So, I went to the gym today.

My god, what a fuckin' nightmare.

It is not my New Year's Resolution to lose weight or gain mass or any of those things that people normally promise themselves they'll do year after year. No, I've been going to the gym every day except Sunday and holidays, for about 12 years. I look exactly like I want to look. I have other problems to worry about.

But, there are dozens of new members at my gym whose New Year's Resolution it is to drop some fat off their bodies. As is the case every year on January 2nd, the place was jam-packed with enthusiastic people ranging from 20 pounds underweight to 150 pounds overweight and they all want to look like Christina Aguilera or The Rock by the end of January. And this time they really really mean it!

Yeah, right.

Next week, the gym will be filled with bored people who range from 20 pounds underweight to 150 pounds overweight, who suddenly realize that they're not going to look like supermodels and studs in 30 days.

The week after that, I'll be able to use the treadmill whenever I want to again, because they'll all be gone. And another ill-fated New Year's Resolution bites the dust.

I hate to be cynical about it, but it happens every year. Only in a few instances have I seen someone start at the gym at the beginning of January and they're still there by February. Out of those, very few were still there as of last week. These are the people who have figured out the one single existing formula to weight loss which all the low-fat diets, low-carb diets, diet pills, liposuction in the world will not nullify: If you eat more calories a day than you use, you gain weight. If you use more calories a day than you eat, you lose weight.

The fact that people know this, yet for some reason ignore it, or try to find some way around it is the reason that the New Year's Resolution to lose weight is ill-fated.

That, and a lack of immediate results.

One pound of fat = 3500 calories. That's Thirty-Five hundred calories. You could burn off 3500 calories in one day. It's not easy, and requires a degree of determination that most people do not possess, but it can be done - and that's assuming you don't eat. Even if you lost a pound a day (which is exceedingly unhealthy), it will take at least 2 or 3 weeks (depending on how fat you are) before anyone would start to notice. This is right around the time most people say "Aw, fuck it!" and stop coming to the gym, and start cramming cheesecake and Butterfinger McFlurry's back down their throats, and wallow in self-loathing.

I used to be fat. I know.

There is no easy way to make this resolution stick. This is a serious problem in a world filled with machines, computers, devices, services and servants who are paid or designed to make your life as *easy* as saying a word and getting the desired result. There is no fast way to bring your resolution to fruition. This is a serious problem in a world used to half-hour television shows in which all the world's problems are solved in 5 minutes, and the average attention span can be measured in nanoseconds. Human beings are creatures of habit. This is a serious problem in a world where the above two conditions exist and the majority of the work force sit in cubicles, in vehicles or offices for 8 to 12 hours a day, then go home to bask in the relaxing glow of television.

It's not easy.

It's not fast.

Fat acceptance is one solution. Hard work and dedication is the other.