Food and Dining, Work and Occupation

Two by Four

A friend I’ve known since grade school is an aspiring actress. She was an “extra” as early as age 16, and has had bit parts in a few TV shows, and a movie she says is set to come out this year.

She recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of a career in acting, and I know she’s going to make it. She came home for Christmas break, and we got to talking about the sacrifices that are sometimes necessary to get good roles. She’s facing one of those decisions right now.

One for the Team

fat woman considering whether she should overeat or exercise
Think it over

The studio wants her to gain 30 pounds. Now, this girl has been fit for as long as I can remember. She was a cheerleader in high school, and taught aerobics part-time once she turned 18. She always eats right and pays attention to her figure. Don’t get me wrong. She’s not a huge dieter, and she’s not vain. She just likes to keep fit and healthy. So I was floored when she said she’s probably going to gain the weight!

She brought up an interesting point, though, by saying that people gain and lose weight every year and don’t even think about it. She says she would be ‘smart’ about the weight gain, and not pig out on junk food to get there. Then, after the film is over, she plans to get right back down to where she is now. She said it’s a good role and she needs to make a name for herself, so has decided getting fat is worth it in this case.

For Love of the Job

I just think it’s interesting. I mean, I tend to put on at least 15 pounds in the winter (during what I call the “fat/sweater months”), and I don’t get anything out of it but a sour mood and bad attitude. At least she’s going to get paid, and hopefully this will open the door for something else.

I know her, and I know she’ll get the weight off, too. She does what she says she will. I just think it’s a different way to look at things. Kind of a reverse New Year’s resolution, I guess, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

by Samaris Nuñez

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It’s Bad to be King

Like many kids growing up during the ‘excessive 80s,’ I loved playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! But, for reasons unbeknownst to my young self at the time, I always hesitated before any ‘win.’

Was I worried at the possibility of actually losing? Did I fear having to go back to the beginning, to work myself back up to this point, knowing my parents surely wouldn’t allow me the extra hour of video game time to do so?

There were likely elements of these scenarios (and many others) at play during those strangely stressful moments, but I think more than anything, I just didn’t want the responsibility of being a better ‘fighter,’ or possibly becoming the ‘champ.’

Good luck, kid!
Good luck, kid!

I realize that may sound odd, especially for a young man whose entire life at the time was essentially driven by competition, by overcoming opponents, by pushing himself to his absolute limits, with his ‘eyes on the prize’ of victory. Well, victory and getting the girl at the front of the class to notice him, but that’s a topic for another day.

But now I realize that my hesitation was not so much a fear of the fight but, rather, a fear of the responsibility that comes with winning. In some ways, that grade-school ideal remains to this day.

I’m not saying I don’t still have my ‘eyes on the prize.’ I actively seek out opportunities to learn and grow, both at work and in my personal life. Still, as great as it must be to have the ‘big office upstairs,’ I’m sure my boss has looked out the window more than a few nights, watching us all head home for the day, and thought about the ‘good ol’ days’ when she was able to do the same.

They say “it’s good to be the king,” and I’m sure it probably is. However, kings also have to endure the constant attempts to overthrow them, often from members of their own family, or those they considered ‘close friends.’

So, while I would have loved to be the pixelated boxing champion of the world back then, I just couldn’t take the pressure of it all. Hey, when you’re a kid, that’s about the most pressure you have to endure.

There’s a lot to be said for being just an average person. Not necessarily mediocre, but not a ‘shining star’ either. Somewhere right in the middle, like being wrapped in a Snuggie of ‘pretty good.’

Sure, you may not be able to reap all the benefits of the ‘kings,’ but you also won’t have to endure the stresses, and you won’t have to be looking over your shoulder all the time. In the end, you can keep the gold medal. I’ll take my middle-of-the-line “Intercontinental Champion” belt every time.

by Gordon T. Elliott Residential Life Magazine