Summer of Fitness 3: My Body is a Temple Ruin

Part of the motivation for my renewed interest in fitness these last few years is health related — a desire to combat the onset of obesity-linked diseases and remain healthy and active as my son gets older. Father Time marches me forward — inexorably and against my will — and I can either stay active and mobile for as long as possible or give up and totter around like I’m 80 when I’m 50. There’s no real choice, as far as I can see it.

That said, honesty compels me to acknowledge that a large part of my motivation is also pure, unadulterated vanity — I want to get ripped and look awesome. Having never had a period of my life where I was either in excellent shape or even aware that I was in pretty good shape, this looms larger and larger in my fitness goals. This is, of course, shallow, vain, and self-absorbed all rolled into one, but I don’t care. And whether this is for me, my wife, or random people on the street is immaterial, I think. Never underestimate the sentiment that underlies jokes I make like this, in which I’m not entirely kidding:

@ @ If my Summer of Fitness works, was planning to walk around AHA next yr in mesh tank top. That's okay, right?
Andrew D Devenney

I have been body conscious my whole life; being portly and out of shape for most of it will do that to you. I was extremely skilled as a teenager in cloaking myself in baggy clothes to better mask what I perceived as a whale body. There are whole years of my life where you couldn’t have paid me to be in public without a shirt on (at a beach, swimming pool, whatever). In fact, good luck finding a shirtless picture of me at all from the last eighteen years (two that I have in my possession and one that may yet remain in the hands of an ex, and that’s it, suckers). Even during my college years, when I was in the best shape of my life until now, I had no idea and still felt awkward in my own skin.

Reality says that such a dream is probably misguided; if I didn’t look like Charles Atlas when I was 20, I probably won’t be achieving that at 36 (not that I’m trying to look like Charles Atlas per se…). I mean, really, I know me as a person very well, and having the discipline to get ripped is probably beyond me. I like Coke too much, after all (side note: be on the look out for a future SoF post entitled “Coke will be the death of me”).

But whatever. If thinking that my body is a ruined mess forces me to get healthy and treat it a little bit more like a temple instead of a processed food disposal, then so be it. Ad astra per aspera, as they might say…


This is all a slightly morbid preface to my stats this week, which I was all ready to claim would be grim indeed, and then I weighed myself. Anyway, here they are in handy dandy list form:

  • Today’s Weigh-In: 246.8 lbs
  • Last Week’s Weigh-In: 246.2 lbs
  • Weight Change: +.6 lbs

Considering I had three days last week where I busted over 3000 calories consumed in a day, ate out and drank Coke like no tomorrow, and averaged 2936 calories for the week, I can’t be too damn pissed about this. Clearly hitting the gym six times last week mitigated all that lax eating I did. How does this work out overall so far?

  • Summer of Fitness Starting Weigh-In: 251.6 lbs
  • Overall Weight Change: -4.8 lbs

Here’s the progress in chart form:

Pretty much on schedule. The next few weeks are critical if I’m to keep the downward slope going.

Next week, I promise to stop naval-gazing and explore practical matters…like my workout routine. Honest.

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