Next step – the gym

Denying myself for 30 years had an unfortunate side effect; I quit caring about living. I wasn’t suicidal as such (at least not after the early years,) but I stopped giving a crap about my health. I suppose my fundamental thought was that there was no point in a long life if you have to live it alone, to never know really being in love and having a relationship with another guy.

As a consequence I put on quite a few pounds over the years, peaking at 310 lbs., although I have dropped about 30 lbs. or so since then. I am fairly tall (6’3″) so I can hide a few extra pounds, but 300+ is hard to disguise. Being overweight made it easy to adopt an even more sedentary lifestyle, so I also lost a lot of muscle tone over the years. Other than groaning when getting my fat butt out of the recliner, I didn’t really care. If anything, my being out of shape was an additional defense mechanism; if I didn’t find myself attractive I’d be less tempted to try to hook up with another guy, since I’m attracted to toned, athletic builds.

Now that I’ve accepted myself, I find that I have a renewed interest in life after all these years. Unfortunately, I’m still an overweight, out of shape blob.

Fortunately, there is a community gym in town that is very reasonable and has good extended hours. I’ve become a lazy bugger at the best of times, so the idea of dragging my butt out of bed and off to the gym on a regular basis is a bit daunting, but I’m also a bit excited over the idea of finally getting into shape. Fortunately, my brother used to belong to the same gym a few years ago, before he moved out of the area, and he used to go all the time with his best friend from high school. Jim hasn’t been going there since Pete moved, but he jumped at the idea of meeting me there on a regular basis when I asked him. I haven’t been in a gym, to speak of, since my Army days – long, long ago – so it will be nice to be able to work out with someone who already knows how to use the equipment, and the commitment to meet him there will give me an additional incentive to get up and do it.

I’m actually looking forward to going to the gym. Will wonders never cease?   Who knows – if I get into shape I might finally develop an interest in clothes beyond “does it fit?”

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"Dunrobin MacDhai" is a name I picked for myself decades ago, when I was in the SCA, in tribute to my Scots heritage. I always liked the Scottish name Dunrobin, and MacDhai is a Gaelic variation on my family's Clan name. I am a gay man in my sixties who finally accepted himself and came back out of the closet after more than 30 years of celibacy. A lover of Liberty, I am an anarchist and do not believe in the myth of "authority", whether it's the "State" or organized religion.

8 thoughts on “Next step – the gym”

  1. Rob, since you read Lew Rockwell and listen to Tom Woods, you may have heard of going primal. I’ve been doing it for a few weeks and I already use two more notches on my belt, my energy level is up, and my back pain, while not completely gone, has improved. Plus you get to say fuck you to the government’s food pyramid but staying away from whole grains. Look into it.

    1. Actually, I’ve been learning about the primal/paleo diet for a while, since a number of bloggers that I follow have gone over to it and praise it to the hilt. I bought myself a copy of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint for my Kindle. I even gave my brother and his girlfriend a couple of the Primal Diet cookbooks for Christmas, since they were curious about trying it.

      I can’t say that I’ve converted over to it entirely yet, but I have been cutting carbs out of my diet left and right lately. I’ve pretty much eliminated all of the junk food (I did have a piece of cake and some ice cream tonight for my sister-in-law’s birthday.) Instead of Doritos or potato chips in the evening, I have a Granny Smith apple and a little cheddar cheese, or I snack on a few almonds. I’ve already started loosing weight and I haven’t even started a full-fledged workout yet.

  2. Okay I’m missing something here. You gave your brother and his girlfriend cookbooks for Christmas yet you then state you were at your sister-in-law’s birthday party. Using my powers of keen observation I have narrowed it down to a possibility of four scenarios:

    1. Your brother got married between Xmas and now.

    2. You have a friendly relationship with your brother’s ex-wife.

    3. Your brother and his wife are hip swingers with an open marriage.

    4. You have more than one brother.

    So what’s the answer Rob? Inquiring minds want to know.

    In regards to going to the gym, the real bitch is actually forcing yourself to keep going. I’m not sure on the exact figures but I know the dropout rate (people who sign up for a membership then stop using it after a short time) is extremely high.

    1. LOL! I guess my comments can seem a bit confusing without the background. Basically, the answer is number 2 in your list.

      I do have two brothers (I’m the middle child.) My older brother lives in Arizona, and while we get along we haven’t been close for decades. My “little” brother, Pete, lives here in Michigan and is my best friend. When I came back to Michigan in 1988 for a visit while hitch-hiking out west again, he convinced me to stay and settle down, and I’ve basically lived with him off and on ever since. When he got married to his second wife, Nora, in the early 90s, they bought a house on a few acres of land in a rural county in Michigan’s Thumb area. Since the place they were buying had an attached “in-law” apartment (built in place of the original attached garage) so I moved out here with them, both to be close and to help with the mortgage, etc.

      When Pete and Nora got divorced about 10 years ago, and Pete moved out, I opted to stay and continue supporting Nora and the kids, and I’ve been doing that ever since. About a year and a half ago Pete met his current girlfriend, Sally, and he moved to the west side of the state to be with her. He only gets over here for a visit every other week, but the kids have visited with Pete and Sally a couple of times, I’ve gone there to stay with them for a week or so several times.

      So when I mention my “sister-in-law” I’m referring to Pete’s ex-wife Nora, and when I mention my brother’s “girlfriend” I mean Sally.

      I realize that making myself go to the gym regularly is going to be hard, especially since I have become inherently lazy over the years, but on the other hand I am really geeked about getting back into shape (if I’m going to enjoy gay sex again, I really need to build up some muscle tone and stamina.) I’ve also made arrangements to meet up with my brother’s old high school buddy (who also lives out here in the boonies and is also my life insurance salesman), and I think the added commitment to meet him at the gym will help push me to get going in the morning.

      I’m a creature of habit, so the hardest part will be the first few weeks. Once I’ve gotten myself into an established routine it should get easier – I hope!

  3. Oh I almost forgot; diet is about 60% of the battle so if you can keep the junk down to a minimum you’re halfway there. What most people seem to not realize is that minus some genetic anomalies the trick to losing weight is a balance between what comes in (the calories and whatnot that you consume) and the energy that comes out of you. I lead a more sedentary lifestyle now so I keep my eating to a minimum (which is hard for a stoner, as you know) but when I was training for marathon running I loaded up.

    Speaking of stoner, you haven’t quit that have you? Straight, gay, pansexual it doesn’t matter: the day you put down the joint is the day I truly no longer know you. So stay true to yourself, reward yourself after a good workout with a nice fatty and some almonds and before you know it the ripped beefcake you so desire will be knocking at your backdoor*.

    * C’mon, you can’t expect me not to make at least one off-color gay remark. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be Jim (or at least known as Jim at one time or another).

    1. I am almost shocked at how well I’ve been doing on the diet so far, considering what a junk-food junkie I was for most of my life. Possibly the most unbelievable development has been the total elimination of diet soda. I used to consume at least a two-liter every day – literally right up to going to bed at night. My friends used to kid me that I should just mainline the stuff. These days I have a couple cups of coffee in the morning, and maybe a glass or two of Crystal Lite in the evening, but I just drink water the rest of the time.

      Speaking of stoner, you haven’t quit that have you? Straight, gay, pansexual it doesn’t matter: the day you put down the joint is the day I truly no longer know you.

      May the Good Lord forbid! I’ll change my life and give up a lot for the chance at sex and love – I’ll even go so far as to quit smoking cigarettes for the right guy, and that’s an even bigger sacrifice than the pop was – but never the ganja.

  4. Rob, I know you said you’ve mentioned staying away from soda and sweets (which is wise as sugars are killer for both diabetes and preventing your body to burn fat), but what exactly are you eating?

    I’m about 5’8″ or 5’9″ and as of a few weeks ago I was up to 192, now I just hit below 180. All I do is walk for 20 minutes in the morning and during breaks at work, body weight exercises for a half hour twice a week, and I avoid wheats and sugars. It’s working great and I want to be about 150 – 160. I eat rotisserie chickens for dinner sometimes and still lose weight, and the great thing is I never feel deprived or hungry.

    You doing anything similar or different than what I’m doing?

    1. I’m basically doing much as you are – just taller and starting from a higher body weight. ;-D

      I’m basically following the primal diet; meat (and animal fat), vegetables and fruit, and like you avoiding wheat and sugars as much as possible.

      I peaked in body weight at 306 lbs about nine months ago. I didn’t change my diet much, but I did cut way back on the snacking and lost 17 lbs over the next couple of months. I haven’t weighed myself in the last week or so, but I think I’m down to about 270 now. I’ve already lost about 6″ around my waist line; still plenty to go, though.

      I’m only starting my workout regimen, so it’s too early for results yet. But if I can stick to three days a week at the gym and get myself a bicycle this spring I should be in halfway decent shape for an old fart this summer.

      Of course, I have an extra incentive to stick to it as well, now. I’ve met someone, and I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday in style this summer, if you know what I mean. [Wink, wink, nudge, nudge]

      (Bloody Monty Python! I’ve been watching the DVDs again today. That’s twice I’ve used that now.)

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