In America I think of treadmills.
Every time I come back here I put on a lot of weight. This time was no exception.
There are several reasons for this. One is that I pretty much never go anywhere while I am here. Part of the problem is that I have no friends. The other is that I live in the middle of nowhere and have no place to go. The only thing within walking distance of me is a safeway. There is pretty much nothing pleasant about getting up and walking around in America, or at least in my little corner of America, so I stay home pretty often. My job can only be reached by car, and once there I again find myself in a situation where there is nothing within walking distance. So everywhere I go, I go by car.
And then there is the food. American food is extremely good, but about as unhealthy as it comes. There are a couple of things to consider here. Everything is portioned to feed a retinue of people, and everything is the what dietitians would call a perfect storm of fattening ingredients breaded fried fats served with a sweet sauce, served with a side of creamy mac and cheese and mashed creamed potatoes. And its damn good, so you put it back with ease. Then you go home and google it, only to find out that you consumed a week’s worth of calories.
The DC area also has a problem that is unique to it, and one of the reasons I am going to move away from DC as soon as possible. To eat well is expensive. Restaurants that are not chain restaurants will easily set you back >100$ for a meal for two. This means that you are often eating where poor Washingtonians eat – chain restaurants. So your country fried steak is reheated, as well as being unhealthy.
And so you go to the gym. But your old now, fat as fuck, and in constant pain. Years of heard living have pretty much wrecked your body. One of the following will always hurt: your left foot, your right knee, you lower back or your bottom left rib. There is pretty much no time in which you should exercise, but not exercising isn’t going to work for you either, so you do it despite the pain. You would go to a doctor, but you’re uninsured and a doctor’s visit would cost you 1/4 or your monthly salary. So yea, you ignore the pain and go to the gym.
Which brings us to the treadmill. You think that some cardio before hitting the weights would do you some good, and thus you get on despite the pain. On those days where the pain is minimal you try to run, only to find that the pain becomes agonizing almost immediately. So much for that. But you’re already here. Why not have a brisk walk?
Everyone around you is running. You’re walking though. And so to not feel judged you ignore the world around you by looking right into the TV screen. There are a couple of things to notice. The first is that you recognize none of the musicians on the screen playing music (later, you may go home and look into them, only to feel old and irrelevant as well). But the final kick in the ass comes when the TV suddenly plays a pizza commercial.
I wish I could say I was talking about just how things are now. But all this shit happened to me when I moved back to the USA five years (or so) ago as well. I’ll never forget the absolute terror of that pizza commercial. In it, this lumberjack looking mother-fucker, who was about as fat as me (clearly overweight, but still as of yet on this side of functional) expounded the virtues of the six cheese, double bacon pizza. At some point in the advertisement, he punctuates his enthusiasm for this travesty of the culinary arts with a perverse fluttering of his eyebrows, the horror of which still to this days makes me want to tweet the hashtag #metoo.
This year the pizza du- artery clogging- jour is some concoction wherein the toppings are layered twice, bringing us all closer to the fulfilment of that american dream where in pizza and lasagna are some fucking how merged.
I’m not sure why they do this. My guess is that Big Pizza is laying down money to lead us fat asses into temptation. But I am resisting, and they havent broken me yet.