Every few years I call the fine folks at Land's End catalog and say, "What was that last order I placed? You know, the one with the six pair of khaki shorts? ... Well, I want those same shorts, but in the next waist-size up."
This started two decades ago with a size 28 waist. I am now a size 36. Already I've broken my long-time law I set years ago, when I was 20-something: I said I would never let my waist size be bigger than my pant length. Ahhh, the naivete of youth!
Well, here I am at waist 36, length 34. And I gotta tell you right now: These 36's are hurtin' real bad ... I mean they're leaving an impression in my flesh that lasts for hours. My shorts are so tight that doing my Simba-roaring-on-Pride-Rock imitation in Glacier National Forest this summer caused them to split open in the crotch.
They are so tight that I have found myself running around the house in my underwear during the day ... not even aware of it until my wife so nicely pointed it out. ... Oh, I wear a shirt with them, the same one I put on that morning. I pretend to be fully dressed. I even find myself taking the trash out in my underwear and shirt ... or going out to get the mail. I've always thought that if people in underwear ACT like they're wearing regular chino shorts, then no one will even notice. Maybe I'm kidding myself. Should I ask my neighbors? Probably not.
I've tried to tell myself that a lot of this swelling waistline is new muscle from my workouts. I have gained 30-some pounds in the past two years, and most of that has indeed been muscle ... but only the truly delusional chap can flick at his stomach and watch it wiggle like Jell-O and say, "Man, I am ONE FIT DUDE!"
I will NOT call Land's End and buy those size-38 shorts. I mean it this time. Really, I do. I am not going to wear a size 38 waist. And that means I have to lose some weight. I go on book tour in three weeks, and I want to look good. But I can't look good with a muffin top (For those who don't know that phrase, a muffin top is the look you get from waistline fat spilling over too-tight pants, creating the silhouette of a muffin.)
Oh, what to change, what to change? I'm already a healthy eater. I eat at least 7 fruits and veggies a day. I rarely eat fast food. I don't drink soda pop or eat dessert or snack on candies, and that gin I drink nearly every night surely can't be the problem...
Yeah, yeah, I know....the problem is this: GIN.
I love gin. I love it with tonic. I love it with cranberry juice. I love it with a squeeze of lemon and dash of Angostura bitters. I love it plain. I love it A LOT!!!! And now that my daughter can drive herself everywhere and I am able to hang out all day long at home by myself ... well then there's no reason I can't have a cocktail at 4 o'clock, is there?
Signs of Ad in Decline: Drinking a martini on a Wednesday afternoon in his underwear ... reading The New York Times, perhaps (We don't have cable TV) ... but still, not a pretty picture.
Something's got to change.
So....I'm going to use this blog as a public arena for humilation. From this point on, I swear that I am going to divulge at the end of every single blog entry what I had to drink the day/night before.
It will amuse some of you, disgust others, and most likely frighten my wife and parents.
Last night: Two gin-and-tonics. CONFESSION: Most mixed drinks call for 2 ounces alcohol. I make mine with 4. So ... do I need to say that I drank FOUR or can I take my big-guy frame (6-2, 230 pounds) into account and say that I'm allowed larger gin amounts because I can absorb more alcohol?
What do you say, hmmm? Let's make a deal.