I came to college at 17 years old. At the time I had bad acne, braces, a terrible haircut, and weighed about 150lbs. Now I now what you’re saying. “150lbs is nothing to sneeze at”. Well I am also 6’6. I didn’t gain the “freshman 15” while not exercising like I had in high school. I played some intramural sports but never ran or hit the gym besides one semester where I swam about a mile a day.
I didn’t gain weight until the summer after my sophomore year when I moved to Detroit and worked construction. There a steady diet of job site food, Gatorade, and physical activity at work coupled with working out at home finally put some weight on me. I bulked up to a respectable 215.
After college (the first round), I bounced around doing a variety of jobs. Some sedentary (selling health and life insurance in Detroit), some active (working in a warehouse in Mount Pleasant, giving pirate themed tours of the Charleston harbor, working carrying tourists luggage downtown). Some a combination (bartending and working the door at bars). My weight slowly crept up.
Then it happened. I moved to Memphis. I loved my time in Memphis. The people are great, only NOLA has a equal music scene, I love the Memphis Grizzlies, etc etc. I would move back to Memphis. It is an incredible city. But… and here it is… Memphis does not have the walk ability of Charleston, nor Charleston’s access to more healthy food options. (I’m sorry Memphis friends and family, I love you). Eating healthy in Charleston, at least the majority of meals a week, is not a difficult task for someone with my socioeconomic status. In Memphis, it was. That and I stopped walking most places and had to drive. I got fat. Like pie faced fat. Like yo momma is so fat she looks like Mike. Like…that fat is going to lead to heart disease, have another French fry and pork sandwich you piggy. Piggy piggy piggy.
Meanwhile while all this had happened to me, my wife started running. Like running further than I like to drive. When I met my wife she couldn’t run a mile and now she was running the type of race self important people put stickers on the back of their Toyota 4Runner for.
Memphis weight gain
Moving back to Charleston I looked around and saw all the good looking people and realized that I needed to get back into shape. I started doing crossfit at a local place (Crossfit Discovery on Society St). It was expensive but I was going about 4 times a week. I was getting into pretty good shape again and was having fun doing it. I dropped 50lbs and I was feeling great. Mentally I was doing fantastic, I felt like my prowess in the bedroom was on point, and I had the energy that I had when I was 22.
And then it happened. I didn’t listen to the instructors and blew my back out. I went to the hospital where they told me that I needed to rest for at least a month and gave me pain medication for my back.
I’ve never been good at drugs. I’ve tried a couple different ones in my time, but the one I’ve been around most in my life is pot. If you want to see a large man curl up in a corner and not move for hours just give me one hit of weed. I am terrible at drugs. The prescription ones as well. The pain medication they prescribed, while effective at easing my pain, made me depressed. When my month of rest was over I tried to go back to Crossfit but at this point my friend had stopped doing it, I was depressed, and the cost of a membership was no longer viable. And the fear of blowing my back out also scared me.
All of that and I didn’t put on much weight. I was still walking many places and I was eating fairly healthy. I didn’t put on the weight until my wife got pregnant. It’s not like she started craving bacon wrapped moon pies all of a sudden (for one she’s a vegetarian). She started wanting biscuits and French fries all the time.
And now I’m back up to around 255lbs again. But I’ve got a plan this time. I’ve started doing water aerobics occasionally with a friend (which is really funny to watch. My friend is a small lady and I’m a giant. I imagine it looks like a mastiff and a purse dog slashing around in a pool together). Eventually my back will get stronger and I’ll start swimming again to ease the pressure on my joints and trim some of this fat.
My wife and I. She’s 8 months pregnant, I’m fat
Meanwhile my wife, who gave birth 2 months ago, looks like a model. I don’t know what I did for my smart, accomplished, fearless, and beautiful wife to pick me but I’m sure glad she did.