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Losing Propositions

Dick Wolfsie is a Geist resident and syndicated columnist.

Mary Ellen has signed up for another year of Prevention magazine. This pocket-sized monthly tells you how to prevent most everything except how to stop your wife from wasting another $24.95.  Quite frankly, I think the whole publication is a lot of baloney, although in this guide to healthy living, you hardly ever see a baloney recipe.

The cover of the most recent issue caught my eye: DROP THREE POUNDS A WEEK WITHOUT EXERCISE.  These titles are often misleading. I assumed I’d soon discover that to lose this weight required only giving up three little things—like breakfast, lunch and dinner. But no, it was actually 100 methods to increase what they call your “calorie burn,” or activities that help you shed some excess baggage. Newt Gingrich has purchased a lifetime subscription.

My own svelte physique is a result of my previous adherence to some of these suggestions, even without being aware of what I was doing. For example, No. 23 recommends that you hide your remote so you have to stand up to change TV channels. Well, duh! I’ve been pawing through pillows, dead-lifting the sofa and shoving the easy chair on its side for decades looking for the darn thing.  No. 62 proposes that you get off the bus at the wrong stop so you can walk the rest of the way. Once again, I’m ahead of the curve. I used to do this back in New York when I took the subway.  Sadly, I wasn’t doing it on purpose.

No. 24 advocates that you ask your paperboy to leave the newspaper at the end of your driveway, providing you an opportunity to walk a little extra each day. My delivery guy is on board already. He’s got me searching through the bushes and even climbing up on the roof.  It’s so nice when people care.

The article suggests you shovel your own driveway after a snowstorm, and then graciously offer to do the neighbor’s, as well. This makes sense to me because I read in my doctor’s office that some weight loss usually follows a serious cardiac event. Number 73 urges you to get your Starbucks coffee “to go,” then walk briskly with your friends as you sip. Yes, and then you can walk another six blocks to the dry cleaners.

Friendliness is also an asset in your quest for a healthy lifestyle. Apartment dwellers should get acquainted with a person on another floor and then, using the stairs, of course, visit as often as possible. I tried this back when I first got married. Mary Ellen didn’t like the idea and neither did Collette’s boyfriend.

Here’s a great one: instead of sitting in that regular chair in front of your computer, buy one of those giant  stability exercise balls to balance on while you work. Let me try it right now…I thknk therf may be somf drwbcks to sittinj that way whjle typinh.  Also, why not give your pizza delivery guy a break and pick the pie up yourself? Yes, drive your SUV to the take-out window for a tasty triple cheese, sausage and pepperoni combo. What a great way to get in shape. Why do people even bother working out?

Finally, for pet lovers, play fetch with your dog every day.  Am I missing something here? Shouldn’t you be chasing the ball? Who’s the chubby one, anyway?

Even though the article claims to list 100 examples, there are only 84. The author wants you to get up from the couch, go to the computer and log on to Prevention.com for the other 16. Be careful not to trip over the exercise ball! But if you do, make sure to walk to the emergency room.

About Tom Britt

Tom Britt is publisher and founder of the TownePost Network, atGeist.com and Geist Magazine. If you have local story ideas, email Tom@atGeist.com.

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