Ask Ceil – Exercise and Candy

Dear Ceil,

I’ve decided to start exercising and I was wondering which exercises you recommend?

Excited in Emporia

Well, there are lots of fantastic options for the traditionalist. You can play sports, run or walk, bike, hike or do a number of other mind-numbingly boring things. I mean, fulfilling and nature-embracing things. If your aim is to lose weight,  I’ll have you know that the self-proclaimed “Most Accurate Calories Burned Calculator” includes riveting activities such as “brushing teeth”, “card playing”, “hairstyling”, “hopscotch”, and “rearranging furniture”. Though I would think that you would need some stats on the last activity, like are we rearranging 70’s plastic furniture, or a room full of This End Up furniture consisting mainly of two-by-fours?

Anyway, the variety of exercises available to you is vast, and will work best when you find something that you will not want to avoid like the girl you sat next to in 7th grade, who now owns a chain of dollhouse furniture stores that she talks about to anyone within earshot. Yes, her.

So, if you’re a person who enjoys alone time, you’ll probably stay away from the team sports, perhaps opting for yoga, jogging, or as my exercise calculator suggests, “showering” or “using crutches”.

For the sex addicts in my audience (you know who you are, actually, I probably know who you are), pole-dancing has really taken off, as has the new shake weight! Warning: Normally, communicating a healthy lifestyle to children is very important. That being said, please do not practice pole-dancing in front of your five-year-old. They are highly imitative at this age. Just trust me on this one.

If you simply like the challenge of pitting yourself against another opponent, you can try something like tennis, but then you’d be missing out on the new sport of chess boxing. Here’s the general gist: They alternate boxing rounds and chess rounds, three minutes and four minutes respectively. You win by either knocking out your opponent or checkmating them. Really.

So two people are playing chess, and then all of a sudden they put on gloves and go at it. I love this idea. I find myself wanting many aspects of my life to be interspersed with moments of boxing. Waiting in line at the grocery store. In the middle of a staff meeting. Getting a facial.

You have to ask yourself, is any time a bad time to kick the crap out of someone? And just think of how healthy you’ll be!

Dear Ceil,

Were Pez candies invented by someone who also performed tracheotomies?

Sugared-Up in San Antonio

Interestingly, PEZ candies were invented in Austria as mints. The original containers were actually meant to look like cigarette lighters, and were marketed as an alternative to smoking. Eduard Haas III had no idea that when they got to the states, someone was going to stick heads on these things and market them to children, as a candy that came shooting out of someone’s neck.

It has been theorized that this was actually the start of the American obsession with vampires, but not by anyone of any merit. It’s actually a rumor I’m trying to start.

I will note that the Pez dispenser has no use other than to dispense PEZ candies, and to be horribly troubling to watch in operation. This makes it one of the most wasteful–if not disquieting–items to ever be invented. Besides Paris Hilton.

Ceil Kessler joined the circus when she was 10 years old. She has worked as the Dalai Lama’s head buffer, Kato Kaelin’s sock folder and Fran Drescher’s speech therapist. There are days she just likes to say “Fareed Zakaria”. Ceil counts Prince and William Shakespeare as close personal friends.

She now consults on business intelligence software, markets and publishes the magazine “Business Perks“, runs the Laurel Highlands Vegetarian Society, and heads a team in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s “Walk for a Cure” on September 17th. To join or donate to Team Kessler, go to the Teams page  and find Team Kessler in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

If you have questions for Ceil, please send them along to, or you can use the Ask Ceil-o-matic form. Follow her on Twitter at @ceilck.

Can we offer you some candy? From our necks?


2 thoughts on “Ask Ceil – Exercise and Candy

  1. My personal favourite is eating chips while watching The Biggest Loser. It makes me feel good knowing I don’t look like the people on my tv. But then again, I try to avoid looking into my mirror wherever possible. That may also explain why my hair always has the wind-blown look…

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