Reading about Richard Marles’ experience on a water slide this summer reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons when Homer takes Bart and Lisa to a water theme park.
Just like Richard Marles, Homer’s attempt at going down a water slide ends in serious embarrassment. Richard’s experience wasn’t as shocking as Homer’s though – who had to be cut out of the water slide and placed back to earth by a crane.
Thankfully, unlike Homer, Richard has decided not to pursue a life in the ‘moo-moo’, but is instead seeking to, albeit slowly, trim down for a healthier life. In fact, while there’s no shortage of reports telling us how fat we are, there are more and more of us attempting to lose that spare tyre.
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As the old year ended, I was confronted by an article written by Samantha Maiden in the News Ltd Sunday papers about politicians losing weight.
Sam had initially selected me as a successful example of size reduction. Come the last Sunday of the year, I was feeling appropriately affirmed by the anticipated lauding of my dietary achievements.
As dawn broke I leapt out of bed, into the car, and off to the local shop to pick up the Sunday Herald Sun. But as I opened the paper my bubble burst. Compared to Bob Baldwin’s shedding of 70 kilos, my paltry 4 kilos represented little more than a foregone Sunday roast. Indeed in the article itself, my role was simply to play foil to Jamie Briggs’ effort of losing 17 kilos, inspired by people continually telling him that he looked as fat as me.
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With swimsuit season upon us, questions like: “Does my bum look big in this?” or “Do you think I look fat?” are guaranteed to send a chill down the spine of most men.
A new study has scientifically established there’s a good reason for this fear, particularly for men whose partners have poor body image. (Let’s face it, this is most of them.)
La Trobe University researchers have found women who don’t like their bodies much want the honest truth rather than flattery from their partners.But there is a catch: honesty will not make women happy, but it will make them feel closer to their men.
Jamie Briggs is a mongrel.
As my on-air debating partner, Jamie - the Liberal Member for Mayo - and I both cut tubby figures with rubbery jawlines. We were comfortable in our overweight skins. We happily pontificated about politics and confirmed every prejudice about politicians being overfed and under-exercised.
Watching us, the viewing public rested easily knowing that life was predictable and the universe was aligned.
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More than anything right now, Australia needs leadership. We need clear policy direction, we need a leader that cares nothing for popularity, for political correctness, for playing the game.
In short, we need Clive Palmer. National Living Treasure. Bold visionary. Mr Palmer is not beholden to trendy ideas. He is unafraid to speak his mind, to cross swords with those from the left and the right.
What the world needs now is Clive, sweet Clive.
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Okay. I’ve sat back long enough keeping quiet while the “I’m fat and happy” chorus’ has reached its crescendo.
Last week we read about a special mums’ group just for overweight mums, so they too could feel part of a group without being judged.
And the issue of overweight kids and overweight parents has raised its ugly head again after radio host Chrissie Swan posed for the cover of Women’s Weekly and discussed her struggles with weight, and her acceptance of it.
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If the majority of your friends drink too much, eat too much and are overweight, it may be time to do some culling.
We become like the people we spend our time with. As a general observation, this would appear to be true. Just take a look at suburbs. It is fair to say that the people who live, work and socialise in the east of Sydney do tend to look and behave differently to those who live, work and play out west. There is no judgment associated with this observation, it is simply because as humans, like animals, we like to associate with others who are like ourselves. This “oneness” helps us to feel safe, warm and cosy.
When it comes to lifestyle habits though, this connectedness which occurs at both a conscious and unconscious level poses a significant issue as it appears that both good and bad lifestyle habits are catching. This means that if your friends are overweight, unfit and lazy, statistics suggest you are going to head that way too.
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Throughout my high school years I used to walk to Brighton High in Adelaide’s beach suburbs with my mate Andy Durant. Andy and I liked walking because we could smoke a ciggie or two and talk about music.
Andy went on to become, all too briefly, one of Australia’s most promising song-writers, penning tunes for a South Australian band, Stars, until cancer took him at the ridiculously young age of 25. There was a brilliant memorial concert for Andy in Melbourne featuring a stellar line up including Richard Clapton, Broderick Smith, Don Walker, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Glyn Mason … you get the idea.
Among Andy’s enduring legacy was helping a young kid who came from a home without much music discover the delights of rock, blues, folk and country songs.
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