There’s something about exercising, isn’t there? Nobody wants to do it, but we tell ourselves we should. We tell ourselves we’d be able to fit into those size 10 jeans again, no worries, if only we could bring ourselves to dedicate just 10 minutes a day to stomach crunches and jumping jacks.
Or – we could buy an exercise machine! Yup – that’ll solve the problems of the world and our total lack of self esteem – and we can park it right in front of the telly and pedal ourselves away into oblivion while Big Ted sings, ‘Row Row Row Your Boat,’ in a brave, encouraging manner on Playschool … and we don’t even have to leave the house. We can do it without having to wear a fluoro g-string and submit ourselves to the humiliation of people looking out of their windows as we wheeze pathetically by with our buttocks slapping on the cobblestones. In the privacy of our own home we can wear our disgusting pyjamas and – guaranteed or our money back – look like a supermodel before the end of the week. Whoooah!
Yeah, sure. What makes us think this? The advertisements, that’s what. Because we’re gullible. And the funny thing is, the beautiful people operating the machines in their fluoro g-strings (with not a tad of effort or underarm perspiration even), tell us how the miracle machine did this for them with just 10 minutes a day minimum effort. Are we sucked in yet? Not only that, the new deluxe version of the machine ($499 plus GST) will do it in only FIVE minutes a day. AND it has a super little tray on the front of the handle for an economy-sized slice of mudcake and mug of hot chocolate!
Think a minute. How many people do you know who own exercise machines? How many actually firmed up their wobbly bits and got back into the size 10? Nobody, that’s who. The thing is gathering dust in the corner of their spare room. They didn’t even dare send it back for a refund because it might look like their own miserable failure. Face it – the only machine that’s going to do it for you is your own personal willpower.
The willpower, however, is damn hard to operate. It’s not just a matter of hopping on for a few minutes a day and puffing away. It’s a matter of keeping your cheating hand off the ‘fridge door. Pretending you are looking out of the restaurant window (oh look – a two headed monkey!) when the dessert trolley trundles past. Telling your tastebuds there is no substitute for a celery stick and a glob of cottage cheese. Not going anywhere, ever again, because there’s food out there in them thar hills and it’s callin’ your name!
Another feature of the willpower is how it tends to break down after about a week. You lose a kilo. Feel damn superior altogether. Have a Mars Bar for breakfast on Tuesday because you know you’ll be able to work it off with those three trips down to the washing line and back. Weigh yourself the next morning … the kilo’s back. Must have been hiding in the bottom of that Mars Bar wrapper. Oh well – tuck the willpower into the back of the brain and reach for a quart of dairy custard and a microwaveable golden syrup pudding. There, there … doesn’t that feel better?
The vicious circle goes round and round. It makes you dizzy. It makes you watch in wonder as the latest machine presents its gleaming chassis to you – a machine which will benefit every part of your body, dammit, or die trying! This machine will take the place of an entire gymnasium – in the privacy of your own home, without you having to put yourself at risk jogging through the crime-infested streets! You won’t have to front up to aerobic classes in embarrassing bodysuits or endure titters of derision as your stomach flubs up over your nose. All you have to do is use this machine for five minutes a day … satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!
It even folds down neatly so you can store it under the bed. Which is just as well, because it’s damn well staying there.