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Although an excellent choice to help you get healthy, personal trainers can cost you over $100 per hour. And most of the time, their advice is slanted toward doing things that are going to involve a lot of effort or sacrifice on your part.

In the end what we really want is a quick, easy fix. This is the reason that millions of people bought a battery-powered belt that supposedly flexes your abs. This allowed the suckers er, customers, I mean to sit on the couch eating Doritos while simultaneously “working out” in a series of Duracell-inspired crunches.

I’m willing to bet that these gimmicks never produced a single six-pack, unless you count any unprepared “athletes” that accidentally ingested one, cans and all, when their 9-volt sit-up generated a surprisingly severe shock.

So I’m willing to dispense some practical advice to you now, free of charge, and without forcing you to actually drive to the gym to collect it. Here are the answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions:

Q: Is their any diet that will allow me to lose weight without having to give up some of my favorite foodstuffs?

A: Yes. I recommend that you ingest a living tapeworm.

Q: I’m going to my class reunion this weekend. Is there anything I can do to lose weight quickly?

A: Yes. I recommend amputation.

Q: What are carbs, and why should I care about them?

A: “Carbs” (carbohydrates) are little molecules that contain everything that tastes good such as sugar. We have learned that carbs make you bloat, get heavy, lower your SAT scores, and cause global warming.

Q: Carbs seem to be the primary ingredient in all of the food that I enjoy. How can I eliminate these nettlesome compounds before they camp out in my love handles?

A: Leave the restaurant, go to the spa across the street, and ask for a “colonic.”

Q: Can a healthy diet include the Chinese food that I crave?

A: Sure, find an establishment that offers “no MSG,” and free-range Chihuahuas.

Q: How about Mexican food?

A: Good idea. And you’ll be able to skip the colonic mentioned above.

Q: Can a massage help me get into better shape?

A: No but who cares?

Q: A lot of the women at my gym can lift more weight than me. Is there anything I can do to get stronger than them quickly?

A: No, but maybe you should leave your gym and join Curves, you “Sally.”

Q: I can’t afford a home gym. Can you suggest an inexpensive way to get a good cardio workout?

A: Sure, let your teenager drive you somewhere.

Q: Any other ideas?

A: Yup. Smother your body in meat sauce and go for a swim in the waters off Cape Cod.

Q: Can you suggest a way to raise my heart rate with less effort than these two ideas?

A: Okay, get an appointment to have your prostate examined.

Q: There’s a lot of home gyms out there. How can I be sure to pick one that I will actually use?

A: Make certain that the design will allow you to hang a lot of clothes off of it.

If you feel that you’ve benefited from my advice and want more help, then please send me $99. I’ll send you back a wheel on an axle and two AA batteries.

Q: How will that help me?

A: It won’t but thank you.