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Ignorance is Bliss

I go to the gym a lot. I like to work out. Being active has always been a big thing for me and if I go a couple days without some kind of physical activity I start to go stir crazy, or cray as the kids are saying these days. 

Anyway, this one day, I walked in the gym, feeling pretty good about myself. I had been pretty consistent with working out over the last few months and felt like I was starting to round out into pretty good shape after being in a bit of a slump for a while. That’s when I saw “it.”

Sitting all by its lonesome on a table in the middle of the gym was a Body Fat Analyzer. Now I hadn’t had a body fat test in a couple of years, pretty much since I got done with basketball, so needless to say I was somewhat curious. I wanted to see how I measured up to the good old days of 8% body fat. 

So I pick up the machine, enter the requisite data, grab hold of the handles, and wait for it to tell me exactly how fat I was not. After it does its calculations, its comes in with a measurement of 20%. I ask if we can redo it. I mean clearly these machines are not the most accurate way of measuring something like body fat. 

Am I supposed to believe that just by punching in my height, sex, and age, then holding onto, what are for all intents and purposes, a couple pieces of plastic with batteries, I expect to get an accurate reading? Rubbish. I want a do-over. 

We do it again. Same result. 

Clearly at this point I am in what might be described as a slight state of shock. In an effort to satisfy my curiosity, I only managed to offend my vanity. 

I mean, I didn’t still expect to be lower than 10% but somewhere in the region of 13 or 14% would have been totally acceptable, not 20%! I needed to take a moment after I saw that.

The trainer at the gym who was helping me administer this sham of a test was quick to notice my dissatisfaction and asked what the problem was. “Umm, do you really need to ask?” I responded. 

She said, “Well, what is different between now and the last time I did the test?” I told her I wasn’t playing basketball anymore, hence I wasn’t as physically active, however my cake consumption was still very active. 

“Well,” she said, “that might have something to do with it.” I detected a slight hint of sarcasm in her voice. I didn’t appreciate that. Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.

Well, needless to say I found the motivation I needed to keep working and not rest on my laurels. There is still a lot more work to do and that was now clear as daylight. I like my current wardrobe too much to let even the thought of getting pudgy start to move me in the direction of bigger waist size. The progression to an elastic waistband is a slow but slippery slope.

A friend of mine once made the point that if we gained just a pound a year over the course of 20 years, that ends up being a significant amount of weight! Quite honestly, I am a man who loves his desserts and all, but at the same time the line has to be drawn somewhere. 

Alternatively, I could just figure out a way to work out more to accommodate for eating all the dessert I want. That kind of seems like the more rationale approach to me at this point. 

I guess the lesson to take away from all this is that whenever you see a body fat machine in your vicinity, go the opposite way, because sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.

Featured Image by Matt Madd on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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