You know you’re a movie theater over-achiever when the concession stand gal starts serving up your popcorn and diet soda before you’ve even blurted, “I’d like a…” But it doesn’t take a bedpost full of movie notches to realize the discrepancy between cinema life and reality.
For example, this is what you see on the screen:
And this is what you see in the sticky, squeaking, thread-bare theater seats:
Now don’t get me wrong. This is a fine-looking bunch of folks, and many of their movie-going brethren across the world may be just as lovely. However, I suspect most movie attendees are a few beers short of Mr. Smith’s 6-pack (or should I say a few beers long…)
I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, pay me twenty million bucks, and I’ll look like that too.” In fact, I said that very thing to my son after seeing Mission Impossible—Ghost Protocol.
But the boastfulness got me wondering, could I? Absence of testosterone aside, would a princely sum entice me to “do the Hugh”?
Let’s put it in context. I’ve read (and yes, we all must remember how “credible” tabloids and online sites can be) that in addition to training many hours each day, Mr. Jackman rose at 4 am every morning to eat the first of many tiny, high-protein meals. And what did these meals consist of? Lean ground turkey, bison meat (yum), brown rice, egg whites, green vegetables, and yams.
Well, that’s not so bad, you argue. Many of us eat these healthy foods every day. I know I certainly encourage them (though I’m flexible on the bison meat). But the astute observer will notice what is not on the list. Chocolate, anyone? Ice cream? Refined baked goods? A gooey, cheesy, dripping slice of hot pizza?
And what about the boys who trained for the movie 300? Two hours of weight lifting and another four to six hours of fight training daily. And here is the concerning part: “Everyone was given just enough food to recover from the workout.”
Well, I don’t care for the sound of that.
But twenty million dollars? Wouldn’t that make it worth it?
Let’s see. What would you do with that twenty million? You could go on really nice vacations. That would be cool. But you would have to trade sightseeing for weight training, and you would have to watch with protruding tongue and hang-dog eyes while your friends and family—traveling free thanks to your dedication and willpower—devour luscious feasts heaped on buffet tables.
Or you could quit your day job and finally work on those hobbies you love. Of course, you would have to wait until you completed your pre-determined hours of exercise. And then you would have to ignore the rumble in your tummy while you painted your masterpiece. And sadly, by the time you finished the third brush stroke, it would be bedtime. You have to rise at 4 am to eat buffalo, remember?
Or maybe you could start a charity that donates food to the needy. How nice of you! But beware. With every jar of peanut butter you check off the list, every loaf of high-carb bread, every pack of double-stuffed Oreos, every Häagen-Dazs pint, you might become just the teensiest bit hostile, more bitter than the lemons in your donated lemonade. And before you know it, you’ve gone all Tasmanian Devil on the food and everything else in your life, and you end up in a nice, white cotton restrainer. Oh well, at least others can enjoy your hard-earned millions.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll stay in my world of moderation (as if Hollywood is calling, anyway.) Exercise a sane amount daily. Eat mostly healthy foods but allow for the goodies that make life enjoyable. And just sit back in my broken cinema seat with my freshly-popped popcorn (without butter of course; I’m not keen on an early cardiac exit), and watch the pretty, tanned and toned millionaires do their thing.
I bet they’d lunge for my popcorn if they could.