Being young at heart is a curse.
When you’re actually young, you can eat all you like and not gain weight. You can not exercise and your growing body will consume all those calories and turn them into height and, somewhat less gloriously, pubic hair.
When you’re young at heart but not actually young, you think you can eat all you like. And because you feel young, you don’t feel the need to exercise regularly.
Then you unexpectedly get an ear infection and need to go to a doctor’s appointment and the nurse weighs you beforehand and gives you a healthy portion of side eye as she noted the number and holy crap, you’ve gained weight!
So yes, being young at heart is a cruel, dirty, unfair curse.
I wouldn’t be ‘sporting some extra baggage’ if I was old at heart. If I was old at heart, I’d be starving myself and cursing my slowing metabolism and worrying just how much longer I had left before I’d just die already and no longer be taunted by that ice cream in the freezer I can’t have.
How do I know this? Because nothing flips you from young at heart to old at heart like a nurse’s tut-tutted disapproval as she takes more than the usual amount of time to write the greater than usual number of digits associated with your current weight.
The doctor isn’t going to be much help, either. “How much exercise do you get, Ian?” he’ll ask you. And, “Have you considered getting more than that, Ian, because I think it would be a good idea.” You, like a fatted deer in the headlights, will just sit there on the wax-papered bed, still winded from the effort of having your blood pressure taken, unable to respond beyond mumbling, “Well, I do walk to my car on the way to and from work…”
Exercise. Is there a more cruel form of punishment in life? Some say there should be a Constitutional amendment banning it, but to that I merely have two words:
Let’s face it. Exercise hurts.
Don’t say it doesn’t. Don’t say it “Hurts so good.” That’s utter nonsense and you’re on drugs.
By they way, can I have some of those drugs? I’ve been having nightmares about walking to and from my car at a brisk pace, and I wake up with my legs in such fiery misery…
Look, if exercise didn’t hurt, we’d leap out of our beds every morning, a glint in our eye and all agog about getting in some cardio.
Do you leap out of bed every morning, or do you pinch your eyes shut, pull the blanket over your head, and wistfully think, “Just a few more minutes.”?
Uh huh, that’s what I thought.
Has anyone every said, “No thanks, honey, I’d love to jump back into bed, but that’s just not the cardio I’m looking for. Nope, it’s the gym for me, and nothing else!”
QED, exercise hurts.
So I’m faced with two choices now that I’m old and my excess calories are actually excess rather than fuel for additional stature and extra curly hair:
I can stay young at heart, be generally pleasant to hang out with, and slowly replace my wardrobe with items more…roomy.
Or I can become old at heart, starve myself, be grumpy all the time, and discover I still can’t lose weight if I don’t exercise.
I know it’s obvious what the more tempting solution should be, but let me tell you, starvation is hard.
First off, you are hungry. All. The. Time.
It hurts. Not as much as exercise, but it hurts.
Second off, and forgive me for going here, but bowel movements are weird. You kinda feel the need, but when you sit down your bowel is saying, “Yes yes yes!” but the rest of you is saying, “Now hold on there for just a second! I don’t think you’ve thought this through. Are you really sure you can afford to dump this material? There might be a few more nutrients to glean from it, why don’t we give it another run through first, hmm?”
Third off, well, actually, that’s about it. Unless you count not going out to lunch with your friends anymore as being a negative, and let’s be honest here, they’re more than happy that the hungry sourpuss has begged off this afternoon, given his penchant for whining about how miserable he is and always forking bits of food off their plate. For them, at least, your absence is a huge plus.
I wonder if there’s a compromise? A middle-aged at heart that allows me to eat all I want while still keeping off the extra pounds solely through the walks to and from my car? Maybe ensure a little extra exercise by jacking up the height of my car a bit so I have to step up into it.
“No, I don’t have huge knobby tires on my Ford Focus station wagon to compensate for a tiny, tiny penis. I did it for my health!”
It’s not fair. I’d be a lot happier in life if exercise just didn’t hurt so much.