Every man has had a battle of the bulge.
No, not THAT bulge, you perv! Get your mind outta the gutter!
I’m talking about the bulge ABOVE your belt.
The spare tire.
The love handles.
The beer gut.
Whatever you call it, by the time a guy reaches middle age, his metabolism isn’t what it used to be.
Take me, for instance.
I watch what my teenage son eats at home and I am positively aghast at what he inhales. And when his older brother was home, his butt was constantly sticking out of the fridge, his muffled voice crying out that there was nothing to eat.
But then I recall what I used to eat and drink when I was a teenager.
Back in the day, it was nothing for me to chug almost an entire 64-ounce bottle of Coke.
My food pyramid looked more like a pie chart, with the emphasis on “pie.”
Pizza. McDonald’s. Hot dogs. Fudge brownies.
And Friendly’s ice cream. Those Reese’s peanut butter cup sundaes that come in a goblet big enough to fit both of your fists? Oh yeah, that was my go-to dessert when I was in college.
Through my early to mid-20s, I was able to keep my weight fairly under control. But then came kids, long hours at a stressful job, home ownership and more stress.
Doughnuts and coffee at 3 p.m. followed by peanut butter and chocolate with a Kahlúa-and-milk chaser at midnight did little for my health or waistline.
And here’s the thing: Deep down, I knew I was doing destructive things to my body. I felt it in my bones (literally), my clothes and my energy.
By 2001, I was around 220 pounds and feeling every last ounce of it. I was getting winded going up the stairs.
I buckled down and on my 37th birthday, I put on a 30-minute exercise video. I got through 10 minutes of it and – as Roseanne-Roseannadanna used to say on “Saturday Night Live” – “I thought I was gonna die!”
Fast-forward, and next month I’ll mark my 14th year of my “exercise sobriety.”
I work out an average of four to five times a week. I’m doing P90X and Tony Horton workouts, lifting weights and doing a variety of cardio and other exercises.
Pedro is a similar success story. He’s literally half the man he once was, having lost about 130 pounds. He looks great and dresses like a boss!
In this episode of About Men Radio, Pedro and I discuss our struggles with our weight, what our stress eating habits are like and how we modified our lifestyle to live better.
None of this is easy but it’s to point out that Pedro and I are just like you — dads, husbands and worker-bees with a thousand different push-me-pull-me stresses in our lives.
Share with us stories of your struggles, setbacks and successes at firstname.lastname@example.org
If we can do it, so can you.
Have a question or a comment? Write us at email@example.com