On Yom Kippur, my wife – may she live a long life – and I were at home when suddenly she gave me this once over look and asked if I had been doing more weight lifting lately.
I asked her why she was asking, and she, may she live a long life, blinked twice. “It’s a little strange,” she said, “but it looks like your neck has suddenly disappeared.”
Now that was just insulting. It’s true that I have always been a guy with a head on his shoulders, but that is how it is with the men in my family, stiff necked. “So,” she asked, “are you lifting weights?”
Weights vs CardioThe fact was that two weeks earlier I was on the treadmill at the gym when Arnon the body sculpting trainer approached me and said I wasn’t working out correctly. Arnon has the neck of a swan, long and graceful, but that is only because he doesn’t need to carry much IQ.
He explained that running just messed up the knees and back, and new research indicated that focusing on weight training was better in the long run; as every muscle grows, it burns more calories.
The theory sounded logical to me because it had already worked on my stomach. So I added weights and my neck disappeared.
Following the body-building criticism, I went to speak with Riki, the trainer who whispered to me that Arnon didn’t have a clue what he was talking about since his diet had turned his brain into rice cakes.
“It’s exactly the opposite,” she said. “You need to run more. Running is the most important.”
She said that in order to reach the optimal level for burning calories, I needed to stabilize my pulse running at least 40 minutes at a rhythm of 12 kilometers an hour.
I told her that if I was to run 40 minutes at that speed it was more than likely my pulse would stabilize at zero. In the end, we compromised on a comfortable pace for me. I started running, and she was very impressed, saying she always thought that only cars could reverse.
Pilates experienceAs soon as she left, Arnon showed up at the weight lifting section in order to inquire if I had already slated a date for my funeral. I said that I just wanted my neck back. He suggested I try Pilates. So, the next day I took my first class.
Pilates, for those who do not know, is based on stretching. You lay on a special bed and try to stretch as much as you can. Then the trainer comes, takes your arm, and stretches it past your butt, expertly stopping the stretch precisely at the point where your shoulder is completely dislodged and you are sent to the hospital.
Three hours later, before being released from the emergency room, Dr Einroch explained to me that sport was usually dangerous. What was most important was good nutrition.
“Your shoulder became dislodged because there’s an erosion of bone mass,” he said. “You need to increase the amount of dairy products in your diet for the calcium.”
Diet changeI went home and ate white cheese and pro biotic yogurts for a week. At first it bothered me that I was ingesting large amounts of tiny crawling things (how is it that the orthodox haven’t asked if the bacteria in yogurt didn’t constitute a problem of milk and meat?)
It was explained to me that the new bacteria entered the body and beat up the old bacteria so essentially it was a form of the martial arts. The only problem was that my stomach sort of hurt so I went back to Dr. Einroch.
While I was waiting for him, I read the learned article by noted nutritionist, Professor Shmuel Edelstein, who explained that milk products were as toxic are strychnine and MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz).
“After the age of two, a change occurs in the enzyme structure and the body loses its ability to absorb the lactose.” The professor said that at least 60 percent of the population could not process lactose let alone pronounce it.
The solution of course is to switch to soy milk which will keep you as fit as a 2005 Renault Megan.
I know that is a strange simile but I read an article by nutritionist Osnat Harel (I waited a long time for Dr. Einroch) where she issued the following warning: “Soy contains a large amount of aluminum(!), which is a potential source of toxins to the liver and the nervous system.”
At this point the room began to swim in front of my eyes. I was in no way ready to turn into Robocop.
The dizziness got worse when I read the next paragraph: “Too much soy is liable to make it difficult for oxygen to reach the cells of the body and the heart because soy contains hemoglutinin which can simulate a blood clot and cause blood cells to constrict.”
All kinds of sugarSo as my blood cells were constricting in order to figure out how to kill me, I fled the clinic and went to get a cup of coffee, (The dangers, according to research carried out at Northwestern University in Chicago include insomnia, the shakes, nausea, throwing up, chest pain and heart palpitations, the lose of bone mass, high blood pressure) with two saccharine (according to Ynet: "suspected of being carcinogenic, causing damage to the liver, the kidneys, heart and brain and side effects such as headaches, nausea and a racing pulse.”)
The waitress suggested switching to brown sugar, but I patronizingly informed her of an interview carried out with Hila Givoni, a senior dietician with the Maccabee Health Fund: “Many people are misled by brown sugar,” she wrote with a kind of bemused cynicism.
“I certainly do not recommend using it because it does more harm than good. Brown sugar, like its white brother, can lead to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. Do you understand where this is all leading?
No where to run and nowhere to hide. It doesn’t matter what one expert tells you. There will be another expert who will tell you the opposite: Avoiding stress is key but active, ambitious people live longer: Engage in sports activity five times a week but don’t ruin your heart and knees: Eat lots of fiber because when you awake from the coma we’ll explain how the operation to unblock you intestines turned out: Refrain from saturated fats.
What the hell are saturated fats? How are they different from other fats? The only thing that everyone agrees on is that a regular, satisfying sex life helps cellulite to disappear (okay so I made that up in case my wife reads it).
Of course it is possible to find the right way. Exercise in moderation, eat in moderation, avoid sweets and alcohol, consume a lot of green vegetable and avoid crowded urban areas.
Yet according to my own research, people die anyway, of boredom.