Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One year ago today

I officially succumbed to the plague of aging gay male vanity and I met with my personal trainer for the first time. I had one goal: get huuuuuuuge. Plus not look 40. Plus maybe get a modeling contract with Hot Topic.

And since I was forking over staggering amounts of money in personal training fees anyway, I used what was left of my credit card to invest in a private warehouse of hardcore training supplements too. And I hired a nutritionist to make sure I wasn’t sabotaging my gym efforts every time I stuffed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich down my throat. (It turns out my three-sandwich-a-day habit wasn’t the best thing for my personal transformation, but it wasn’t the worst either. And if I just cut down on the jelly, my nutritionist assured me I could still enjoy my thrice-daily fix without much guilt.)

Right before I hired my trainer, someone forwarded me this time-lapse video of a guy going from noticeably out of shape to distractingly in shape:

It was the perfect complement to my vanity binge, and I decided to record my progress in my own video … which would probably get me right in with the Hot Topic people once it went globally viral on YouTube. I also thought I could make a WAY cooler video because I’d QC my surroundings so it didn’t look like I lived in a Dumpster. Plus I’d use something ironic for music. Like I Feel Pretty. Or You Must Love Me. Or Ladies Who Lunch. Or I’m Still Here.

So I dug out my tripod (an impulse purchase I’d made years ago that finally had a purpose!) and set up my camera and snapped a picture of myself in my gym shorts the night before my first training session. Then I waited until the next Friday and did it again. I decided I’d take my pictures on Friday nights since I get up early to run on Saturdays so I usually don’t have Friday-night plans. Like a loser.

But after two months, the pictures I’d pulled off the camera didn’t show much progress. Plus we actually had a surprising number of Friday-night plans so I kept forgetting to take more pictures. Plus we didn’t have room to set up the tripod in a permanent location with permanent footprints taped on the floor, so I wasn’t ending up in the same place in every picture I took.

And when I finally decided to get the video started, I fired up the free iMovie software on my computer … and promptly accomplished nothing. iMovie is NOT very intuitive. Even when I read through the tutorials, I still couldn’t figure out how to upload my photos, move them so my body was generally in the same place in each one, and create a movie that scrolled through the images at a fast, even, wow-look-at-that-dramatic-transformation speed.

So by the fourth month, my grand video project had become little more than a folder of pictures hogging space on my hard drive. And while I was definitely growing, I wasn’t growing dramatically. So my dreams of hugeness, YouTube stardom and Hot Topic celebrity modelhood died. As they should. Because I probably would have made a 40-year-old fool (OK, a bigger 40-year-old fool) of myself by making this video and then actually showing it to people.

But! One year later I’m in the best shape of my life. I have more energy, I feel healthy, I sleep well (possibly too well), I fill out my shirts like I’ve never filled out my shirts before … and I seem to have advanced a level in You’re Cute So I’ll Talk To You®, the silent blood sport that takes place everywhere gay men gather in tight clothing. Which is not necessarily an accomplishment, but when you’re terminally shy around strangers, bar talk with a vapid social climber is far more fun than hiding in a corner behind a leafy plant.

Plus! Today is just the first of a string of epic anniversaries I’m celebrating in July. (Actually, it’s the second. Sunday was the two-year anniversary of my proposal to the domestic partner. But we both forgot about it and he was out of town anyway and we still haven’t nailed down what we want to do for a wedding so we’ll just celebrate that anniversary the next time around.)

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