Body image is not important in our community. Not if you ask those who have either poor self-esteem or a non-stereotypical toned, hung, gym-buffed and well-defined musculature.
That’s just how I am, I was told this week. The speaker was lying through his teeth of course -” the quintessential body beautiful, piercing eyes, Cheshire cat grin, infectious laugh, quick wit and very entertaining.
How was I, an old man with an inglorious past, to explain he had it all wrong? I am the only person in the world who has to do very little to achieve what most take years and hours of preening before presenting to the world in broad daylight! I understood what was being said. I’m young and gorgeous, perhaps what you once were?
I know the gym junkies hate me, as do the owners of gyms. I never go. Well, once a month. I do a couple of days in the same week and then move on to something more productive and enjoyable like my workaholic lifestyle. Or go swimming.
What the young don’t get is that things change as you age. Superficiality becomes a less endearing trait, replaced with a thickening waistline, a real job to pay bills, real pleasure from true friends not passing acquaintances, grappling with social history, daily life politics and the results of choosing your parents wisely.
My dad is a funny bloke. He worked long and hard to feed six migrant brats on a pittance in a rural town in a foreign country. He was extraordinarily fit, and maintained a great body till arthritis destroyed his passion and ability for all things physical. Big tick to me -” great genetic stock.
My gorgeous mum has almost translucent skin, pale northern European hair and stunning blue eyes. Strong physically, with proud ancestry, she fought snakes, spiders and learned to milk cows at 30 degrees in the Aussie bush. A bit like me -” nothing too hard to tackle, with a little knowledge, lots of gusto and a smear of what my dad called bullshitting when all else failed.
Science suggests you are what you eat. If that were the case I’d be sprouting oats from my ears, lambs wool on my back and sunshine from my-¦ The truth is you become what your parents are. Choose carefully -” girth, wit, hair or lack thereof will be the outcome of the genetic blend.
Whether you like to exercise or play sport is determined long before you decide to take it up. If you are not that inclined to maintain your fitness, the best thing you can do is to join a social group, such as one of the member clubs of Team Sydney. Be active, look to your own health and well being, and derive pleasure from the true friends you make in those circles.  Click for a club: www.teamsydney.org.au

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