Have A Couple Of Seats!

My weight loss program has been experiencing technical difficulty.  I say that because technically I should be losing weight.  But either the scale is playing an early April Fool’s joke on me, or I’ve been eating entirely too many sunflower seeds.  At this point anything is possible.

I haven’t been to the gym in a week, and I’m sure I won’t get there for at least a few more days.  You know how it goes.  You spend the day working, just waiting for 5 o’clock so you can go home and relax.  Dinner is in the oven, and you kick back with a cup of coffee.  By the time dinner is finished, there’s something good on TV.  Well, “good” is a relative term.  And just about the time you’re getting ready to pack up the gym clothes, this little voice goes off in your head and says, “It’s open tomorrow.”

I’ve found that once I get to the gym, I’m fine.  In fact, on the ride over I get a little feeling of excitement, knowing I’m doing what I should be.  It’s motivating myself to get up off the couch that gives me trouble.  There are just too many other things I’d rather do.

They have a marker board at my gym where they post these little messages designed to convince us that we really need a personal trainer.  Yes, personal trainers cost extra – in the sense that beachfront condos cost extra.  We’re not talking pocket change.  This involves a down-payment and credit check.  I’m not sure what they do if you default, but if the guy who collects is as big as some of the trainers, I don’t care to find out.

The sign a few weeks ago said that one in twelve people have a gym membership, but only one in five actually loses any weight and half of them work with a trainer.  Well, according to Ellen Degeneres, 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.  So there’s almost a 50/50 chance they’re not being completely honest.  And if they are, these gyms are making a LOT of money from people who never show up.

Which begs the question – why?  What is it about fitness and weight loss that is so appealing that we’re willing to plunk down our hard-earned money and spend the evening sweating when we could be drinking beer and playing cards?

Well, let’s face it. We live in a world designed for skinny people.  Have you ever tried to fit into the coach seat on an airliner?  I can, but only if the armrests are up and the seat next to me is empty.  Even then they have to shift baggage to the other side of the plane.  If the flight is full, my belly counts as a piece of carry-on luggage.

You may think I’m joking, but a few years ago I was getting ready to take a puddle-jumper to Kalispell, Montana.  Apparently nineteen seats is more than enough to handle that destination.  If you’ve ever been there, you’d understand. 

When I got to the ticket counter the guy leaned over the counter to get a better look, then assigned me a seat in the back, dead center.  As we started to taxi out, I moved to the seat next to the window.  The co-pilot spotted my move and made an announcement.  “Please stay in your assigned seats so we don’t disturb our weight and balance.”  I wish I was making that up.

The reason airline seats are so small is twofold.  First of all, airlines are cheap.  Wider seats means fewer passengers.  If they could get away with jamming an extra seat in the lavatory, they’d do it.  As it stands, a couple of airlines are charging passengers to use that seat already.

The other reason our world is so small is because engineers are anorexic.  They design things to fit themselves.  How wide should the seat be?  “Hey Eugene, let me measure your butt.”  Those are words you won’t hear on the shop floor.

And it’s not just the airline industry that’s stuffing us into smaller spaces.  Slide into a booth at any restaurant.  If you’re even mildly overweight, the table is pressing into your belly.  And this is a place that wants to sell you a full meal plus appetizers and dessert.  Here’s a tip.  You stand a much better chance of selling me dessert if you seat me at a table that doesn’t make me feel fat.

That’s the thing I never could understand.  The restaurant industry is doing everything they can to fatten us up.  My wife took me to the Cheesecake Factory a while back.  They make good cheesecake.  Really good.  I could feel my arteries harden with the first bite.  Then I went to the gym and spent two hours trying to work off the calories it took me forty seconds to consume.

Something about that just doesn’t seem fair.  Why is it that all the good things in life are bad for us?  I think it was part of God’s punishment for the things Adam and Eve did long before I was born.  Adam was sitting in the Garden of Eden one day, picking at his dinner, and God said, “Adam, you don’t seem to care much for broccoli.”

“You’re right, God, I don’t like broccoli a bit.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but it tastes like crap.  Among all your creations, it’s got to be the nastiest …”

Zap!  Broccoli was loaded with iron and a host of vitamins, making it one of the most nutritious foods we could eat.  So nutritious, in fact, that women throughout history would force their husbands to eat it in the hope that it would keep them in the work force a little while longer.

Then God saw Eve, slowly savoring history’s predecessor to the Hershey bar.  She was in heaven.  “Eve, I’ve noticed you really like chocolate.”

“Oh my God, you have no idea!  It’s so delicious!  Where did you ever come up with such a recipe?  Of all your creations, it’s got to be …”


You’d think with all the artificial enhancements at our disposal, somebody could invent beer-flavored broccoli.  I’d eat that.  But in the process they’d remove all the vitamins and add seven-thousand calories.  That’s just the way it works.

And apparently, people in the food and clothing industries aren’t talking to one another, because for everything they do to make us fatter, nobody is making it any easier to find clothes to cover that fat.  Why is that?

When it comes to clothes, they have special stores for people like us.  Or we can look for the sign that says, “Big & Tall” or “Plus Sizes”.  It’s just a nice way of saying, “Hey fat people, your stuff is over here!”  Though I have to admit, it’s a little flattering to pick through a stack of 5XL shirts to find one that’s small enough to fit me.  That’s what I call creative marketing.

But the fact remains, this world isn’t made for overweight people.  And I don’t see that changing any time soon.  We may represent the majority, but we’re the ones who have to change.  If not for our health, for the simple fact that we need a comfortable place to sit.

Diet and exercise are part of the program, to be certain. But a sense of humor is equally important.  As I’ve mentioned before, laughter burns as much as 500 calories per hour.  That’s about the same as a steady run on the treadmill.  And a good belly laugh can exercise every one of the body’s muscles at the same time.  No machine in the gym can do that.

More importantly, a sense of humor fights the urge to get discouraged when things don’t go as planned, or when we fall off the wagon for a week or two and slide back the other way.  It happens.  The important thing is knowing where you’re headed, and having a little fun along the way.  And if you can do that, you’ve already won.

Copyright 2011 – Dave Glardon


About Health and Humor - by Dave Glardon

Dave Glardon is a writer, speaker, and stand-up comedian. He has written hundreds of articles relating to humor in our world, and has performed for audiences across the entire United States. In this blog, he shares his insights with the goal of helping you achieve a higher level of physical and mental well-being through a healthy sense of humor.
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23 Responses to Have A Couple Of Seats!

  1. Ok. I admit it. This one is for me. And I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more if it were covered with hot fudge sauce.

  2. chlost says:

    So this means that I need to find something to laugh about for an hour, then I don’t have to exercise? I like that. Erma Bombeck had a bit about how she should get calorie credit for the things she didn’t eat. “I didn’t eat that candy bar I wanted….Bing!….deduct the 250 calories from my total for today.” I’m with you about the Big & Tall department, too. But you have to be one or the other…Big OR Tall-can’t be both. My dad was both and had a horrible time.

  3. Margie says:

    I’ve read that overweight people actually live longer than normal weight people. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623133523.htm).

  4. Sharon says:

    Rent “Baby’s Day Out” it will give you more than an hour’s worth of belly laughs. Great article, Dave. We have to laugh to stay happy.

  5. Sue Reynolds says:

    You’ve done it again Dave! Thanks for the laughs, especially since I didn’t go to the gym today.

  6. Patti says:

    Many laugh-out-loud moments in this one, Dave! Another fine job.

    BTW, I think the seats at Nutter can challenge those airline seats any day!

  7. egills says:

    I paid membership to a gym for 2 years and didn’t actually ever go after the first month
    : : hides head in shame : :
    As for the seating arrangements.. it’s not just girth they fall down on but leg length… I have to sit at an angle just to fit my legs in most seats and youngest son being over 6ft4 and skinny ( and I do mean really skinny ) is impossible to buy clothes that actually fit.

  8. Marianne says:

    Right on, Dave! Reading your blog this morning gives me a nice light start to the day. Something I have to remember more often is to have fun. Thanks Dave.

  9. ButMadNNW says:

    Because I’m an editor and notice these things, I have to nitpick the statistic you quoted (we’ll blame your gym for posting the wrong numbers 😉 ): “The sign a few weeks ago said that one in twelve people have a gym membership, but only one in five actually loses any weight and half of them work with a trainer.”

    One in five is 20% of the population. One in twelve is 8.3333333%. “The sign a few weeks ago said that 8.3% of people have a gym membership, but only 20% actually loses any weight…” That means more people are losing weight than have a gym membership. So clearly you don’t NEED them to lose weight – they just gave us a reason NOT to join. 😉

    I assume what you/they actually meant is that only 20% of the people who have a gym membership will lose weight (how big a percentage of the other 80% are gaining weight or staying stable & losing inches as they put on lean muscle, I wonder?). But still. /end nitpick

    Great post otherwise!

    • “That means more people are losing weight than have a gym membership. So clearly you don’t NEED them to lose weight – they just gave us a reason NOT to join.”

      I think you may have just saved me a lot of money! Actually, I laughed when I read that sign, because I’m pretty sure they just came up with a few “statistics” that made their case. I’m more interested in knowing who decided that 12% of the population has a gym membership. I’d say the actual number is probably closer to 2-3%, if that.

  10. you know Dave, I love this blog…If I wanted to look like a zipper when I stuck my tongue out or even a walking skeleton with hair….but alas, the media has the “lose weight with this pill, you’ll be healthier with that…” etc….and I’d rather eat grass than peas or broccoli (sp?) but alas…I laugh often enough to burn off calories so in balances out right????

    • It’s funny how this world does everything it can to make us overweight, then treats us like second-class citizens if we fall for it. It’s not healthy – I get that. And I’m doing what I can to lose weight the old-fashioned way. But I still think people need to lighten up (pun intended) and not take everything so seriously.

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