Wyoming’s known for fossils. Thermopolis’s identity is tied to dinosaurs of a past age. “Billions of years,” they tell us. Casper’s Tate Geological Museum dazzles the uninformed imagination of young kids, and naïve adults regarding earth’s age. Evolutionary paleontologist and anthropologist conveniently fill in all these gaps as if they’d conducted an on-scene report for the now defunct Eon Daily News. After rising out of a puddle of ooze, sometime in the past, it dawned on him, or it, that it’s much easier to walk upright. Smart move. Of course, all this is based on a collection of bone fragments, absent a complete structure. One professor of physical anthropology, from Princeton University opined, “What we need or more competent fossils. We have plenty of competent anthropologist, but not nearly enough specimens.” They opted to replace science with their fertile imagination. Convenient. Chance and fate still reign. Most are members of the hallowed “skull and bones” society. The “missing link” is still missing. What they wouldn’t give for a “living, breathing specimen.”
Absent scientific credentials, yours truly recently discovered, or stumbled upon a living, breathing species that’s more relevant to our daily lives. It’s not Pithocanthus Erectus, or the spurious Piltdown Man. However, this creature has a visage much like ours. Last seen at a local fast food restaurant, in both a male and female species-it’s Porkus Erectus. “An imaginary descendent of Porky the Pig,” were told. Their height and dimensions vary. But a common characteristic is they are generally fifty to one-hundred pounds overweight. The CDC estimates that one in four adults are obese. Childhood obesity-one in three. Last visit to a fast food line-nine of ten.
We know one’s weight is a product of manifold factors. Family history, metabolism, eating, health, stress, and lifestyle habits. One may consider the three basic body styles in our equation-ectomorphic, mesomorphic and endomorphic. The former tends to be skinny, and the latter, with a tendency to overweight. The endomorph basic body is more muscular, larger frame, with very little body fat. The classification dates back to William H. Sheldon, who, in the 1940’s, introduced the theory of Somotypes. Dig out the picture album and see what you looked like in adolescence. That’s a start. Even if it’s painful.
Years of a sedentary lifestyle with excessive preoccupation at the table, only exercising the elbow, spell disaster. Is that the beginning of Porkus Erectus? We’ll likely drag our basic frame to the grave. However, that’s no excuse for poor eating and perfidious lifestyle choices. The thyroid gets more attention than terrorists with a target on their back. Nutritionists and medical researchers speculate that about three to fifteen percent of the population have thyroid problems contributing to obesity. That leaves another eighty-five percent of overweight Americans fewer excuses. Visiting an overweight physician may be unproductive. A nutritionist may be a reliable start. Porkus Erectus defies economic and social status boundaries. God ordained biological differences between male and female are at play too.
For perspicacity, there’s a vast difference between one who’s suffering from a physical, neurological malady, or disease, using a “motorized cart, ”and one whose condition has been hastened by excessive eating and a lifetime of sedentary habits, confined to one. We may have compassion for both. However, one condition was likely preventable. The nearly extinct, apocrypha lexicon on such matters, describes “Porkus Erectus” as, “A human. One who carries an exorbitant amount of cargo for their carriage, who experiences increased, significant impediment of navigation over time. This condition, though acute, is generally amenable to intervention from a variety of internal and external stimuli.”
There’s a theological component to consider. To the student of Scripture, the Christian is reminded that our body is the “vessel” of the Holy Spirit, whose taken up full-time residence in us since our conversion to Christ. Logic implores us to take care of this “container.” Two long-time Christian colleagues, had a good natured, protracted debate on to what extent one should partake or refrain from certain practices or food, to enhance the duration of their “temple.” One had a tendency to take on “excess baggage” over the years of weight gain. He reportedly bragged to his friend, “The Holy Spirit now has a much larger vessel in which He may dwell.” The New Testament informs us “that bodily exercise profits little.” However, it didn’t say zero profit in getting off the couch. Can we be Biblical and fit? Smoking seems inimical to the principle, although it’s never mentioned in the Canon of Scripture. What about over eating? Too much wine? Gluttony and drunkenness are both roundly condemned as sin. Take a peek at I Cor.10:31
At three score and ten, yours truly is grateful for God’s blessings. Good health. A sound mind-grading on a curve. It was many years ago after converting to Christ, vowing to an exercise routine, that has survived more than forty years. Four days a week, and thirty minutes a day. An investment that understands the “clock can’t be turned back.” One needn’t embark on a “Iron Man” series tomorrow. Iron eventually rusts. Consider “baby steps.” Vigorous walking? A few aerobic exercises? Lay down the fork sooner? Some are hindered from doing such simple tasks. This partially, tongue-in-cheek epistle isn’t directed to them. Too harsh? Time on a Total Gym? Or life on a respirator? Or bed ridden?
Are we to throw up our hands and just sit there? Get moving. Gravity will have its way with us soon enough. We know this earthen vessel inevitably crumbles. Let’s not hasten it through neglect. The late Mickey Mantle, famed NY Yankee slugger, known for his off-field escapades, that likely contributed to his early demise, once opined, “If I had known I would live this long, I’d taken better care of myself.” Sage advise. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt is a Natrona County resident. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org