Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I feel an eating disorder coming on

My neighborhood is pretty devoid of life. We have lots of high-rise and mid-rise multi-family dwellings, so we’re theoretically packed with people. We have a dry cleaner and two banks and two storefront convenience stores and a whole grocery store and a Curves and a dentist and two restaurants and an Enterprise (who promises to pick us up) and we’re a block from the friggin’ beach, so we’re theoretically a hotbed of potential sidewalk culture.

But the people I see on our sidewalks are few and far between. And they’re usually clustered at the bus stops.

Oh, yeah. We have bus stops. Lots of them. One on every corner.

And each of our fancy new Chicago bus stops includes room for two six-foot-tall backlit advertisements.

And the two neighborhood bus stops I walk by the most are covered in six-foot-tall backlit abs. Sexy, flat, rippled, hunka-hunka-burnin’ man abs that taunt me every time I just try to go about my everyday, relatively-nice-abbed business:
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Full disclosure: Google couldn’t find me the exact Equinox ad from my neighborhood bus stop and I was too lazy to go take a picture of it myself, so the Jeremy Bloom image on the left is merely proxy abs.

And while the image on the right isn’t supposed to inspire me to do everything in my power to achieve a body like the one the model is sportin’, the whole no-meth message is lost on me the moment I lay eyes on his sixpack. And by the time my eyes have traveled slowly up to his soft, perky man nipples, I find myself wanting whatever magic substance he’s using to achieve such ripped masculine charms. So: not the best choices by the ad agency.

In any case, this daily, two-pronged absault (HA! ABSAULT!) makes me want to renounce my four-pound jars of Jif and devote my life to the worship of Dysmorphia, the bitch goddess of ridiculous self-image issues.

Which, in some ways, has helped keep me pretty honest in my gonna-be-half-naked-on-stage-in-April workout and diet regimen. Seriously! A trainer at my gym helped me revamp my workout in January, and it’s kept me in a constant feel-the-burn, watch-the-muscles-grow state since then. And I’ve kept my EZ-Bake Oven fired up to cook all kinds of vegetables and egg whites and lean-cut meats, and I’ve been satisfying my insatiable sweet tooth with fresh fruits and sparkling waters and skim-milk puddings. (This diet tastes better than it sounds. Honest.) And everyone knows that low fat + high protein + good calories + ass-kicking workouts = abtastic results. Right?


Well, kind of. While my abs stubbornly remain more ironing board than washboard—which is infinitely better than washtub—my legs and shoulders are showing gradual improvements … enough that two people have complimented me on them in the last week alone. And I didn’t even have to pay them.

In summary: I’m in no danger of dating becoming an Equinox model or killing a crystal meth poster child in my basement. I actually love plain, unflavored steamed vegetables. Jeremy Bloom and the guy he's proxying make me feel fat. In more than one place. And Dysmorphia Pudding would make a great drag name.

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