Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You are part of the night, just like me. We're not afraid of the dark—we come alive in it. We're thrilled by it.

Forgive the radio silence. A new year, and the new me still continues to percolate up. I'm happy to report that I'm now back where I started before my long Christmas holiday; despite big meals, long junk-food road trips, my Great-Aunt Dolly's lasagna via my sister, Christmas ham and riced potatoes and gravy, gooey Chinese take-out, beer, whiskey, short ribs with sauerkraut, port-wine cheese, chicken a la king and a trip to Matt's Bar (home of the Jucy Lucy!), I gained only four pounds. Not bad, and definitely not as much weight as I feared I'd put on.

But I did keep busy while on vacation, and tried to keep myself as physically active as possible. There was the snowboarding and the skiing and the ice-skating, all of them with a surprising dearth of wobbliness given that I've done none of them in over a decade, and then were the floor exercises. Jackie from PPCS was nice enough to email me a workout—something I could do without a bag or proper equipment—and my wife was nice enough to yell things at me while I sweated and groaned on the floor in front of the Christmas tree while the dog slapped me in the jaw with his wagging tail and Man Vs. Food played in the background.

I didn't do any running in Minnesota, since it was alternately blizzarding or cold as hell, and since neither my run-crazy sister nor my run-crazy cousin goaded me into it, for reasons of pregnancy and hangover, respectively. A good trip home, all in all, and I'm glad I came back only incrementally more pudgy than when I left.

Because I drank so often while in Minnesota, I haven't really felt the urge to do so since I've been back, which meant that I was the boring sober guy on New Years Eve who, instead of having fun, whined and went home by 11 PM in order to watch Back to the Future. The wife and I went out on Saturday for a fancy-ass steakhouse meal, and I did have a few glasses of wine then, but malbec is a far cry from bourbon shots. Oh, and I had a mimosa on Sunday and then took a nap.

I'm back in the groove workout-wise, with my goal being five kickboxing sessions a week. I'll need a few weeks of this—and a number of muay Thai classes—before I'm ready for Combat Conditioning, I've decided. We'll see how that goes.

I have 20 pounds to go, which may be an ambitious estimate, but one that I think I can accomplish in the next few months. It's hard for me to say what my ideal weight even is these days, since I've yo-yoed so much in recent years. At my skinniest as an adult, I weighed 150 pounds, but that was stupid skinny—Aaronrexic, my coworkers called me at the time. I also had no muscle whatsoever, just willowy fatless limbs onto which I could pull the teeny-tiny women's jeans I wore. My hipsterdom deserved a good slapping, and I got it, in a way, through completely fucking up my metabolism by never eating. I've been gaining weight steadily in the six or seven years since then. So 150 is too skinny, especially given the considerable amount of muscle I've been growing like some creepy sweaty petri dish. I'm shooting for 175. When I hit 175 on the scale, we'll take another look and see what needs to be done. I imagine that throwing villains off of cathedrals will be part of it.

Oh! Before I forget, I've obtained several Batman-helpful books over the past few months that I will now tell you about, because what are you going to do, stop reading? The first of these, which I ordered from Amazon about when I started, is The Batman Handbook, a truly goofy read which has helpful little sections on, say, how to fight someone using a whip or how to drive on two wheels or how to bulletproof your car. In that similar vein, my mother-in-law got me The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, which is really handy if you want to know how to escape from a locked trunk or ask someone, in French, to hand you a towel to mop up all the blood. The last was a terrific memoir by former Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, Born Round, in which he talks about his lifelong struggle with weight. Yeah, I know—Lifetime movie blah blah blah—but it's engagingly written and Bruni thinks about food in much the same way I do. (He also got, like me, super-fat.) These have been my dorky little companions.

Today: a regular-gym workout during lunch and then, possibly, a muay Thai class before pub quiz. We'll see.


  1. At the rate you're losing weight you should vanish sometime around late December of 2012.

  2. We'll ALL vanish around December of 2012. Mayans!