battle of the bulge

I am not your typical bloke. Maybe this is not news to most of you. I don’t subscribe to Men’s Health and I don’t have pet names for my favourite muscles. Gym membership is a complete no-no; there is just something about the concept of walking near one which leads me to consider being greeted at the door by a nice enough woman asking if I’m there to film a new episode of Mr Bean…

Okay, so a “significant” birthday is eleven weeks away, so consequently a bit of ‘stock taking’ has occurred with regards to my diet and such like. There’s no danger of my purchasing a wall-mounted Calorie Calender or having watercooler discussions about ‘points’ and ‘quotas’ and ‘green or red days’ or whatever other alien language seems to spurt from the mouths of people following strict diets. There are many aspects to Brown’s Britain I cannot stand – well, all of them, really – with the Nanny State ‘Minister For Public Health’ attitude near the very top. If children must eat a regular amount of fruit and veg, then let this be a matter for parents and schools and doctors.

Adults should not have the State dictating what can be eaten, drunk, or consumed, unless the developed Western democracy we live in, where ‘letting the terrorists win’ is changing how we behave, has suddenly developed an obsession with social engineering from which it cannot turn.

My paunch is all paid for. It’s not a beer belly, as such. If humans could live off a diet consisting in the main of sushi, Frijj drinks, and powdered soup, I’d be a very happy man. Okay, so in living memory I was steaming sea bass with soy sauce and lemongrass, while these days I have a tendency to rely on pizza, but what’s a man to do while he (still) settles down to living under his own roof?

There is a slight contradiction, I guess, in my stance. Not too much obsessed with my appearance, while too self-aware to consider lifting weights in public. That’ll be the typical bloke characteristic, that’ll be: eager to offer advice, eager not to accept suggestions. As long as I am not found vegged out in front of daytime TV surrounded by WKD bottles and packets of Fruit & Nut, I am confident enough to carry on pretty much ‘as is’. No Government Minister is going to force me to swap a pint of John Smiths for a bottle of Shloer.

Walking the ten-mile round trip to and from work isn’t quite cutting the pounds as maybe it once would have done, I notice. That said, I am not exactly noticing a change into Richard Griffiths. Thought that would be cool. I will not forget the bloke who worked in one of the first offices I temped in, who switched from “girl in every port” to dripping wet calorie counter in the matter of one weekend. Everything in moderation, and all that jazz. Little bit of what you fancy does you good, and such like.

It is perhaps also worth reminding that that nonsense about ‘body mass index’ suggests most professional sports people are morbidly obese. As long as such “official” bunkum is out there in the public domain I’ll remain a happy enough man…

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