I’m in My Second Trimester

As part of that whole New Year’s thing, this week I did two things: 1) I started work on my second novel and 2) I went to the gym. While at the gym, I weighed myself. I can’t say that I’m surprised with the results. Last year, I had plenty of excuses for not working out. First, I was having back problems. Then I was getting married. Then I was having back problems again. Then I had surgery on my back. Also, I’m lazy and good with coming up with excuses.

I’m fairly goal-oriented. So I’ve managed to keep weight off despite my eating and drinking habits in past years by signing up for things like the marathon or karate tournaments. Indeed, for my first karate tournament, I got down to a weight I hadn’t seen since high school. I’m 5’6″ and sort of thick, which puts me in a weight class inhabited mostly by dudes whose arms are longer than I am tall — all the motivation I needed to get back down to 160. And, let’s not forget that being single and always striving to get laid is pretty good motivation as well.

As much as I’d like to blame my gains on being married and my wife’s love of pasta, she didn’t have too much to do with all that McDonald’s and Popeye’s I sneak when she’s not looking. That’s right. I dont’ have a drug habit. I have a fried chicken habit. Once, I straight up lied to her about what I’d eaten for dinner. Genius that I am, I’d used the Popeye’s receipt as a bookmark (that’ s my idea of multitasking: reading while eating a three-piece spicy dark). Said receipt fell out of book. She asked me the next day what I’d eaten for dinner–which should have been warning enough. When I said I ate some crap at the office, she produced the receipt with a flourish and screamed, LIAR! (OK, so it wasn’t that dramatic.)

Oddly enough, when I’m working out regularly, I eat better. When I’m not working out, I fall into a funk that can only be satisfied by copious amounts of fatty meats and soda.

As far as that supposed guarantee of lovin’ that comes with marriage, when your wife stops dropping hints and basically says flat out “You need to get your ass to the gym,” things have progressed far enough. (That’s what I get for telling her I’d stop loving her if she put on weight.)

The heaviest I’ve ever been is 175 — already pushing it for someone my height. Last night I clocked in at 178. Did I tell you that I’m 5’6″. At any rate, I carry it better than most. I don’t spread out, but if I don’t suck in my gut (harder to do since the surgery and I’ve completely lost core control), I look like a pregnant man.

So it’s back to the gym. Back on the diet. And, worst of all, my back condition does not allow me to run until I get my core in much better shape. So it’s worst-case scenario. Crunches, sit-ups, pilates-type crap and elliptical machines — the sort of things that give exercise a bad name, the things that take maximum time investment for minimum calorie burnage — before I can even think of getting back to running.

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