This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
Look, I know this might be a little harsh but it has to be said. The weight gained during pregnancy can be understood to a point, but it got out of hand toward the end. It’s been a month since Will was born and the fat is still there. There’s just no excuse to keep that extra weight hanging around now and quite frankly, not only is it unhealthy but it’s downright unappealing too. And I don’t want to hear the cheap excuses about how hard it is to eat right while taking care of a baby and not being able to find the time to work out. That’s all nonsense. If you want to look better you’ll always find a way. And I’m sorry to be so caustic, but it’s time to find a way because all that fat…well, it just completely turns my stomach.
That’s why I’m hell bent on deflating this spare tire around my midsection!
You thought I was talking about my wife didn’t you? I can just picture all the women out there reading the first paragraph as they prepared to form a lynch mob and tear me limb from limb. But first of all, my wife is a goddess and has already lost more than half of her baby weight. And second, I may be dumb but do you really think I’m ever going to put it in print that my wife could lose a few pounds? I’m honest and everything, but I’ve also become very attached to my testicles over the years and I don’t feel there’s any reason to risk losing them by commenting on my wife’s weight. Which is perfect. Got that honey? You’re perfect.
But back to the matter at hand…
I’m fat. I’ve always been heavy but when I started dating MJ she taught me how to eat right and exercise, so I ended up losing more than 30 lbs in 2005. But after a car accident, our wedding and MJ’s bout with Crohn’s Disease left us fairly inactive, I started to gain that weight back. And then when MJ got pregnant and started craving all sorts of snacks and junk food, everything went to hell. You see, I’m a very weak man and I depend on MJ to regulate the food that enters the house. I also need her for portion control because I will eat whatever is in front of me. I’m not kidding. When we first started dating MJ cooked 3 lbs of chicken for dinner one night, thinking we’d eat some and then eat the rest for leftovers. Well I ate all the chicken that night. The same goes for pasta. If you cook a box of pasta, I will eat the entire thing in one sitting. Ice cream, bags of chips…you name it and I’ll devour it.
And guys, here’s one thing no one really tells you when your wife gets pregnant. You will gain “sympathy weight” along with your wife during pregnancy. I gained about 15 lbs because my wife is the one who restricts my diet. But when she’s craving Oreos, Kit-Kats, ice cream and Burger King that means you have to run out and get them for her. And so you think “Hmmm…well if she’s having some I think I’ll pick up a little bit for myself.” And pretty soon I was exploiting her sudden sweet tooth by offering to go out for ice cream or order chinese food or pizza. Pretty soon it looked like I was the one who was knocked up and instead of helping my wife lose her baby weight, she needs to worry about me getting back down to size.
Thankfully I’m not alone. Most of my friends are big guys because we like to eat, drink beer and watch TV. Most of us are also married, some with kids, and we’re living a more sedentary lifestyle than ever. On Sunday I received a call from two of my good friends who were visiting each other, and they told me about their idea to combat this problem. Within minutes a plan was formed and — voila — Weight Loss Death Match was born!
It’s $100 per person and we have just more than three months to see who can lose the most weight. We’ll all weigh in when we get together in mid-August for our fantasy football draft, and whoever has the lost the largest percentage of weight gets all the money. This is the perfect way for me to lose weight because it involves competition and the need to humiliate and defeat my friends. Should I want to lose weight on my own so that I’ll feel better, live longer and be able to play with my son without running out of breath? Yes. But unfortunately, that’s not how I work. I need motivation, incentive and the recognition that comes with being the winner. That’s why I’ve been on the elliptical machine twice a day for the last two days, MJ is restricting my diet again and I’m going back to the gym. When I weighed in on Sunday I was 246 lbs and my goal is to get to 215 lbs by August. In the meantime, I’m mailing pies, cookies and sweets to my friends and sending them demeaning text messages to psych them out.
So mark my words, this sympathy baby weight will be history by summer’s end. I’ll do it for my son, for my wife and to regain my self respect. I’ll do it so I can take my shirt off again at the beach without blinding other beachgoers and passing mariners. I’ll do it so I can live longer and feel better. And I’ll do it for the money, because — let’s face it — I’m broke and could use the dough.