“I’m in good shape. That shape is round.” This quote, from Jorod Kintz’s This Book Has No Title came to mind the other day while I was shopping in a Philadelphia store and came across the latest “natural compound” to hit the fitness market. The company boasts that the rare African plant derivative can increase lean muscle by 600% in seven weeks with no side effects.
Notwithstanding my healthy skepticism about the safety profile, my mind began sifting through recent human growth hormone and anabolic steroid-related headlines and wondering how the claims about this substance could change the landscape. The Tour de France, the Olympics, and even the Philadelphia Police Department—all recently caught up in the all too familiar allegation that members were using illegal substances. If this compound were effective and legal, I knew that these would not be the only things that would change.
Once again, I would be in for a self-image adjustment. Summer is around the corner which means that the University City twenty-somethings and the Center City thirty-somethings would again do a good job at making me feel physically inadequate. So as I returned the bottle of food additive to its shelf, I decided that this time around, this summer, this holiday season and this lifetime—I’m in good shape. That shape is round.