What I Learned By Canceling All My Workouts

Frankly, I don’t believe you when you tell me you love getting up with the birds, trudging to the gym, and going from torture-machine to torture machine.

I grant our national fixation with wellness. There’s even a popular rumor among the young that Science is on the brink of finding a cure for death. OK, reality-check. Not true. But it IS working on a pill to replace exercise.

That’s when this overweight pasta-lover starts paying attention. Some healthy members of Harvard Medical School report a drug is possible soon. Be still my fluttering heart…! They explain when we exercise, our muscles produce a hormone that communicates with our body fat. This Irisin hormone transforms stagnant white cells into fat brown cells which burn calories.

So, I’m thinking a couple shots of Irisin with my evening snack drowsing through Letterman means I wake up each morning a few ounces less. By the end of a year, pasta-boy is svelt-boy and I can forget about that gym application I never intended to sign anyway.

Well, wouldn’t you know it. Here’s one of those small-print science footnotes. While the gang at Harvard are dreaming my dream, their counterparts in the US Army have found several popular workout supplements like Jack3d and OxyElite Pro may cause death. Never fails. Science giveth and science taketh away…!

Here’s my theory. At one time being fat was a sign of prosperity. Being skinny usually meant poverty. Fat men were viewed as successful; fat women were the object of sculptor attentions. But today, Hollywood icons like Sydney Greenstreet and Marilyn Monroe would have to lose weight. What…??

I won’t contest the wisdom of lean. But I will share a fragrant fable from mealtimes in an earlier America. Yes, my children, there really was an age when food was among humanity’s highest pleasures. Boundless feasts of red meat… whole milk…eggs and cheese…sugary desserts and creamy thick fountain delights. And you know what? Not an ingredient label in sight…!

I kid you not. Back in that fabled time, Americans chose their foods based on pleasure not proteins, taste not thought. Did we die younger? There are many studies confirming that fact. Did we die happier? Aha, not a single study from either Harvard or the Army on that question.

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