Monday, July 16, 2007

And Then The Alarm Clock Rang...

There comes a time in every man's life...

Yeah I should write anything so profound. Not gonna happen. But my bell has been rung, and it's time to climb out of this dream I've been living. Or more appropriately, the hallucination I've been experiencing.

I bought into the whole "Be comfortable with who you are" thing. And you know what? For me, it's a crock. One big, fat crock. "Being comfortable with who you are", for me, is a cop-out. An admission of defeat. I was going to rant and rave about how the whole country is going soft, but, not this time. Nope, this is all about me.

And I, for one, am not comfortable in my own skin. Matter of fact, I'm pretty damned uncomfortable. Why?

Because nothing fits, dammit.

A couple of years ago, I got my body almost to the point of being what I considered acceptable. I was a fat kid in my pre-teen years. And you know what? I was miserable. Miserable because I couldn't keep up in sports, which is half of what boys that age are about, and I couldn't keep up in the girls department, which of course, is that other half of that equation.

I made my mind up that this wasn't going to work. Then with a combination of some hard work, some motivation by the opposite sex, and a timely growth spurt, I got in shape. REAL shape. Muscles and all.

I carried that into college, and then into the early part of my marriage. Since my wife was a "high-risk" pregnancy, the Doctor told me to keep her well nourished and well fed. And hey, can't leave her to eat alone, now, can I?

Well that was the beginning of the decline, which lasted a lot of years past the 3 pregnancies and deliveries. I have a teenaged daughter now. Time to let go of the baby fat, pal.

So, by about two years ago, I had accomplished a lot. I almost had a body again. I was doing the whole gym thing, knocked off some poundage of fat. And, as Mother Nature has a sense of humor, at the same time, some major parts of my body decided the warranty was up. Knees came apart, lower back exploded. Beautiful. There were malfunctions in body parts I didn't even know I had. So much for the comeback. Disability sucks. And the weight found its way back to me. Not all of it, but enough.

Now I'm not considered obese. Even by those insane Met Life weight charts. But this body is in tough shape. I don't like the way it looks, and when I see Matthew McConaughey running around like an adonis, I very much like my shirt on, thanks.

Now I noticed that a lot of the people spewing all this "love yourself" crap typically had their shirts on, too. And everytime I would read about someone "curvy" or "real", it was a sure bet that within two pages of that article was either another article about "amazing weight-loss stories", or a full-page ad for some diet plan.

Now, I'm not speaking for anyone else. No, folks, this is all about me, as I said earlier. If you're good with who you are, that's wonderful. Me, I think I let myself get soft, and then got really adept at rationalizing. And settling. For less.

I'm classified as "disabled" now. Oh yay. Got the blue parking thing to hang on the mirror. And I'd have every excuse to turn into a behemoth now. But it's all crap. I have a great rehab guy who is more than willing to chart out a fitness regimen for less-than-optimal bodies. And I have some friends who are more than willing to motivate me at a moment's notice should I ask.

So, I'm sorry, Dr. Phil, I can't buy it anymore. Men in good shape are every bit as "real" as the guys with the bellies. And let's face it Ladies, with all this "natural" "real" women stuff going around, don't think I didn't notice that People ran a "sexiest bachelors" issue recently, and there were no jelly rolls hanging over any of THEIR belts. Let's just keep it completely "real" here, ok?

I don't like the way I look. I don't like the way I feel. Obesity didn't suddenly become less dangerous to me because a bunch of life coaches figured out how to cash in on The Great National Insecurity. Cholesterol will stop the heart of someone who absolutely adores himself as quickly as it quits on the self-loathing types.

I'd much rather have a washboard under my shirt than a washing machine, thanks.

So yeah, I'm going to sleep tonight with the realization that it's time to wake up, stop kidding myself, and crank it up. I might bore ya more than usual now, by including the occasional progress report, but my brain is still Stupid, so I wouldn't count on that too much.


  1. I recently had the same wake up call, and I've been in the gym on the elliptical trainer and the treadmill. We don't keep a scale in the house, but my clothes don't fit. The necessity here: I'm a college student without enough money to buy the next size up. Plus I figure being a little healthier can't hurt.

    Show me how it's done.

  2. I understand that realization process oh too well. And it just isn't pretty for one's ego (male or female) when none of your pants fit and the shoulder seam of your shirts start creeping closer to your collarbone. The important thing to me when I hit that point was having someone to whom I was accountable - hence joining weight watchers. They have online programs as well as the go in person kind, and they also have programs specifically for men. You might consider checking it out. Good luck and I hope you don't feel as down on yourself today - it's a rough road, not liking what you see in the mirror.

  3. I don't know many who absolutely love his/her body. You're not alone.

    But hey, at least you're to the point of being sick of it and wanting to do something about it. Most just let their bodies go to pot. I hope you find something that works for you.

    I don't know if this is the right time or place but I'm going to get a little spiritual. Some stuff kept running through my mind as I read your post--esp about the disability part. I don't know what you believe regarding the next life, but each of us will be resurrected one day--which means our spirits will be reunited with our perfect form. Our bodies are mortal here on earth and thus subject to illness and wear and tear. Whatever ailment, physical deformity, etc. we have in this life will be gone in the next. Thus, all your knee problems, back problems, down to the smallest scar will be gone and your body will be restored to its most perfect form.

    Sorry if I got a little carried away; you don't have to publish this, but for some reason I felt impressed to share that.

    Good luck. And please, keep us posted on your progress. And believe you me, you have lots of cheerleaders over cyberspace to cheer you on.

  4. There are certain things that just matter...NO MATTER WHAT. Yes, you must feel comfortable in your own skin...and yes, you must keep your health in mind. And I'll even go so far as to say that people are generally kinder to thinner folks. The main thing is that if you're not happy with how you look and feel, it can't help your mood. And we all know that confidence is a turn on to most.

    Give that guy a shot at helping you...and do keep us posted. To hell with those who could care less or get bored..they could skip those entries.

    Good luck...and hey, maybe tell your well-meaning friends to come by with fruit baskets rather than chocolate spicy cakes!


  5. THIS is why I love your blog. Honesty is so refreshing. You know me, so you know I'm very much into the whole "love yourself" thing... "but if you don't love yourself, DO something" is the part of that thought process I don't think I ever manage to get to in my rants lol

    Well written rant. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Now I have to go get on my dusty exercise equipment, excuse me lol


  6. I hear you LOUD AND CLEAR.

    If you ever want to talk shop..about what I've done/am doing...let me know.

  7. PS. Let me know if you decide to add me to your blog roll (had you commented to me before something about that?)...because I'll add you to mine ASAP.


  8. Ah yes, the "sympathy belly" and the "corporate gut". Three pregnancies later, I'm hearing lots of phrases like that from my husband too.

  9. I wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you. This kind of response is why I think I like keeping a blog.

    You all made a big difference coming in here to lend an ear today.


I love comments. I won't lie about that!