So I decided that I need to lose weight. Well, really…it wasn’t a decision but more like an acquiescence to the obvious, instantiated at that moment by not being able to simply look down and see which pair of shoes I’d put on that morning. And again later that day when I realized that I’m only guessing that I’ll be hitting the urinal once I let loose.
Like pretty much everyone else these days, I turned to technology to help out. I use an app to keep track of how many calories I eat each day. I had the same realizations as I think everyone else: holy crap candy bars are bad, and who knew pizza really isn’t mostly vegetables, and wow it really is a bad thing to eat a whole bag of potato chips. The app took away my ability to rationalize my diet and gave me a whole new metric by which I could judge myself everyday: The Line.
The Line connects points on a graph that represent how much I weigh each day. I fear The Line because I cannot control The Line. I cannot control The Line because losing weight seems not to be the logical function it appears to be. It stands to reason that if you eat fewer calories than you expend in a given day, you will lose weight. So either this reasoning is completely wrong, or my body defies the laws of thermodynamics. Because that bit above, where I downloaded an app to keep track of my calories? I’ve been doing that for like three years now. And I’m fatter. A lot fatter.
Assuming my logic is correct, that if I take in fewer calories than I burn I’ll lose weight over time, the problem has to be that I’m not burning as many calories as I need to. So, to that end, I’ve taken up something new: Yogging.
Yogging is this: you walk for a little while. Then you jog for a little while, roughly until you feel like you’re going to puke, pass out or die. And then you walk for a while, generally until your body forgets about how you almost made it puke, pass out or die.
Then you jog again while focusing on at least not puking in front of the skater-kids at the park who are like fourteen and have tattoos. And then you also try not to puke – or really even just spit – in the vicinity of the older ladies who’re walking around and you try to smile nicely at them even though your whole body really hates you.
Then you walk for a while, trying not to notice the gasping breaths you’re taking in and not making eye contact with anyone at all. Even though they look really worried about you. Which is understandable given that your face feels like it’s on fire and your heart feels like someone rigged a Ferrari engine to a lawnmower.
Then you jog again for a while. And you also try not to puke in front of anyone walking their dog because dogs always eat puke and just about one of the most awkward things you can think of is having your discharged dinner riding around in someone else’s dog’s belly.
Then you walk home and sit on the porch so that your lovely fiancée doesn’t see you in this state and can go on thinking of you as at least something of a manly man – who just happens to enjoy cooking and cleaning and laundry-day – rather than this can’t-hack-it lame-o who’s seriously done in by what is basically 30 min. of brisk walking interrupted by occasional bursts of lumbering jogs.
As you sit on the porch you question every single meal, snack, ort and treat you’ve ever eaten. You achieve a Zen-like state in which you ponder the mystery of why you can’t ever put the fork down. Once your breathing has returned to something like normal you go inside and tell her that yogging is kinda fun. You do not mention the number of times you nearly puked, passed out, or died.
You can, however, mention thinking ill of all those skinny people out there who run like it’s nothing, as though it requires roughly the same amount of effort as putting on a shoe. Which, by the way, you can’t do without moving either your gut or your shoe to one side. And you can especially think ill of those runners who run in pairs and have enough air to have conversations and tell jokes. You assume they’re telling jokes but recognize that they could just be laugh at you. And you can most certainly think ill of the clothing manufacturers who don’t make work-out clothes for the fat people who really need them so you not only look like a fat bearded guy gasping for air and not making eye-contact, you also look frumpy. You look like you don’t even have the good sense to nearly die in public in style.
And that’s my new program. Yogging: It’s ostensibly good for the body but probably questionable-at-best for the spirit. Nevertheless, it’s exercise, which I hear is good. And might give me some control over The Line, which is really what this is all about. My fear of The Line now outweighs my fear of puking, passing out, or dying right there in the park in front of all the skinny people and tattooed, pubescent skater-boys. And that’s just sad.