How to get a winter bod

Winter is coming.

It’s practically upon us really, there’s a fierce chill in the air.

You’re probably starting to panic now, thinking you’re not ready – there’s at least three pairs of shorts lying around that you didn’t get to wear all summer, and you don’t even know where your winter coat is, or if you’ll even fill it out after all those salads you ate when the weather was awful close there for a while.  I know, you didn’t feel like cooking when it was a sweltering 16 degrees out, but it’ll come back to haunt you soon enough.

I hate to break it to you, but the only way to get the winter body you’ve been dreaming about is to stop exercising.  I know.  It’s difficult.  But it’ll be worth it.  Say goodbye to those morning runs, or evening gym sessions, they’ll be no good to you in December, when it’s baltic out and you haven’t a pick on you to keep you warm.

Start eating way more food.  Like seven times as much.  Food in Ireland is usually served hot, so for starters that’ll keep you warm during the actual food consumption itself.  But even if it’s cold, horse into it, sure it’ll save you having to wear billions of layers of clothing if you just layer up naturally by eating loads and loads of buttery shpuds*.

Have a big dirty bag of cans every Tuesday.  Self-explanatory really, cans make you invincible so winter can’t do shite if you fill up on bags of cans.

It’s important to note that if you are struggling to get a #winterbod, in the meantime you can just wear loads of puffy layers of clothing, especially indoors, to make it look like you have one, and to keep you at a solid 40 degrees at all times.  As we all know, it’s often extremely difficult to gain weight on our ears, but never fear – you can just grab a pair of ear muffs to sort that and keep those li’l listeners nice and toasty – no one will suspect a thing.

Just stop moving altogether.  If you keep perfectly still your body will have no choice but to figure out how to keep you warm even when you’re not moving, so you’ll be a living radiator in no time.

Grow frost-proof skin.  This…  I’m not sure how to do this one yet actually but I’ll let ye know once I figure it out.

Feck it, just hibernate to feck.  Sorted.

G’luuuuuck.

*Disclaimer: Shpuds are actually class, I won’t have a bad word said about them, will you shtop.

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How to get in trouble as a bookies cashier

Short of robbing a load of money, and refusing to take bets, I imagine saying any of the following to customers might do the trick:

“You know you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose money overall by betting?”

“You know you can literally do all of this more conveniently online?”

“In fact, there’s probably much less chance of mistakes happening if you use a computer to bet.  Then you don’t even have to give out to me when you get mad because you’re losing money.”

“It doesn’t really matter what odds you write down, we just have to put down the odds the machine tells us to use.”

“You look quite silly running to the counter to put a euro on just as the race goes off.  Or a tenner.  Any amount, really.  Again, you could do this from your own home.  You wouldn’t even have to get dressed.  You could just lie in bed and bet.”

“When you complain about the glass in the door or in one part of the window not being covered because it means people can see that you’re gambling…  You know you can do this in private, online?”

“The dogs and horses running on the tv screens can’t actually hear you shouting at them.”

“I genuinely have no idea what you’ve written on that bet slip because your writing is atrocious so I’m just going to manually make it a losing slip in the system.  Cool.”

“How hard is it to write the total stake amount in the clearly labeled ‘stake’ part of the betting slip?  It’s like, the only labeled part of the plain betting slips.”

“You never know, sure you might develop a terrible gambling problem and lose all your money.  Or that horse might come in at 33/1.  You never know.”

“You’re being very rude, are you mad because you’re losing loads of money?”

“Would you like to just give me that twenty euro you’re about to put on a losing horse?  You’d at least feel good about it after, as would I, so everyone wins really.”

“Any tips?  Yeah, just don’t gamble, ever.”

“Well you don’t need to lose weight anyway”

I’m not sure why this is a socially acceptable thing to say to people, but apparently it is.

I hear it often enough.  I don’t try to provoke it – I never bring up weight in conversation – yet it happens regularly.  And I don’t know how to respond.  And it’s awkward.

No, I don’t need to lose weight.  Really, I could do without losing any, if I want to stay healthy.  And I have no intention of losing weight.  Why so many people assume this is a thing I would be concerned with causes me mild confusion, to be honest.

It’s awkward for three main reasons:  Firstly, the person who says it, seemingly is concerned with weight and weight loss.  I don’t know what to say to them.  I have no desire to discuss their weight or my own.  It’s a touchy subject for a lot of people.  Secondly, it happens a lot if I make reference to that one bit of exercise I may have done that week or month.  I arrive into work all red, and explain that it’s because I’ve cycled in, so people get that I don’t normally sweat that much, and I’m told I don’t need to lose weight.  I wasn’t trying to lose weight.  I was mostly just trying to get to work, ’cause I didn’t have a car, and didn’t feel like walking 10k to get there.  That and being healthy and getting fresh air is always nice.  But now I almost feel bad for exercising.  Thirdly, it brings up everyone’s weight issues.  The person who says it may be thinking about their own efforts to lose or gain weight.  I’m reminded about the weight I lost over the past year, from stress and the like.  I don’t need to be reminded about stress and the like.  I’m trying to forget about stress and the like.

People often compliment others on their weight loss too.  Not to make a massive generalisation, but a lot of the time, all of this is done by women.  The problem here is, you have no idea why they lost that weight.  They may have exercised a lot, and eaten really well, and they might be grateful for recognition of their success at becoming healthier, yeah.  (Though I still think it’s risky because it might be promoting the idea that they should be a certain weight, in order to look good, which is not the intention.)  Or they might have had a fairly tough time recently, causing them to lose their appetite.  Anxiety, depression, stress and much more can cause rapid weight loss.  If you want to compliment someone on how much they’re struggling, then sure, compliment them on their weight loss, and how great that look now that they’re wasting away.  Otherwise, maybe don’t.

I’m not intentionally skinny.  I haven’t been dieting at all, or even exercising half as much as I should.  I just have a light build.  And I’m unusually tall, for a girl.  So my weight, which isn’t actually that low, is spread out over a decent amount of space.  But people have felt the need to comment on this since I was little.

To me, it just seems roughly as ridiculous as casually bringing up the fact that someone is morbidly obese.  Rude, awkward, and generally unpleasant.  When are we going to stop placing all this emphasis on being skinny?  Being skinny should not be a goal.  Being healthy should be.  If you are skinny, you’ll probably spend a lot of time feeling a tad awkward or guilty about it, because people comment on it all the time.  Today I was told “you’ve a great figure”, which was lovely, but I don’t know how to respond, like do I just say “haha yeah genetics are great” or do I do the classic Irish thing and claim to be obese (spoiler: no).  Other times people just say “oh my god you’re so skinny”, to which I don’t really know what to say, short of just apologising (I haven’t tried this method), and if it’s a very unfortunate day, this pretty much equally skinny person will refer to themselves as fat.  I don’t have time to spend my days telling women they’re not fat.  They have access to mirrors and weighing scales, they should be able to figure out that they’re not fat for themselves.  Not that they’d believe me anyway, because disagreeing with someone saying they’re fat is generally just sort of polite, unless you’re their doctor or something.

This may not be the greatest problem to face the world of 2016, but it is annoying.  It’s usually unintentional, but it promotes a negative idea about how people should look, and for that reason, it makes me uncomfortable.  You decide if you need to lose weight.  Aside from your GP, I wouldn’t really let anyone else weigh in too much on that decision.

Facebook Birthdays

(Disclaimer:  I’m probably not as angry as you may think I am about this after reading this post, like a lot of what I write here, it’s not meant to be taken too seriously!)

It irritates me when Facebook points out people’s birthdays to me.  For a number of reasons.  First of all, it’s patronising.  You think I’m not going to remember my best friend’s birthday?  Wow.  Thanks.  Concerned that I’ll forget my one of my brothers’ birthdays?  Okay, I may not have been alive when he was born, so I can’t remember that exact day, but I have since been filled in on when his birthday is, and remember it.  A lot of people seem to do this.  It’s not that difficult.

Secondly, let’s say I don’t know when someone’s birthday is.  But Facebook tells me.  That seems kind of useful, right?  But now if I wish them a happy birthday, it’s just because I’ve been told to.  That doesn’t count.  It’s like when people purposefully remind you that it’s someone else’s birthday.  Then it undoes any further birthday wishes offered after that moment.  I was going to remember on my own, okay?

Another problem with Facebook’s insistence on telling us all when everyone’s birthday is, is that I get told about lots of people’s birthdays.  Most of whom, I’ve wished a happy birthday to on Facebook at least once or twice already.  I assume, at this stage, that they just know the drill.  Yes, I hope you have a great birthday.  No, I am not bothered writing it on your Facebook wall again, unless you’re a close friend and I’m going to write something with a bit more thought put into it than “happy birthday <name>”, with an optional smiley face thrown in.

This may seem a bit strange when this practice of wishing people a happy birthday as a once off doesn’t happen much in ‘real life’, but consider the fact that I may barely have seen the person in question since I last wished them a happy birthday, on Facebook.  It doesn’t matter any more if I say it to them or not.  It’s not going to have an impact on them if I don’t.

…You might be able to tell, but I’m not really one for celebrating my own birthday, hence the general lack of fuss about birthdays in general on my part.

The notifications, when sent, are the worst.  So now we don’t even need to remember to look at the top right corner of the screen to see if it’s someone’s birthday, we actually get a little virtual nudge and an update telling us whose birthday it is today.  Why do we even bother with these ‘brain’ and ‘memory’ things we have?  Sure Facebook will remember things for us, there’s no need to prevent our memories from getting worse all the time because of technology – technology’s going to allow us to survive without even having a decent memory.

I read too much into these things.

Happy birthday to everyone ever, I hope all of your birthdays are fantastic.  There, I think that covers everyone.