From Fat Nerd to Chic Geek – Round 1, Week 1

So, the New Year is upon us, and my life is faced with never-ending complications. Which is boring and lame so why talk about? Instead let’s talk about solutions to these complications. First and foremost, a preface.

I grew up round. I’m a Round-American. For decades (literally just 2, but that’s still plural), I’ve been told that, essentially, being fat is not my fault. Having a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating decisions don’t hurt, but at its core, there are entire industries which profit off my former largess largeness. So I basically sat back for years after no longer being regularly active and assumed it was fine. I knew the health risks, I knew diabetes runs in my family, and my give-a-damn-o-meter could not find the time to register these facts. As a kid, being round, I developed a sense of humor as a defense mechanism. For years, being the “fat kid” (even though most of my life I was only ever somewhat overweight) was my primary means for the conveyance of comedy. As I get older, I’m wondering now how badly that crutch has affected my wit. Some other revelations and crap events in my life have connected and now I’m genuinely worried about my health. I’m overweight, chronically, and I’m a chronic poor- and over¬≠- eater. These things need to change. I have no idea how to change them. I’m also quite poor, and trainers and gyms are expensive.

I am, however, lucky enough to know some fitness gurus. I am, however, lucky enough to call one of them a very good friend that I’ve known a very long time. He was, fortunately enough, seeking a fitness project outside of himself.

So I asked him to be my sensei. He responded that he was willing to be my Yoda. And then asked when I was going to carry him around on my back (for reference, he is a 6’1″ body builder. I am a 5’10” chubbo).

I told him, “You ask the impossible.”

But maybe he doesn’t. I don’t know. I’m so out of my depth about this stuff, that I just herp derp my way through thinking I know what to eat. I don’t. So we had a briefing session, and a pep talk, and aweigh (get it?) we go.

Round 1, Week 1

I have as near as makes no difference completed the first week in Yoda’s program. Yoda is also known as Cody. And holy shit am I lazy. I hate having to eat 6 times in a day. I hate having to make edible food six times a day. I have no idea how people who aren’t leeches on society’s butthole have time to do this crap. Also I am endlessly hungry. Removing soda and other sugary drinks was terrifyingly easy. I mean, really, I am suffering none of the ill effects of the last time I gave up soda cold turkey (a story for another time).

But the thing that really depressed me initially was the difficulty of the treadmill. Cody set out a very moderate beginner’s adventure for me: incline of 2, speed of 3.5, walking for 30 to 35 minutes. He suggested taking a book on tape or a TV show that would make it easier for me to both time the workout and get through it. That was a fantastic idea, so I followed up on it. That said, a speed of 3.5 made me H.R. Puffandstuff almost instantly. The first two days, that was the roughest thing I’ve done in months. Deeply disappointing. Cody pointed out – as is a trainer’s job – that I may have simply been being a nancyboy about it. That seems somewhere between possibly and very likely true. I’m keeping at it because it’s not going to get easier just by me wanting it to be. I have to keep walking until I can manage it without feeling like I want to die. Overall though, I’m starting to make better choices. I haven’t quite had the opportunity to feel good about it, but perhaps, in the near future, that will change.

Lifting! Man, I will not lie – that feels good when you finish. Everything hurts just as badly as I expected it to and I hear that’s not like to go away on the quick, but it is deeply satisfying to know that I have done it. Also, carbs. I get to eat carbs and protein after I lift. You know what that is? Basically a hamburger. Except, not really. In my case, it’s Pierogi and chicken. ¬†Apparently the proper plural form for pierogi is pierogi? I learn every day. But that sensation of accomplishment goes a long way toward making me not dread the next morning’s adventure if low self-esteem. Mostly, when you see weight loss discussions, it is, sad to say, women who are talking about counting points or eating yogurt or doing yoga or whatever. Cody apparently has 0 time for that b-crap. He has initiated me on a cycle of destruction and restitution of my body that is entirely driven by this weight-lifting thing, and, my fellow fat male friends, I can tell you that it feels pretty cool to know that you lifted some weights. Even if the weight assigned was abysmally small. Even if the exercises weren’t powerfully intense. I know they’re going to get more intense and I’m going to continue to get better at this stuff and stronger.

The other helpful things include my roommate/landlord, who leaves me amusing but cryptically inspiring messages on the whiteboard. When I’m forced to flee these tenements lest I become a squatter, I will sorely miss those. Today’s message was simple and alliterative: “Crave fit not food.”

It’s becoming easier to think that way, even at this early stage. That said, holy hell do I want a burito…