Endo-Ecto and the Missing Fruit

Jack Spratt could eat no Fat

This image came along recently in a Floyd-biz email, and considering the source, was no surprise. It is a striking contrast of somatotypes–him, a most definite endomorph, her an ectomorph likely exacerbated by severe caloric restriction. Cute couple.

It’s been a year now since I was in the habit of attending to body issues, retired from physical therapy as I am. But this picture brought back some of that.

I remember in my first PT job at what is now CJ Harris Regional Medical Center west of Asheville. A seasoned therapist was giving me an idea of what to expect during my break-in period. The first week, we were to “mobilize” a 400 pound post-surgical patient.

“Watch out for fruit in the folds” I was told. I had to ask for an explanation.

“Yeah, had a gal this size a few months back. Got her up to walk, and an orange fell out of one of the dunlops (as in ‘her belly done lop over her knees’–it’s trade jargon.)

I have a blend of body types–an ectomorphic frame and metabolism with (at times past) a mesomorphic (muscular) constitution. However, I am today a mere shadow of my former self, strength-wise–a dough-y ectomorph with mesomorphic memories of the salad days.

If my 35 year old self woke up in my 62 year old body, he’d swear he had been exposed to kryptonite. My Super Powers! Ah, the gravity of the situation.

So for Christmas, I asked for an exercise kit that might work within the logistics of where we live; getting to the gym in town like many of our friends just isn’t practical. And Santa from South Dakota brought me an Aylio resistance-bands Workout Set. No bulky weight plates or risk of dropping an anvil on my head; can be folded up and tucked in a drawer when not in use (in which case, they are not much help); and this kind of workout is enough for toning. (I wouldn’t use resistance tubing to get back to the Nautilus condition I was in at 35, regardless of the beefy folk they show on their ads.)

I now have some eye hooks at three levels beside the door frame, and have started using this “weighted” exercise on a daily basis, with alarms set on the computer that I can’t dismiss until I’ve done the work. So long, love handles. No hidden fruit for this boy!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. An orange? OMG. Were I she, I would have died from the embarrassment. Good luck with the bands. Mr. kenju has some, but after they hung on the back of a bedroom chair for a year, I retired them to a drawer – and I am sure he’s never missed them.

  2. Oh heavens. Being a bit of an endomorph myself, I will forever be horrified by the “dunlop” thing. That might be enough to motivate me back into the early morning jogs.

  3. I am just glad to be. 🙂

    Reasonable healthy, decent diet, just some exercise to stay toned and flexible……… I will never be muscle man, so I take what I have and make it work.

    Enjoy life……… it’s short, and certainly not a dress rehersal.

    Happy New year to All

    Fred, give that dog a bone…

  4. What we need as we get older is cardiovascular exercise combined with resistance training. It doesn’t have to be Olympic quality exercise, but it should be challenging, i.e, you sweat and feel a little burn. Good luck with your new lifestyle.

    Have a good New Year!

  5. I also have the Aylio resistance bands at home! They are an awesome workout! I’ve been using them for at least 2 years now