Better shape up April 8, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Now as the title of this blog suggests, I am not a rich man. But I’m not really broke, of course. I mean, often a bit knapp bei Kasse, but rarely facing starvation. In fact, since living in Russia and having got used to not being loaded here, I have a complicated relationship with poverty. I wouldn’t recommend it by any means, but then I don’t think it’s so bad either. I sometimes snigger when I think I might even qualify for some ‘official’ definitions of poverty. I don’t know what the German yardstick is, but if we do qualify, then I would be seriously concerned that my social justice tolerance indicator might lower a tad. For if I do qualify as poor, then poor just ain’t that bad. I have a roof over my head, heating, hot water, food and sometimes even booze and fags. A shirt on my back. Shoes on my feet. Bling on my fingers. (OK, that’s not true, but I’ve only just learnt the word bling and wanted to bandy it.) We have a number of household appliances. Computers. Mobile phones. A regular phone. TV. Fridge. Washing machine. Etc. Etc. Etc. I pay tax. I have health insurance. I go to England occasionally. Even to New Zealand, for fuck’s sake. I just can’t complain.
I do complain, of course. But I shouldn’t.
Anyway, the BiB household is a little bit LESS skint than usual these days. With rueful consequences. For the second we stop having to pay closer attention to what we buy, all concerns for health seem to go out the window. There is a poverty/regular-body-shape index and my curve has definitely shot off in majorly the wrong direction. It’s not all in the purchase, though. Poverty-reduction measures have entailed more sitting-on-arse in front of computer and less going-for-satisfactory-body-shape-maintaining walks. But there is the cheese. The cheese. When we’re properly poor, we might discard it altogether. But when we’re richish, we have it by the fridgeload. Different sorts. Goaty sorts. Bovine sorts. Creamy sorts. Crumbly sorts. Rubbery sorts. Just to make sure I look as ludicrous as possible, we found some lovelily friable Halloumi yesterday and fried it up with an oodle of bacon for extra calories. Woe are we. Especially me.
Yet I am not fat. Just ludicrous. I am now an utterly repugnant combination of fat and thin. I look a tad like Otto Dix’s pregnant woman. (I was actually looking for a far more grotesque picture than this but came across this one and thought it would do just as well.) Ludicrous skinny little arms. Two twigs of legs with big nodey knees. And then that unforgivable roundness of cheek and chin. And even more unforgivable sag of chest and stomach. My nipples are on far better neighbourly terms with my elbows than they ought to be. And I’ve gone beyond pretending that these jeans must have shrunk in the wash when I heave to fasten them. My weight has gone from a pleasing mid-to-late *ties to the disappointingly round number above.
None of which is to blame ‘wealth’. I have nothing against money. Nor is it strictly to blame cheese. The only good thing to say about having been relatively poor is that it enforces discipline. And in the first flush of wealth in a while, the anti-cheese will-power has been severely lacking.
So, it’s either time to shape up – by knocking the cheese on the head – or to… erm… shape up, by knocking the cheese on the head and doing some sport. But sport. Can someone recommend a version of it for the least sporty individual on earth? I’ve never darkened the doors of a gym in my life. I have been known to lift 10kg dumbbells in this very abode, but was disappointed that I wasn’t Dolph-like within weeks, although my nipples may have had to bid a fond farewell to my elbows and perhaps my arms didn’t look precisely like stringy bits of dead chicken. (Never did anything for my beanpole legs, mind.) But that tradition has gone into abeyance. Swimming makes me eat at least forty times my bodyweight the second I’ve swum more than half a metre, so that might be a mixed blessing. And I can’t do team-sports for various reasons: a) homosexuality, b) anti-socialness, c) (related to a) inability to co-ordinate leg/arm-ball movements.
So recommendations please. I am genuinely disgusted by the shape I’m in for the first time in some years. And I’m not willing to surrender to the steady decline of middle age just yet.