Goodbye gym, hello Jim Beam

KHUSH RANDHAWA

Finally, home from the office, I slip off the shoes, think of going for a jog, change my mind, plonk myself on my favourite chair and put my feet up.

I need to exercise; a voice somewhere in my head reminds me.

Definitely tomorrow, another part of me replies.

Then, my two-year-old grandson races into the living room. He is a bundle of energy, very much like a bhangra dancer on steroids or the bunny in the Energizer battery advertisements. He keeps going on and on. I can get tired just by watching him.

Why are youngsters so active? Is it in their DNA? If yes, how do you explain why so many of them grow up and start hating physical activity - like me?

When I look back on my life, I realise I had remained quite active right till I went to university.

Studying then took up most of my time. When I wasn't, rather than hitting the gym or jogging, I was all for hitting on the women in my faculty. Rather unsuccessfully, I should add.

Fortunately, youth was on my side and I remained quite trim. Varsity came to an end and my career started. That was a real life-changer.

I sat at a desk all day, creating advertising copy and then went out for beer, whisky and paneer tidbits with colleagues after work. Two years later, I got married and the kilograms continued to pile on me.

I weighed 65kg when I left university. I think I was about 68kg when I married. Well, I was 75kg just two years later. I also grew to dislike exercise.

Okay, I know life is full of things we don't like, such as working late in the office, paying bills and dental appointments. Shouldn't exercise also belong to the list of things we just have to do?

No way! Nobody will take you to court for not paying attention to your weight. You won't become toothless if you keep missing your gym sessions. So why bother?

Some experts say it is all in the mind. They advise that instead of using the word "exercise," try substituting it with "activity" or "movement".

Motivational speaker and exercise guru Marsha Doble had another trick. She said: "I have to exercise early in the morning, before my brain figures out what the hell I'm doing."

Then there are experts who preach how good you feel after exercising. I hate to admit they do have a point.

After a brisk walk, swim or a workout, I always wonder why I don't do it more often. Thankfully, I don't wonder for long.

Imagine working all day, come home, get on a treadmill and then eat a plate of soggy vegetables.

What a dreary existence compared to dining on biryani or chicken tikka masala with pakoras and ending the meal with the absolutely sinful gulab jamun.

But the question remains: Do you want to enjoy life or live longer?

Remember, if you live longer, you will end up with more years of dieting and exercising. Sigh, that's a tough one. Let me ponder over it with a glass of Jim Beam. Make that a double!

tabla@sph.com.sg

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