Body Consideration

I’ve been a thick man most of my life. I’ve got a stout body, with thick thighs and broad shoulders, and have almost always been heavier than I should be. There were those brief and fleeting years of being near my perfect-weight (for the BMI chart, at least), where I had gotten so thin from running/starving myself/avoiding my mental health demons, but that never lasted. Not like my current weight/size has.

Currently, I’m sitting between 190 and 200 lbs. I still have about a 32” waist, and my damned 31/32” inseam, and still at 5’9”, where I’ve been for about a year and a half.

Right now, I’m debating my direction with my fitness. I am torn between two physiques. One involves me doing a deep-dive into cardio, into really limiting my calories (and carbs) to lean out again, to shrink, to show the muscle curves under my flesh a bit more. It’s a familiar chase for me – I’ve done that sort of routine and regime a number of times, with some success.

On Mount Hood, sitting at around 175lbs, thinner without starvation, but no gym, only cardio and bodyweight workouts during COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, 2020

But there’s this newer, more powerful version of me, sitting here, writing this out. I’m sipping my morning coffee, about twenty pounds heavier than I was two years ago, and wondering if this is where I want to be. Since the gyms reopened after being shuttered to help slow the spread of COVID-19, I made a choice to grow. Really, really GROW. I wanted to put on as much muscle as I could, instead of chasing ”thin” and, for a time, that’s felt really good. I still enjoy it, really. I enjoy adding more weight to the bar, more reps to the circuit, and all of that. But that growth has come at a weird cost. I am running smack-dab into some old emotions, still, about the size of my body and my acceptance among others. I guess maybe I need to adjust who those ”others” might be. I’m still figuring it all out for myself.

Thicker, stronger, 195lbs, muscle growth across chest, back and legs, eating a bit more to foster the growth, April 2022

As I stand now, these arms have powerful hugs. This chest is strong and firm. My shoulders are powerful and defined, as is my upper back. I have legs that can move and press over 600lbs multiple times. I can do things I’ve never been able to do before. If this is Dad-Bod, then I’m embracing it with my full force.

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