And Breathe!

Well, we’re into July and the holiday period is upon us.

It’s a time of excessive drinking, dining on sub standard food and family arguments…… And that’s only on the plane flying to your destination!

As a middle aged man, my week of relaxation in the sun is now preluded by several weeks of breathing control exercises. A necessity if I’m to survive seven days of holding my stomach in on the beach.

I can get away with it when not on holiday as for the remainder of the year am fully clothed, apart from when I shower of course.

Under normal circumstances I only have to hold my stomach in for a few seconds when having my photo taken, unless someone walks in while I’m in the shower. In that scenario I shout “Get out Beyonce! I’ve told you I’m married with kids!…. Have you no shame woman!”…… or something like that anyway!

However, when I’m on holiday clad only in swimming shorts on the beach, my comfort blanket of a covered top half is eradicated.


“Gary, why don’t you just spend those few weeks before your holiday exercising, you fat get?” I hear you cry. After all it has far more health benefits than nearly suffocating through the persistent holding of breathe whilst contracting my midriff.

“Alternatively, why don’t you grow old gracefully, Strachan? Embrace the extra pounds you’ve added in the last few years. Fight your vanity, instead of indulging in misguided actions to give an impression you’re slimmer than you are.” you may add.

It has to be said, they would be valid arguments. After all, even if I do look slim what does that achieve?

A beach beauty is not going to nudge her equally attractive mate and tell her “That bloke over there is slim. He might have a face like a clumsy beekeeper but I’m going over there to chat to him. I like men who look after themselves!”

Only for her bemused pal to probably reply “F***ing hell, your standards have dropped!”

At this point I have to tell myself “You’re married anyway, Strachan! Sort yourself out you fool!!”

Seriously, though, it’s funny/sad (delete where applicable) the number of men of my generation, that indulge in ‘Operation Breathe In’ during their vacation.

Some misguidedly think that this strategy will fool the individuals they encounter into thinking that they spend hours working out. Kudos that will be automatically lost when your trunks sell out you peed yourself at the pool toilets.

Others deludedly dream their gut fraud will attract a fellow holidaymaker with the face of a mermaid and the legs of Daryl Hannah (apart from when she was in the movie Mermaid, when she had a tail)….. You could have just written Daryl Hannah there, Gary!….. Stop adding words unnecessarily!

Even if, by some miracle, a hopeful chancer does attract a Daryl Hannah type beauty, surely all chances of romance will disappear when they turn blue after sucking in their stomach for over 10 minutes!

As mentioned above, I would suspect doctors, personal trainers and companies who sell home gym equipment would advocate the exercise option when you’re not happy with your beach body.

Home gym equipment manufacturers can’t stress highly enough how important exercise is! …… Neither can their shareholders!


To my mind, ‘Operation Breathe In’ is a misguided, vain and futile attempt to fool your fellow holidaymakers into a false impression your not a fat b*****d. The only person being fooled, though, is yourself!

That being said, when I go away I’ll be doing it!…… Now where’s my beer and kebab?






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