Take care of yourself

Today I had my first medical check up in over a year and a half. Now that I have insurance again, I get to become a member of that thin level of society who can do this without having to leave a kidney with the front desk. I’m usually not concerned with my health whenever I go to the doctor. I try to take care of myself, even though a year of this time has been stuck indoors most of the time. My blood pressure was a little bit high, but I can get that back down if I walk more or figure out a way to get in some more cardio.

My weight is down more than it has been in a while. I knew this without a scale because I’m down to the last notch on my belt, my clothes hang off me lately, and I have been able to wear the same shirts I wore for my UK trip a few years back.

If my son isn’t around, I don’t eat as much because I don’t like cooking for just me. When you cook for just yourself, you have three or four days of leftovers you were over with after the first time you ate. So, I tend to have one decent sized meal per day and suppliment the rest with coffee or snackier foods like crackers and cheese or a can of soup. Maybe a bowl of cereal. Where I live there are fewer options for eating out, so I just don’t.

In six months I am down from 204 to 187.

So the reason for this post is I am of mixed feelings about the whole thing. On one hand, it’s nice to trim down just a little bit. I feel better. My clothes fit better. And when I work out, I feel like I can see results better. It’s funny, because a couple years ago I was dating someone who seemed to be making a point of putting weight on me. She used to tell me she liked how “solid” I was. Whenever we would eat out on the weekends, I would eat my share of dinner and then wind up finishing her plate too. That’s how I broke 200 again for the first time since my marriage.

She used to get insecure when I would tell her that I was going to the gym to work out. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a gym rat, but working out does a number of things for me. It helps me feel better. You get an endorphin hit when you do cardio or weights regularly. Working out helped me to feel better about myself physically too. And it does wonders when dealing with depression or anxiety. You just don’t have the mental capacity to worry about things that don’t matter when you are sweating your guts out.

I was talking with a friend recently about why someone would be insecure about my going to the gym. Especially since part of me wanted to not only look better and feel good for myself, but also I thought she might have appreciated that too. I was reminded that I went to the “Kids’ gym” at the university. It was my 43 year old self surrounded by a bunch of 20 year olds. I guess I never really saw that as a problem.

The college kids might as well have looked through me like I wasn’t there. As a matter of fact, I prefered that gym to the VASA fitness that I went to where I felt like I was being leered at as I walked through for just the tour. I know so many people who are always getting hit on at the gym. That’s not my thing. It really puts me off. The college gym was nice because I could just go and do my thing and be left alone, and I had no intention of bothering anyone either.

The other thing about conditioning myself is that I have no expectations for anyone else in my life. I’m not an evangelical gym-goer. I can only say how working out has helped me, as I have done above. In that relationship, or any other situation, I’m not going to look down at anyone else. I know how hard it is for me to keep up a routine, and if anyone badgered me to do it, I wouldn’t. I feel like it’s a matter of choice. Just like anything else. Would I push someone else to do it? Hell no.

You have to want it to do it. You can be happy with yourself at any weight or size.

The funny thing is that right now dad bods are in style. Everyone on TikTok talks about wanting a bearded chubby man with tattoos and here I am watching my love handles disappear.

I guess a motivator for this is the other day I wore my kilt for the first time in years. I finally got down to a weight where I could buckle the damn thing up. My kilt was bought for me as a birthday present when I turned 21. It is still the only tailored piece of clothing I own. At the time I had a 30″ waist and they also did hip measurements then too. When they took my measurements, I was almost too thin for an adult sized kilt. They told me to drink more Guinness. A few years later, longer straps were added because I took their advice to heart. They let it out to a 32″ waist. I’m probably at around 34″-36″ right now. It’s a tight fit. It looks tight. The apron no longer reaches the pleats on the other side. The topography that the plaid reveals is complicated.

The $500 kilt my gf at the time bought me with her student loan money was tailored too well. When you buy off the rack stuff, there is a level of flexibility you get with fit. If it’s tailored, it looks really rough if you exceed those margins. It’s made to fit a certain way.

Right now, it doesn’t hang right. It doesn’t fit right. Even with extenders. So, I’m left with the choice of replacing it with a new one (which the cost for these suckers went up to about $700–which I would much prefer plane tickets) or just keep avoiding beer and working out until I can pass for having a 32″ waist, maybe.

A man of my age, however, runs the risk of exchanging that “Solid” dad bod for an early case of having no ass to even hold up my pants, much less a kilt. Will I be nixing myself from the bearded chubby man category? How will this affect my hug game?

What I do know is I’m not going to stress over any of this stuff. I’m fine with the size and shape I am now. Could I get a little stronger and a little healthier? Sure, why not. Do I really have anything to wear a kilt to? Absolutely not. Do I think that one day having a full grey beard and a washboard stomach would be hilarious? Sure! I doubt I’ll get there. But as nice as the attention dad bods are getting these days, it still doesn’t feel right for me. I like being a little leaner. Lately, I’ve been feeling that.

Who knew?

2 thoughts on “Take care of yourself

  1. “When you cook for just yourself, you have three or four days of leftovers you were over with after the first time you ate.”

    I’m trying to avoid this. Mostly there is enough leftover for lunch the next day which is not a bad thing right now as we are currently in lockdown. It’s the in-person interactions I am missing right now.

  2. losing weight is a good thing. it is great you feel comfortable with gym people. I’d be nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs! Oddly, I had lost some weight this year, but I was on steroids to help heal an eye. It is all back. Because when I get frustrated, I snack on way too many carbs!
    This area did have a small one day celebration for the Scottish folks. Usually, it is a weekend, but the skirl of pipes is a cool thing to hear no matter when!

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