Sunday, January 16, 2005

"If you die, love continues..."

"Peace of mind is not only affordable, but priceless." "Rates of life insurance:..."

Whuh? That ad goes in about ten directions at once, and pretends to be all poignant and evocative, when really, it's just stupid.

Here's another one. A blurb on the cover of one of those women's lifestyle magazines:
"Walk the weight off" or something. Underneath, in smaller letters, "In 7 easy steps."

Um, how does walking to lose weight require seven steps? Unless they mean, like, TAKE seven steps, with your feet, out of your own door.

I say, two steps at the most: Start walking. Then walk a little more. DONE.

Needless to say, I had to see more of this charade. So I opened up the magazine, and Step 1 was: Commit to walking. Um, okay. That's reaching a bit, but I can see where they're coming from. Step 2: Start walking! "Dumbshit!" I add mentally. How are they going to stretch this out to seven steps? Step 3: Keep walking. No, really. I have no words. Then, they threw in a twist with Step 4: Add strength training. Steps 5, 6, and 7 I didn't really look at, because obviously they're stretching stuff out.

There was a sidebar blurb about a woman who had weighed 240 pounds, but with this fitness regime and diet, got down to 120. I was duly impressed, but was confused at the part when she talked about "I never thought I could lose weight in my own tiny living room, but I did it." Huh?

The gist? This regime is the 'brilliant' brainchild of some fitness guru with a walking tape. I am going to say that again so you can appreciate just how ridiculous it is. YOU ARE MEANT TO BUY THIS WOMAN'S WORKOUT TAPE AND THEN, SOMEHOW, WALK OFF THE WEIGHT. IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.

God forbid you get your lazy, pale ass out into the sunshine (or rain! Someone invented umbrellas for just that reason!) and see the light of day while moving your muscles to and fro.

"'s hard!" "I have kids and a job and stuff!" Whatever, it's not rocket science, you certainly DON'T NEED TO BUY A FREAKING TAPE, you just go outside and walk around. Got little kids? Strap them into a stroller and take them with you. Got bigger kids and no job? Go outside during the day. Got kids and a job? It's called a lunch break. Or go to work an hour earlier or stay an hour later, just fit it in somewhere.

JUST GO OUTSIDE. I did it just about every day, rain or shine, for six months. It made me feel better, it reminded me that my job was not the end all, be all of my existence, it let me smell delicious blackberries in the heart of summer, it made my legs more toned, and it gave my mind a break from all the silly bullshit that goes on the rest of the day. I took it to the next level, changing shoes and clothes and stuff. If I was five or ten minutes over an hour, no big deal.

I really miss my daily lunchtime walks. It's a lot tougher as a teacher; I can't leave on my lunch break, because we aren't allowed to leave school grounds, and you can't be late to teach a class. So I get in a bit of walking on the way to and from the train/school. I need to work on that more, because it doesn't really have the same relaxing effect. For one, the scenery is not pretty or interesting. No blackberry bushes, no gurgling brown stream, though there are trees and regular bushes. And eight minutes of regular walking each way probably does not have the same aerobic effect as forty-five to fifty-five minutes of stronger walking. But still, it's something. I do know it has contributed to my size-eight ass and thighs.