THEY SAY APRIL is the cruelest month, but everyone knows it’s January. After weeks of take-no-prisoners debauchery, we’re expected to drag our carbohydrate-logged bodies off the comfort of the sofa and fling them at a tread mill, elliptical or similar diabolical device.
Every year the exercise routines become more brutal. Back in the ’80s we thought Jane Fonda was a harsh task mistress, barking at us to lift those pink one-pound dumbbells over our heads. Compared to today’s fitness gurus, she’s a baby lamb in fuzzy leg warmers.
A current popular workout is Crossfit, which will make you fit, but also very cross because it has you flipping tractor tires or hauling sandbags. Some workouts are so intense they can kill you from stray muscle fibers in your bloodstream, but the upside is you’ll leave behind an attractive corpse. (Be sure to let loved ones know you want an open coffin.)
Over the years, I’ve tried them all: Crossfit, Insanity and Amputation. (The latter so called because the workout isn’t considered successful unless one of your body parts falls off.) I’ve done hundreds of burpees to burn off one Slurpee. But this year, I’m trying a radically different program. It’s called Sloth.
Sloth stands for Stop Lifting Objects That (are) Heavy. That means barbells and kettle bells. The only Sloth approved bell is Blue Bell ice cream. You’re allowed to lift spoonfuls of it to your lips and repeat the routine until satiated.
The philosophy behind Sloth is that when you reach a certain age, it doesn’t matter how many squats you perform, you’re still going to have a squat physique. Ever since I turned 40 all you have to do is whisper the word parfait into my ear and I’ll gain a pound. Simply typing the word made me gain two pounds and don’t get me started on French fries. (Oops.) Excuse me a moment while I loosen the top button of my Easy Fit jeans.
When you become a Sloth devotee—or Slothers as we call ourselves—you no longer worry about putting your body through stressful paces in hopes of losing one-tenth of an ounce. Instead you learn ways of minimizing the impact of your extra bulk.
For example, Slothers never expose people to their physique head on, i.e. in the manner of a steam roller. Instead they’ve learned to walk sideways into a room, causing others to say, “Why, you’re just a wisp of a thing. Have a doughnut.” (Oops.)
Slothers also make an effort to stand next to the largest object available, i.e. jumbo jets and the Taj Mahal. And belts are a Slother’s best friends. Why do you think Santa always wears one? A belt can make a boulder look like it has a waist.
I expect the Sloth program to sweep the nation. (We don’t call it a movement because that’s too strenuous.) Eventually it will be more popular than sliced bread (oops) and I dream of the day when every middle-aged movie star on the red carpet will say, “Attire by Pup Tents ‘R’ Us and Body by Sloth.”
Karin Gillespie gained six pounds writing this essay. She’s off to get more belts. Visit her at Karingillespie.net .
This article appears in the January 2016 issue of Augusta Magazine.