Does this mask make me look fat?


It's time to Feel That Burn.


Back to the Future


"exercise" by Sarah Oh is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Well, we reached the end at last.  The season finale of The Mandalorian Season 2 where Baby Yoda gets rescued, Luke Skywalker returns, a bunch of dark troopers get smashed on, and Joshua Alexander realizes that he sucks at spoilers.  I do apologize.

The last time I wrote was a year ago, and that means that we’re officially out of 2020, the year that we affectionately refer to as "Unfair Psycho Dumpster Fire Nightmare Train Wreck Crapfest-a-ganza."  Now we can all stop saying “I wish the coronavirus had never come to me” and Gandalf can stop saying, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.  All you have to decide is what to do with the vaccine that is given to you.”  Wise words from a dude in a pointy hat who faced only giant fire monsters and never once had to contend with a microscopic invader that would put him on a ventilator due to his pre-existing condition of being older than the cottage cheese in the back of my fridge with that dark green stuff growing on it.

All of us, Voice Talents notwithstanding, are at that point of the year (read: beginning) where we reflect on our goals and direction for the new year.  We think a lot about our physical fitness at this time.  Some of us are already fit: able to lift up military tanks with one hand while bench pressing one zillion pounds with the other.  And then there are others that are named Joshua Alexander.  *hides cheeseburger*  On that note I would like my name back please.  There is only one real me, and I can prove it by showing you where I have that birthmark.  Women and children, please avert your eyes.

Everyone writes about New Year’s resolutions. But I wanted to be different, and that’s why I don’t just do the same thing that everyone else does. I always strive to take the path less traveled, and don’t just follow the crowd at chow time. I make like Fleetwood Mac and go my own way.

So...I wrote about New Year’s resolutions.


And this time, I’ll keep it off

wait , active, activity , aerobics, attractive , body, caucasian , class, club , coaches , equipment , exercise , fit, fitness , gym, gymnastics, health , healthy , lifestyle , male, man , microphone

"wait , active, activity , aerobics, attractive , body, caucasian , class, club , coaches , equipment , exercise , fit, fitness , gym, gymnastics, health , healthy , lifestyle , male, man , microphone" by is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Disclaimer: The above picture is unfortunately not me.


Why are fitness goals so gosh darn important?  For most of us, it’s because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we’ll pull that little stunt called....oh what is it, give me a minute and I'll remember.  Oh yeah!  DYING.  Some of us will unfairly expire before our time.  Other undeserving entities just go on and on with no foreseeable end in sight.  I am talking about the IRS.

The healthiest of us can die unexpectedly tomorrow from the coronavirus, and the sickest of us can eat nothing but congealed grease served in dirty ashtrays and cuss out the whole world daily, yet never seem to bite the bullet.  I’m looking at you, Oscar the Grouch: the Reaper's coming for you.

So do I have fitness goals?  You betcha.  Right around this time of year I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I’m focused on being focused.  I’m dead-set on not being set dead.  100% unshakeable, unswerving zeal for health come January 1st: that’s me.  And now that it’s January 4th, my hope is that by this time I've shed at least a half of a pound from the stress of trying to figure out how to stay alive another 365 days.  I barely ran the gamut of 2020’s barrage without wheezing like a drunken boozy hippo in cardiac arrest.  I hear there's even an asteroid floating around earth right now. Two thumbs up for cataclysms!

But first, here are my New Year’s Resolutions, and they are honest and vulnerable.  I stand naked before you – cancel that: let’s wait a few months until I’ve logged a few more hours on the Peloton – in complete transparency and humble honesty that these resolutions are what I desperately need.  And I maintain a solemn pledge to uphold these until I drive by a Taco Bell and am seduced once again by floppy tortillas filled with soupy beans and mild sauce.

Here goes:

  1. Resolve to exercise each day
  2. Resolve to not taking things too personally
  3. Resolve to have a daily devotional with meditation
  4. Resolve to not spend so frivolously
  5. Resolve to give my absolute best to my family
  6. Resolve to take joy in my work every day, and work hard
  7. Resolve to always be grateful
  8. Resolve to affirm people more often
  9. Resolve to share my faith with people
  10. Resolve to remember my place in this world

There. I’ve said it. Can I please put my clothes back on now? My birthmark is showing.  And does this mask make me look fat?


My Focus Determines My Reality


"Focus" by toolstop is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Since I, like all of us, get my wisdom from Star Wars movies, this one follows suit.  It’s a quote from Qui-Gon Jinn to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, a movie which is also called Movie That I Wish Did Not Exist.  He says, “Your Focus Determines Your Reality.”  That phrase didn’t really resonate with me the first time I heard it.  But when I came across a meme of it in 2016, it got my attention like an eccentric flailing osprey covered in tabasco sauce carrying a screeching turtle with a death-wish in a half-cracked shell grasping a bingo dauber.  I think you follow me.

This is what it's all about!  What I focus on determines my reality!  That single phrase rang far truer than anything the National Enquirer ever told me.

But alas, there exists a conundrum.  While I’ve been incredibly successful at accomplishing my voiceover goals, I’ve not been a tenth as successful at accomplishing my fitness goals.  The last time I was in shape, it was June 2018 and I was 238 pounds before a family vacation in Kauai.

Now, I'm what is generally referred to as "fun-sized", and the shape I’m in is something akin to a hyperboloid.  This is because God saw fit to equip me with DNA that instructs my head to be the size of a beluga whale, my neck to be the size of a sewing needle, and my midsection to be the size of, in scientific terminology, a badonka doozy.

Shrinking this badonka doozy back down to a 238-pound scintilla tittle will be no easy task.  It demands that I drink the same amount of continuous water flow as that required by fission reactors to keep nuclear rods cool, and that I eat healthy portions of only lemon rinds and steamed raisin skins. I must say I’m truly looking forward to wasting away to nothing, with a giant crap-eating grin on my face as hide my hunger-panged tears like a trooper.

I am aware that I am not the only person who wants to become more physically fit.  There are the Taebo-ers, the Insanity-ers, the P90X-ers, The Bowflex-ers, the Thighmaster-ers, the Jane Fonda workouters, and the street-corner weirdo’s who flip those “blow-out sale!” arrow signs so fast that we’re sure they’re going to spontaneously combust. They all do it in a rat-race pursuit of the holy grail: the perfect beach bod.  What we all forget, however, is the oft-forgotten critical ingredient that will restore order and balance.

We actually all need Resolution #11.


Resolution #11

'Grace of God...'

"'Grace of God...'" by Art4TheGlryOfGod by Sharon is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0


What is this magical sorcery, this Eleventh Resolution, you might ask?  No, it’s not the new Dan Brown Da Vinci Code sequel.  It’s not even something proposed by Congress, which we all know is the polar opposite of Progress.  I’m just teasing you, good men and women of the Congress. You’re wonderful.  PS please re-enact that law that says if my kids are too loud then I can sell them.

If we’re to remain sane and not self-flagellate, Resolution #11 is critical.

What is Resolution #11, you ask?

It's grace:

  • Giving ourselves a little leniency
  • Cutting ourselves a little slack
  • Letting ourselves off the hook
  • Allowing ourselves to breathe a little, even as our expanding gut submits to gravity and flops out over our belt; as we develop that awkward case of Plumber Crack, which is another scientific term.

You see, my previous ten resolutions won’t work unless Resolution #11 actually becomes Resolution #1, and bumps all the rest down the list.  That’s the key.  Otherwise I’ll be that guy on the news who is running down the highway naked, wailing some livid nonsense about Billy Blanks.  There I go again, ending up naked in another drastic blog allegory.

The point in all this, is that, as Voice Talent in particular, we need to be in physical shape in order to breathe.  But we need to *breathe* in order to be in mental shape.  It’s my genuine hope that we learn to breathe.  I mean it!  I’m told oxygen is beneficial: but so is peace.  If that does not make sense to you, then please see Large Marge in Human Resources who will gladly take the time to explain wellness concepts and staying undead.

As for me, I’m resolved to stay undead, so I’m going out for a brisk energetic walk to get my bingo dauber back from that turtle, if the osprey hasn't eaten him yet.



NOTE: This blog is purely for commentary / educational / entertainment purposes.  I make no money from these blogs; though I do not refuse large cash gifts if it means I can pretend I'm a church.


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Joshua Alexander
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18 thoughts on “Does this mask make me look fat?”

  1. Like I mentioned before, there’s no getting out walking for me while the countries numbers are as they are. HOWEVER, chasing around my brother’s dogs are done in higher intensity and shorter intervals and I’m told this is effective too! hehe.

    And no, the mask doesn’t make you look fat, hehe.

    A little vulnerability from my side. I am actually a little concerned about my weight – that it might be getting too low – I’m currently at 83kgs (6.2 ft), which is where I’d like to be, but if you consider that I lost about 15+ kilos over the year without trying and while being mostly in lockdown – that’s not good. I’m a little concerned that I may become underweight if things continue as they are…
    I wish my mask made my arms look fatter – that would be nice, lol.

    Anyway, I know you’ll achieve your fitness goals! Grace is part of the key, but an application I often see overlooked is failing once, doesn’t mean permanent failure. Some slip up in their better eating goals and because they ate 1 hot dog, they might as well eat 12 and reach for the chips too, lol. Give yourself permission to still enjoy what you like in smaller amounts and eat healthier – balance and exercise will get you that beach bod without having to go buy it! hehe.

    All the best with your other personal growth goals as well!! You’re already doing well at those!
    A stunning 2021 to you!!

  2. I loved this entry! Your resolutions are very thoughtful and insightful. And now you have ME reflecting on Qui Gon Jinn’s good words. They’re echoing around in my head while this glowing dude with a robe and beard is just standing there and looking at me.

    Your resolutions remind me a LOT of the 11 commandments. By that I mean the original 10, plus the 11th laid out by the other glowing dude with the beard. I really liked the thought and insight you put into them.

    I sincerely wish you the best of focus and grace moving forward in this coming year. I know you’ll do great.

    1. Admit it. You are ALWAYS reflecting on Qui-Gon Jinn’s words. I judge you.

      But sincerely, I wish you the absolute best in success – AND HEALTH, considering where you work – for 2021 and beyond. Go git ’em, my friend!

    2. Oh – and remember: your vaccine determines your reality! No wait…uh….no…your focus determines your immunization…no that’s not it…ah! Your vaccine determines your immunization! Phew. Dodged a coronavirus-shaped bullet there…

  3. Dear Josh! No, the mask doesn’t make you look fat – yet with my sense of humor it did make me laugh ….. I love this blog because its filled with positive affirmations – not only for yourself – but for others as well – I loved the best for last – GRACE …. a wonderful thing to have or aspire to …. happy new year and hope you don’t miss those tacos too much! best, Diana

  4. Hey friend! I wish I were witty in turn with my comment here…but alas, I am hopelessly in need of the creativity-super-secret-underwater-treasure-trove you seem to have appropriated from “Zatara.” Does it come with knife fighting trophies? 😉

    Thanks for sharing the inspo, and I couldn’t agree more about the importance of grace. I’m actively working to find more order in my life, less distractions, and also to enjoy those little delightful moments in life–like reading this blog.

    Keep up the encouraging words, and cheeeeers to 2021! *raises sparkling water* (beer or champagne or half-watered-down orange juice being too sugary for such a toast).

    PS–Delicious low carb eating is actually a thing. My man and I have each lost about 15 lbs doing it since April last year. It IS actually possible to make a delicious cheeseburger!! Or waffle, or scone…etc etc. But I’ll save those thoughts for another day. Love to you and your family! And thanks for the smile today.

  5. Excellent list, Josh. Loving oneself and giving grace is where it’s at, man. 🙂

    I’m losing weight this year, too. I have 8kg I want gone before my 40th birthday in April. Actually, it’s now about 7.2 kg, yay. 🙂

    I’m also aiming for some arm muscles, because apparently my arms were made from a batch of string that was rejected by quality control at the twine factory.

    But that’s okay. Loving myself to bits, anyway.

  6. Jamie and I got out a LOT for walks during 2020 – in the woods. Thankfully we have a couple of nice places very close to home. The last two months or so though, we have missed a lot. The combination of cold and dark (gets dark by 5:30 on weekdays this time of year) is pretty uninviting. We are working on getting back on track. I agree, Josh. It really is important.

  7. I am just full of questions and comments! 1. Who knew that Oscar the Grouch was being threatened by a DAW? Not I! 2.. Resolution #11: Love that and, speaking of great movies, it brings to mind “This one goes to 11!,” AND 11 happens to be my favorite #. Granted, I’m a little biased with a bday of 11/11. And, finally, 3. Speaking of things that begin with a “B,” the burning question for me is if you managed to get that bingo dauber back during your brisk walk (ooh, just look at all that B-eautiful alliteration!) Happy New Year and Be Well, Joshua, whether that means getting on that Peloton one day or recalling Resolution #11 and taking it easy on another, Taco Bell happily in hand!

    1. Thank you T! I deeply appreciate it! Doing well so far and have resisted the Pull of the Bell, which is the same thing as the Call of the Wild. Feeling fit and eating well and focusing on Grace. Onward! Happy new year!

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