“Are you saying that I am a pig?” She asked, in a tone of disbelief.
“Joan, what in the world would make you think, I was alluding to you?”
“My boyfriend,” she cried, “I know he’s overweight, but he certainly is no pig.”
I was a bit taken aback by Joan’s response. I explained to her that the pig was being used to illustrate my point, and in no way was a reflection of either her or her boyfriend.
“So why can’t you teach a pig to sing then? What does it have to do with my boyfriend?”
“Joan,” I said, slowly and deliberately. “Your attempt to get your beau to lose weight, is akin to the fallacy of trying to get a pig to sing.”
“And why is that?” Joan blurted out.
“There are three reasons why you can’t get a pig to sing. I will explain each, and how it relates to your efforts to get your boyfriend, to lose weight.
“The first reason is that the pig does not know how.”
“My boyfriend knows how to lose weight. He lost over 100 pounds.”
“No, he doesn’t,” I said, calmly. “He lost a 100 pounds by beginner’s luck. Any person, who put their body under the stress of exercising will see results at first, but what happens when they plateau?
“Bodybuilding is not a linear progression. Perhaps you and he thought that it would be easy to continue losing the weight. I would bet a week’s salary that he became dispirited and disillusioned when the reduction of his weight ceased.”
Joan did not utter a word, but was slowly nodding her head in agreement.
“So, we must conclude that the first reason is valid, he does not know, for if he did, he would make the necessary adjustments to continue with his weight loss goals.
“The second reason is the pig does not want to learn.”
“But my boyfriend does,” Joan snapped. “Why would you say that?”
“If he really wanted to learn, then he would study the principals behind building muscles, or get himself a personal trainer.”
“Did you use a personal trainer?” Joan asked, sarcastically. “Why would you make us spend money on a trainer, when you did not use one?”
“Joan, in a way I did, without incurring the expensive cost. I studied and followed the programs of Dr. Jim Stoppani, Mike Robertson, Lee Labrada, Jake Wilson, and Leroy Colbert et al. Each of their philosophies was instrumental in helping me to carve out the physique I have today.”
“So why can’t my boyfriend, do the same?”
“You have made my point for reason, number two. He could, but he hasn’t, because he does not wish to learn.”
“OK,” Joan said, jumping up from her seat. “You seem to have all the answers. What about reason, number three?”
“You entered the room sighing. I tried to ignore you, but your sighs increased in intensity, forcing me to acknowledge your presence. You stated that you and your beau had a heated argument, over the fact that he gave up on his desire to transform his body.
“You told me that you found empty boxes of donuts. You also said that he found your secret stash of potato chips, and devoured those as well.”
“So, what of it?”
“Joan let me reiterate, and then conclude. Don’t try to teach a pig to sing!
“One, they don’t know how.
“Two, they don’t want to learn.
“Third, if you persist in trying to teach them, all you do is irritate the pig.”
Joan stared intently at me.
“If you really want to help your boyfriend. You will have to leave him behind. Go on and transform your own body. When he sees that you are determine to achieve your weight loss goals, and making progress, out of fear of being left behind and perhaps losing you, he should resume his efforts.
I wish I could report that the story had a happy ending, but I would be deceiving you if I did. Joan, did continue in her efforts to transform her body, but since it mainly consisted of cardio, with little or no strength training, she became disenchanted, disinterested, and ballooned up in weight.
As far as I can tell, they seem resigned to their faith, and are content with each other. The office is very quiet these days. No longer does Joan complain or ask my advice of what exercises she and her boyfriend should do.
In retrospect, what if I had never told Joan . . . “Why you can’t teach pig, to sing?”