I’ve heard the term “only skirt in the sandbox” before. What’s the converse of that? “Only dick in the dollhouse?”
Well, whatever it is, that’s me. So I figure I’ll get around to the introductions.
I volunteered my services to Laura for this blog to provide a male counterpoint. Typically, guys feel like they have to walk a knife edge between too small (gals don’t like the runts) and too big (gals don’t like the chubbos). I have a little experience in this arena. I’ve struggled with body image issues on and off for most of my life. Part of that comes from skipping first grade and thereby dooming myself to not only being “the smart kid” but the smallest kid in my grade for the next *counts on fingers* onetwothreefourfive nine years. Part of it comes from having one of the most horrifying experiences of my life involve a rather negative comparison of my skinny ass with another guy. And a bunch of it comes from…well…getting married and passing 30. I think.
I’ll surprise none of you who already know me by summing up a bit, TB-style.
Age 15: I’m about 5’5″ and 125 pounds. I work all summer lugging 50 pound bags of animal feed.
Age 17: I start college and start working out with some roommates. I discover protein shakes, meal replacements, protein-enhanced pasta, and something called Cybergenics.
Age 21: After two years of working hard to make it UP to a goal weight of 175, I graduate college at a frustrating (ha ha) 167. I’m lifting weights three times a week and practicing karate for anywhere from 1-4 hours a night four nights a week. On weightlifting days, I run half a mile if I’m in karate that night – a mile if I’m not. I’m also eating like a horse. Scratch that – a team of draft horses.
Age 22: Grad school. No gym, no karate, no time. No problems eating, though. I have no idea what my weight went to, but I’m guessing 185 or so.
Age 23: Dys moves in. Somebody actually starts cooking for me. Kaboom – 195.
Age 25: Have kid. Did I say I had no time in grad school? Hello, two bills.
Age 29: Take job at college. Get free gym time. Good news: Being heavier means I’m naturally stronger than before! Bad news: I get winded thinking about lifting. Back down to about 195.
Age 30: Weightlifting going well. I’m aiming for a 1000-pound combined lift and am poised to break 900 pounds. I’m back down around 190. Then I crash my motorcycle, injure both arms, and quit lifting for a while. Derailed. Hard.
Age 32: Marriage in the toilet. I make it down to about 180 pounds for a combination of related reasons: a) lose appetite, b) hate self and punish self through gym pain, c) don’t want to spend time at home so go to gym instead.
Age 34: Stressful year. No time. I eat like a pig and quit going to the gym. Hello, 215.
Age 35: Uh, here I am.
Honestly, I don’t mind my weight. It’s just a number. And I don’t mind my size. I actually like the way my shoulders look at this weight. What I hate is my shape. I look like I’m in my third trimester, fertheluvva. And to borrow from Denis Leary, when I can’t see my dick, it’s time to recognize that there’s a problem, huh? I’ve got fitted hats I bought two years ago that can’t wear because my head is too fat. I have photos of me when we moved here in 2002 when I was over 200 pounds and I hate to see myself in profile. Now I’m back there again, and I am Not. Happy. About that.
And let’s not discount the fact that I have a thousand dollars or so worth of motorcycle leathers that I can’t zip.
Talk about hitting a guy where it hurts.
So my goals are, generally, to get back down around 185 or so, which is a good solid weight for me. It’s still 20-30 pounds heavier than the BMI charts say I should be at 5’9″ but I’ve long since learned to ignore those. And I’m fine with that. I want to fit in my leathers again, and I want to not be sucking wind when I get to the fourth floor of my office building.
Things working in my favor: I have a wife who’s also working to lose weight, so that’s a big help. I have free access to the university gym. I have a big frickin’ hill in my backyard and a huge bicycling/marathon friendly park less than a mile away. I know I have before and can again do a strict workout diet.
Things working against me: I have a wife and kid who like to spend time with me when I’d like to be spending time in the gym. The only times I have to exercise that aren’t taking time away from them are early in the morning and during lunch. I also have a sweet tooth. Scratch that, I’ve lost my baby sweet teeth and grew a full set of adult sweet teeth. I’ve got a familial history of diabetes, possibly related to the above. And I’ve proven that I can occasionally let my willpower overcome my common sense.
Oh well. The journey of a thousand miles and all that….
Thanks for sharing the walk, ladies.