austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

With a hop and a skip and a jump

The problem of having too much weight on a person is one that's effectively curable in only three distinct methods -- eat less, exercise more, or locally change the gravitational constant of the universe. The first is unlikely to be productive as long as the current societal fad of allowing the exchange of tokens of value for things that can be eaten is allowed to continue. The third is fraught with dangers: in 2006 a panel of astronomers who were hoping to just take off that last unsightly five pounds accidentally ejected Pluto from the solar system, incidentally destroying the Vegan Orbital Fort, with important consequences for the galaxy that we're not ready to deal with. The galaxy isn't ready either.

That leaves exercising more. Exercise is traditionally done by taking some task which one enjoys and repeating it until it becomes unpleasant, which burns off food calories. The secret to a successful weight-loss plan is doing a variety of things, each of which could be exercise, but to move on to new activities before you get bored. So here are some simple calorie-burning activities that can be fit into nearly any routine day.

Changing ``Can I'' to ``May I'' before the question ``have a pair of chopsticks, please?'' takes 38 calories -- and it takes twenty more when you remember that you're in a Burger King, so that ``Can I'' would have been the correct question anyway, and the answer is ``No''.

Accidentally leaving your lip balm in a pocket and not realizing until you've put it in the washing machine can burn off 75 calories. This will only have an effect if you accidentally leave the balm in there; deliberately leaving it in so that you can cure your shirts of chapping or so that the flavor of the balm (cherry or peppermint) will spread to your clothes would be cheating.

Being generally boring does not consume any calories per se, but it can make the more dynamic and excitable calories avoid you for fear of being pulled into a dreary conversation. However, the calories which do make it through will be particularly determined and once they get hold of you will not let go. This approach should be used with caution.

Constructing new corny and vaguely old-time jokes is another useful approach. Consider: The psychologist says to the guy, ``So how long is it now you've thought you were turning into a cow?'' The guy frowns a moment and says, ``I'd have to say it really started about the time I started laying eggs.'' The psychologist pauses and carefully says, ``Cows are ... generally ... not known for laying eggs.'' The guy nods. ``That is what's got me so worried.'' That rudimentary joke consumes 65 calories for each person amused by it.

Using your electric toothbrush while walking toward the napping cat until it gets sufficiently annoyed as to bury its nose under its paws apparently unaware that will not make a noise stop, takes a neat 115 calories, but does require waiting for the cat to nap. Counter-intuitively, continuing to get closer until the cat angrily swats at you consumes only twelve more calories, hardly worth it, until you consider the bandage application can (depending on the cat) be worth at most 60 calories.

Fourteen calories accrue to your account for every sentence on a documentary-laden cable channel that you can complete after hearing only the first two words. Reruns do not count for this purpose. Consult your tax advisor for details and complications, which in itself is worth 140 calories.

None of this seems like much, but the easy-to-add routines outlined already would, if done, consume 513 calories, a good portion of all the energy one gets from eating a regular day. Eating one regular day is between 1100 and 1300 calories, depending on whether it is a holiday; add 400 calories if one has it upsized and another 200 if one gets the zesty sauce, which you should. You can burn off the extra weight somehow.

Trivia: In 1903 London there were 3,623 horse buses running; ten years later there were 142 left. Source: ``The British Monarchy c 1820 - 1977'', David Cannadine, The Invention of Tradition, Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger, Editors.

Currently Reading: Noise, Hal Clement.

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