Most people, especially men, like to be lean and mean. Businesses also like to be lean and mean. A lean and mean person is someone who is thin but strong and healthy. Athletes are lean and mean. Ordinary people can also be lean and mean if they eat healthy foods and work out regularly. The expression “work out” can be used in several ways but used this way it means to do vigorous exercises either in the gym or jogging or cycling outdoors. A lean and mean company is one that is efficient and has just enough staff to make it profitable. A lean and mean sports team is one with players ready to work hard to win.
When I lived in Hong Kong I tried hard to be lean and mean by eating healthy, working out in the gym, and going for long walks in the country parks but did not succeed fully. I was lean (thin) but not mean (strong and healthy) because I had a weak spot. A weak spot is a weak part in something, either physically or mentally. My weak spot was I loved to eat potato chips in the evenings with wine, whiskey, or martinis. That meant it was hard to be totally strong and healthy even though I had a healthy diet. Now that I am in the US, my weak spot has become even weaker!
I have been living with relatives in different US states. They all have big houses. They either cook big meals or do take-outs from restaurants to eat at home. Restaurant food is not always healthy. I have been eating French Fries, hamburgers, pizzas, Mexican food, and heavy American-style food. I am already gaining some weight because I no longer go to the gym. Walking is not always possible because most people drive. I recently went to a restaurant with American-style food and ate too much. I will write about that in my next column.
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大多數人尤其男士，都想 lean and mean，企業也想 lean and mean。A lean and mean person就是精瘦但健壯的人。運動員都是精瘦而健壯的（lean and mean），一般人若吃健康的食物，定時做運動鍛煉身體（work out），也可以精瘦而健壯（lean and mean）。習語“work out”可以有幾種用法，但在這裏則是指做劇烈的運動，不論是在健身中心操體能，抑或在戶外跑步或踏單車。A lean and mean company就是精簡而有效率的公司，用僅僅足夠的員工就能賺錢；a lean and mean sports team就是一支準備好豁出去、破釜沉舟也要努力取勝的運動隊。
我還在香港居住時，我很努力變得精瘦而健壯（lean and mean），吃得健康、去健身房鍛煉身體（working out）、到郊野公園遠足，但從來不算十分成功。我確實精瘦（lean），卻未能健壯（mean），因為我有個weak spot ——a weak spot 就是弱點，可以是生理也可以是心理上的。我的弱點（weak spot）就是我喜愛在晚上吃薯片，佐以葡萄酒、威士忌或馬天尼。這意味着，即使我已有健康的飲食，但要真正的健壯就很難了。現在我身處美國，我的弱點（weak spot）變得更軟弱！
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧