Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jesus Loves Me, Pass the Twinkies

Has anyone noticed that Americans want to live forever? We get up at 5 am for boot camp—the term around these parts for military-style exercises led by a conditioning Nazi, preferably outdoors, preferably in howling wind. Or we submit to the indignity of a “health” club, as if there were anything healthy about trying to keep up with a treadmill, like a hamster in a cage, while watching CNN talking heads on a screen you can’t turn off without flying off the treadmill.

We count calories, then follow the latest fad diet, then ingest some powder promoted on sports talk radio so that we will gain only 10 pounds instead of 30. And we read about health and diet and exercise, and have to listen to all those talking heads telling us about it, whether we’re on a treadmill or in an airport lounge or our doctor’s office, where we are waiting to be told that we eat too much and should exercise more, while taking pills for our blood pressure. Worst torture of all, however, is lying back in a dentist’s chair, his hands in your mouth, and your hands out of reach of the remote that controls the TV on the ceiling, where a talking head is telling you to floss.

To all of which, I say, pass the Twinkies, and make mine a double. Because Jesus loves me, and the eternal life that everyone is so desperately chasing has already been promised. What’s the big deal, people?

Yesterday, while visiting my daughter in New York, I took a walk, not to exercise but to get to Starbucks. When I got back my daughter asked what I had ordered. A vente mocha. I forgot to mention the non-fat, no-whipped portion of my order. My daughter immediately said, Great, Dad. 600 calories. I neglected to tell her about the 375-calorie oatmeal raisin cookie. It didn’t matter. She served me salad and gluten-free bread for dinner anyway.

As I’ve made clear in previous posts, I walk for exercise, about five miles a day, and as I haven’t written but probably will again, I am now eating mostly vegetarian, ever since my other daughter terrorized me with a copy of Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer. Caveat lector: If you like a good cheeseburger, do not read this book! It’s all about factory farming and how the chickens and pigs are stacked in crates and fed through tubes and poop on each other, but that’s OK because they’re pumped full of antibiotics so that that they won’t “catch” anything. We humans catch the antibiotics.

So go ahead, diet and exercise as you wish, as much as you like. But save room for dessert. Because Jesus loves you, and 100 years from now, what is another 100 calories going to matter?

2 comments:

  1. I love this post! I love how you put things into perspective - Jesus loves me regardless of whether I have dessert, and having a cookie one day wont affect the rest of your life (or afterlife, unless maybe it's some sort of devil worship cookie). I've always admired your daily commitment to getting outside and moving. Especially this time of year (beautiful fall!) I like running or walking outside to get out of my head and appreciate God's green (sometimes concrete) earth. xo

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  2. If anyone reads the above comment from a person with the suspicious name of Marian Bull, go immediately (do not pass Go) to her blog, "marianwrites." It's great. (Thanks, M. Love, D)

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