the critically-adored 2008 movie, Ghost Town, recently criticized overweight members of society that participate in elective surgeries to promote weight loss, including gastric bypass and liposuction. In his new audiobook, The Ricky Gervais Guide to Medicine, Gervais states:

I really don’t know why a doctor under a hippocratic oath takes the risk of something going badly wrong, sometimes with general anaesthetic, because someone can’t be bothered to go for a f—ing run. They have bits sliced off and tied up and sucked out. I want to say to them, “You lazy f—ing fat pig. Just go for a run and stop eating burgers. You might f—ing die.” Some things are not worth the risk. When someone’s facial surgery goes wrong because they wanted plumper lips or a little nose, I think they’re a f—ing idiot. If your arse is too f—ing fat, stop eating and go for a run.

Newspapers and online news organizations are all over this story now, claiming that he is being offensive and attacking obese people unfairly. Gervais, who describes himself as a “fatty”, is now being asked to offer a public apology for his words by several organizations.

Ricky Gervais in an ad for "Extras"

Ricky Gervais in an ad for "Extras"

You know what, though? He is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT in this situation! What did he say that was wrong? If we all acknowledge that obesity is a real issue in modern society, I think he is right to suggest that we encourage overweight people to exercise rather than be cut open by surgeons. There should at least be an in-depth counseling period which should precede any surgical action and attempt to promote healthier eating and exercise habits.

His suggestions, though made incredibly blunt, ring terribly true. These people do not need more alternatives to a healthy lifestyle. Rather, they need to be educated on how to live a healthy lifestyle. With the “stigma” gone (as he puts it) of being fat, there is no motivation to become fit and care about one’s health. We need to kick start this awareness of health with extreme steps. Insurance costs should be decreased for healthy patients. Yes, New York, additional taxes should be imposed on non-diet, sugary sodas. And surgery should never be a first option, and insurance coverage for these operations must be placed in check.

The critiques Gervais has received have not changed his point of view. He took to his blog recently to reply to respond to one particular criticism he received, which associated being overweight with being gay as concerning comic material. Gervais writes:

I heard someone on the radio once say that they were tired of the prejudice aimed at the overweight. They said something like “you’re not allowed to make fun of gay people, so why are you allowed to make fun of fat people? It’s the same thing.”

It’s not the same thing though, is it? Gay people are born that way. They didn’t work at becoming gay. Fat people became fat because they would rather be that way than stop eating so much. They had to eat and eat to get fat. Then, when they were fat they had to keep up the eating to stay fat. For gayness to be the same as fatness, gay people would have to start off straight but then ween themselves onto cock. Soon they’re noshing all day getting gayer and gayer. They’ve had more than enough cock… they’re full… they’re just sucking for the sake of it. Now they’re overgay, and frowned upon by people who can have the occasional cock but not over indulge.

When a doctor tells me that that’s how you become gay, I’ll stop making jokes about fat people.

He is an absolute laugh, and I cannot think of a better response for the stupidity expressed by the radio show host Gervais references.