Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dietary thoughts on weight gain, cannibals

I like to ask fitness fanatics if tragic circumstances required it which part of themselves would they eat first.

This is particularly fun with vegetarians.

Yes, self-cannibalization gives new depth to the old you-are-what-you-eat adage.

I’m spending a lot of time thinking about weight gain these days. I tell myself I’m still working off my winter paunch. But I’m becoming less sure about just which winter. I fear my paunch is becoming permanent.

I did eat a lot this winter, most of it over five glorious binge days in Las Vegas.

The weight gain becomes more noticeable when the summer shorts and slacks come out and once-roomy garments are uncomfortably snug. 

Drives me crazy. I detest almost anything that restricts my movement, the exception being family obligations which often restrict me from staying out drinking beer and eating pizza when there’s a good game on.

Health nuts might scoff, but I think I have a pretty decent diet.

Breakfast is usually a banana or an apple. Once a week I get one donut or one breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s. 

Lunch is almost always a big salad and a sandwich or a piece of fish on the grill.

And my wife, who usually helms supper, is admirable about making sure we eat healthy.

I probably eat burgers or something fried at The Pond about three times a week (two lunch or maybe one dinner).

Is it all that beer, you may be wondering. Yes, I drink a lot of beer, but I always urinate a near equal measure so in my mind that can’t be it.

My father was a tubby gent, but he drank three or four beers each night. I do not drink beer at home, preferring to drink maybe a dozen or so at the bar two or three nights a week.

That sounds like a lot, but I stretch them out over about six hours so I consider it wise moderation, albeit wise moderation in reckless excess.

Either way, I’m not giving up my happy bar nights so let’s just drop it.


I probably walk two or so miles about four or five days a week. It’s not habitual, but I do 50 push-ups probably three times a week. I should do more sit-ups, but they’re a real grind and anytime I lay flat my mind automatically shifts to nap mode. 

So why am I unhappy with my physique?

I guess it’s because I can’t get the rest of me to resemble my calves.

I spend a lot of time with my bare legs crossed up on my desk. It’s my reading pose.

When it’s time to turn a page or just take a look around, I often spy my calves, nicely toned from walking, and say, “Man, you’ve really got some nice legs. They’re gorgeous.”

And I do say this right out loud, and often follow it up with a polite, “Thank you. That’s very kind of you to notice.”

My body may be in decent shape, but my mental health from working all alone for so many years is an absolute mess.

I remember thinking a cannibal would go right for those calves. 

(Joke break: What do you call a cannibal who’s careful about not over-eating? A cannibbler.)

That’s why I’m so dismayed about my gut. 

Even worse is when I gaze in the mirror and see the Rodell neck.

I first noticed it on my Dad when he was about my age and we were golfing on a breezy day. He turned in profile and I remember seeing his neck flapping like some  careless sailor had forgotten to secure the spinnaker.

I remember recoiling in horror and thinking, man, if I inherit that freakish abnormality I’ll wind up spending all my retirement dough on drawers full of turtlenecks.

Unfortunately, it was all I inherited from the old man.

So I’m not too concerned about a middle aged spread. That can be addressed.

The real problem is all this useless fat up above my shoulders.

But if you’ve read this far, that’s nothing you didn’t already know.

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