They say that age is only a state of mind, but my gut is physical proof that it is not. As soon as I hit the milestone of 30, my one superhero power – the power of being able to eat through the five food groups without a second thought for my waistline – evaporated. So, much like Clark Kent learning to live like an ordinary human in Superman II (a generous analogy, I admit), I’ve been forced to find ways to keep my ever-expanding stomach in check.
Dieting, unfortunately, is not an option, since late-night meals and bread baskets are part and parcel of an Eating Out editor’s job. So instead I’ve turned to vigorous exercise. Okay, ‘vigorous’ is perhaps an overstatement, but I have taken to morning jogs.
In theory, this is all well and good: the weather is wonderfully cool right now and watching the morning sun rise over the marina is a wonderful way to start the day. The only problem is – how do I put this? – other joggers.
It’s not so much the way they breeze past me so effortlessly, but the way they dress. Since when did fitness get so fashionable? There I am thinking that it’s perfectly acceptable to wear an old, stained T-shirt and shorts (shorter than usual shorts, I confess), only to be put to shame by countless tanned men and women with fitted T-shirts, matching shorts, blinding neon trainers and not a bead of sweat to be seen. And don’t get me started on iPods – half the new models I see each morning I never knew existed. But then I couldn’t listen to an iPod even if I wanted to, because earphones have a habit of slipping out of my sweaty lugholes.
I’m hoping that now the Dubai Marathon is out of the way these immaculately-dressed fitness aficionados will disperse, leaving me and my super-short shorts to roam the marina in peace. If not, I’ll have no other choice but to retreat indoors to the tedium of the treadmill and the dulcet sounds of Dubai’s drive-time DJs.
Of course, gyms aren’t places for the self-conscious (they are, in my opinion, havens for men with muscles in odd places), so maybe I should surrender to the inevitable and let my waistline go the way nature intended (ie, outwards). Besides, the old adage of never trusting a skinny chef surely applies to the people who critique their food…