Saturday, May 7, 2011

BELLY FLOP

Curse you, Ryan. I'm talking to all three of you: Gosling, Kesler and Reynolds. You've set the bar too high. How am I supposed to have abs like that and hold down a day job?

I know, I know,...I shouldn't compare myself to world class athletes and actors with personal trainers and personal chefs. The Ryans do not belong in the realm of reality. And yet they taunt me. Ryan Reynolds has some new superhero movie due out this summer and he will once again put the rest of us to shame as he graces more magazine covers.

I tell myself that the extra weight in the middle region is natural for guys in their forties. We've earned it. That gut should represent contentment before our appetites diminish and we choke down a glass of prune chose every morning. Let the gut push beyond the pecs. The Ryans will be puffier too when the time comes.

And then there's that damn Rob Lowe to blow my rationalization. Stupid Vanity Fair cover. Forty-seven years old. The man needs a super-sized bag of Cheetos. Every day. And a puppy that chews up his sneakers. He's not a Ryan, but his name begins with the same cursed letter.

I avoid the mirror, but I caught a glimpse by mistake this evening. How can I have a beer belly when I don't drink beer? Not even during Canuck games! To be fair, I'm pretty sure the tummy has not inflated to beer belly proportions just yet. I've always been hypersensitive about my weight. People continue to say I'm thin but I worry I'm one Timbit away from a total body shift.

If I had a partner, he'd reassure me. He'd lie and tell me a little bit more weight just means there's that much more of me to love. And then he'd go back to "reading" his Vanity Fair.

Being single, I have to remain vigilant about my weight. Forties contentment must wait. For my online dating profile, I have indicate one of the following as my body type: thin, athletic, average, a few extra pounds, big and tall/BBW or prefer not to say. I don't even know what "BBW" stands for and I am fairly certain that most people will not admire my moral stance in opting for "prefer not to say". People may infer in the same way I do when someone chooses that language for the "Smoker?" line. I am athletic, but lately it's more like Kyle-Wellwood-after-summer-vacation athletic. Not outrageous, but not a draw either.

I know, I know,...I should get back to swimming 2-3 times a week. It's a catch 22. Swimming has always been the best way for me to stay slim, but I won't wear a swimsuit in a public setting until I shed a few pounds.

And, yes, I should content just to be healthy. However, I am not wired that way. I have dieted officially or unofficially as much as Oprah. I have never been considerably overweight; instead, I have ventured the other way...to the point where friends had an intervention with me in university after I discovered that eating only one (large) meal a day helped me shed the pounds to the point where I was fifty-five pounds lighter than I am now. All my fretting and Ryan hating is about 5-8 pounds. But I know see the difference. I feel the difference.

And, yes, I know that an easy place to start getting back on track is to change my Rewards Program. My job is intense and so I build in a couple of perks as the end of the week approaches. Thursday after work, I pick up a Blizzard from DQ. Friday on the way to work, I savor a Solly's cinnamon bun. (I do exercise restraint. I get it without the icing.) I am well aware that I should not reward myself with food, but soft ice cream with crushed mint Oreos mixed in holds so much more appeal than a whole sheet of scratch n sniff stickers or a pat on the back or a whispered, "Way to go."

I slogged away at the gym today and I'll do the same tomorrow...if all that syrup on my weekend reward pancake platter doesn't knock me out for the afternoon (as it usually does). At the very least, I'll walk my dog an extra block. Yep, that'll work off a chew or two.

I don't just curse the Ryans. Aunt Jemima, I curse you, too!

3 comments:

Rick Modien said...

This post has inspired me to write one of my own.
I related to everything you wrote here, but we're being unnecessarily hard on ourselves, aren't we?
Thanks for sharing.

Rural Gay said...

So much is reported on how women's self-esteem is harmed by unrealistic standards of beauty and body images. Men can also feel unworthy. Keep your shirt on, Rob Lowe!

Rick Modien said...

How about don't get sucked into the image. After all, "it's just a picture." Lots can be done to doctor pictures these days. We already have too many reasons not to love ourselves. Let's not take this one on, too. (I'm talking to both of us here.)