Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This is not a look-at-me post; I am not bragging or boasting; and I admit a certain degree of narcissism (show me somebody who isn't vain). The motive behind what I am sharing now is just that - sharing.
What happened to me today at the gym was weird. But first, let me just say that I am VERY comfortable in my own skin. I don't diet and I won't diet. I work out and I enjoy working out but I don't live in a gym like some people. I have always had a very stable weight - since I left boot camp over ten years ago I have hovered around 180 lbs plus or minus 5 lbs. I have had the same size waist since my sophomore year in high school - about 32" max. I don't lose too much weight when I am not in the gym and I never, never gain weight by eating too much. I can gain weight when I am lifting weights regularly but I have absolutely no understanding of what it is to gain unwanted pounds. I cannot empathize with overweight people. I don't know what it is like to be overweight. I admit that I don't like it and I think that a lot of it has to do with lifestyle. I am very active. It is part of who I am. All the same, I recognize that I have been blessed physically - I got my mom's slender build and my dad's strength (thank you both).
In the gym, I am the guy that a lot of people envy: the big strong guys who work out to lose weight think I have got what they want and I am just big enough and strong enough to fall outside the 'too skinny' classification so even a lot of the skinny guys are trying to get to where I am (even if they only see it as one rung on the ladder they want to climb and not the final destination). There are always gym rats - they are not the people I am talking about though. When I say "a lot of people..." I am referring to the regular guys. I consider myself a regular guy and not a gym rat.
Don't misunderstand - I am not bragging. However, I won't diminish the truth in order to obtain some false sense of modesty either - that is not my style. So - now to what happened at the gym today:
I was there working out with two co-workers - a guy and a girl, two people I really enjoy being around. The girl is trying to gain weight and the guy is trying to tighten some things up and get stronger. Honestly, I think that he has the potential to get huge, that is the build he has. On the other hand, as far as I can tell, she has a real uphill battle ahead to gain the weight she wants. Bigger people may not understand, but I think that really skinny people have a harder time getting where they want to be in the gym. The reasons all come to diet. Bigger people can diet and work out and reasonably expect to lose weight if they are consistent and honest with what they do. The skinny people, in the mean time, who don't gain weight no matter how much they pig out have a very hard time because to gain healthy weight they have to be as active or more active than usual - which doesn't seem logically to lead to weight gain - and they have to do what already doesn't put pounds on their bodies - eat a lot.
Anyway, the girl was checking her stomach in the mirror and I lifted my shirt only a few inches to see myself in the mirror. It was not more than a second! As soon as I lifted my shirt this guy who I didn't even see in the gym calls out "I want that." Definitely talking to me/about me, and not to the girl I was working out with.
First thought that crosses my mind: Weird! It wasn't just some dude flirting with me. As weird as that would be, that would be less weird that this guy. After his little burst of enthusiasm, he comes straight over to me - definitely entering my comfort zone - and says to me "How can I get that?" Again, if this was a gay come on, I totally missed it (otherwise... - you pay for dinner... who knows, it might be a heck of a lot easier to 'get that' than you might guess). This time when he asked me how to get my stomach, he lifted his shirt as if I could somehow put a magic stethoscope on his belly and diagnose it right there. What am I, a cross between Richard Simmons and Dr. House? (That might give me nightmares!) It is not even like the guy was in really bad shape, he just has a bit of a beer gut. (But when I flex you can see the eight pack).
I told him that to get the lower abs cut that he was envying he needed to run (not jog). He asked if just dieting would do it. Isn't that just typical!? Everybody wants a runner's body - a runner's legs, butt, and stomach - but nobody wants to do that sort of work. To quote Ronnie Coleman, a former Mr. Olympia, "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder but nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight."
Anyway, the whole thing seemed to be pretty weird to me, but then again, I have never been in that guy's skin.


1 comment:

  1. LOL that IS a little weird. And thanks for affirming how crazy-hard it is for some people to gain weight! I had a sunday school teacher when i was in my early teens who used to say she wished she could take some of the fat from her overweight grandson and put it on me. Totally inappropriate and totally grossed me out!