I closed Part II of this column by stating that I would argue that God is to blame for all my body issues – and all of yours. In truth, I had no intention of making that argument, but the NyQuil had me in its grasp and it seemed like a great hook for Part III.
I want to acknowledge everyone who took time to privately email me over that idiotic statement. I appreciate the discourse.
The Sizes Of Me; Lots Of ings In My Life
I stepped on the scale my first day of high school at 114 pounds – I was 5’7” tall. Today, I’m still 5’7” tall – apparently I quit growing vertically that very day. Since that day, I have spent at least one moment at every notch on the scale up to 240 pounds – for most of those moments I would consider myself to have been fit, whatever that really means. Despite that fitness, I have never liked how I have looked.
At any given period during my 40s, I might have weighed between 165 pounds and 190 pounds – depending on which look I was after, and which endeavors I was pursuing at the moment; running, cycling, bodybuilding, paddle boarding, heavy lifting – lots of ings in my life. It all depends on my mood…
Where My Mind Drifts, My Body Follows
Sometimes I might want to be a bit bigger – more bulky, and I like it that way though that aesthetic requires a bit more eating than I care for. When I’m bulkier, guys tend to feed on it as impressive. The shirt sleeves are filled out and there is an obvious sense that I spend time in my weight room. During my bulkier times, I tend to look pretty good in clothes, but you wouldn’t want to see me in a swim suit – not a sight for kids.
Other times I might be leaner, smaller, and have a more athletic look, and I like it that way though that aesthetic requires a bit less eating than I care for. When I’m leaner women tend to feed on it as impressive. The shirt sleeves might flap a bit, but the abs and obliques are in, so I don’t feel too bad taking my shirt off – right up until some male friend will ask me why I quit lifting weights.
Of course I’m never really in one of those places, bulky or athletic, for very long. Usually I’m in transition from one to the other – my fitness dyslexia. Sometimes running is calling my name, and a race is in my future. Other times it’s bodybuilding; once you’re bitten by that bug, you’re hooked for life. Other times still, my bike has been central – I have a 100 mile ride coming up in January. More recently, I have been pandering to all of these aspects of my mixed up personality and my body is revolting – if not revolting. I want it all, and I want it all at once.
I Blame Me
The truth is I’m not satisfied with my body, rarely satisfied with my activities, and never satisfied with how much, or how little exercise should fit into my life. I suppose my cranial wiring just can’t be satisfied with the concept of being satisfied. If nothing else, at least I’m consistent.
I don’t really blame God for my body-image issues. I don’t blame my mommy and daddy either; because they didn’t give me enough love or attention when I was a kid – they did, lots. There is no blaming Kevin and Kerry Mets either; the two twins who beat the crap out of me at the bus stop the morning of my first day of the 1st grade. There is only person to blame for my body-image woes; me, the king of myself, and creator of my own destiny(s).
Flipping The Switch
I am grateful, and sometimes in awe, that I know how to throw the switch from one ing to another; from running to bodybuilding, to some other ing, and back again. However, these continual transitions and transformations have me pretty messed up psychologically and physiologically. I think I spend more time in transit from one ing to another, than I spend in any fitness destination. I need to get good with that.
In the end, I work hard to remember that I am not on this Earth to look good, I am here to do good. However, I can’t escape my relentless desire to look good while I’m doing good. But even deciding which look looks best for me has been a life long struggle. In the words of Steve Earle, “I ain’t ever satisfied…”
I have to admit that at times I really do want to blame Kevin and Kerry Mets for some of my issues – but I don’t. You get bullied and beaten up on your very first day of school – in front of all your new neighbors, and it stays with you. I was bloodied that day, and that would not be the last time it happened. Due to a course of bullying throughout my elementary school years, I became introverted – until I discovered all of my ings.
Every so often I think what it would be like to come face to face with the Mets brothers now – what I would say to them. Of course I would probably just thank them. After all, everything I am and everything I have, I might just owe to them.
Lastly, though I might like not wholly like how I look at a given moment, through writing this series I have come to discover that it’s not so much that I don’t like how I look. I’ve come to learn that I ain’t ever satisfied with how I look… Be well, and thank you for reading these past three columns. rc
Oh, and there is this from Steve Earle — enjoy!