Love Handles: Chapter Twelve

6.19.2005

By Bob Merrick

Out.com is proud to present the wacky and wild (and absolutely true'although some names have been changed to protect the guilty) adventures of a 30-year-old guy in Hollywood who just wants to lose a few (dozen) pounds. And find eternal happiness and fulfillment. Is that too much to ask?

Part Twelve: Moving On Out

Every year until we graduated high school, we were placed in front of a backdrop where we would contort our faces until the flash would go off. 'Next!' the photographer would yell as we were herded off like sheep to pick up our textbooks. These yearly photos documented our entire development process and all the social trends we suffered through.

From picture to picture, you can watch the march of time in stages: from the awkward, large Adam's apple to the bad acne to the depths of puberty to the Flock of Seagulls hairdo'until you finally emerge like a swan for your senior portrait. Somehow, after we hit 18, unless we pursued modeling as a career, the only documentation of our growth and changes are recorded in random snap shots.

A few weeks ago, my friend Eric Scot, an insanely talented photographer, asked if he could shoot me.

'With what?' I deadpanned. 'You want me to be your clay pigeon?'

'No, I'm trying to build up my portfolio and I think you have a great face and I would love to shoot it.'

I was speechless'a position I am usually in only when stuffing a cheeseburger in my mouth.

He went on: 'If you're comfortable with it, I would like to shoot the side of you most people don't get to see. I want to shoot your sexy side.'

Do I have a sexy side? I wondered. Throwing caution (and inhibition) to the wind, I agreed.

When the shoot was over, there wasn't just one, but multiple shots that actually looked great. As soon as I got home, I immediately replaced self-taken snap shots of my grin with new polished shots on my various online profiles like Myspace and Friendster. It has done wonders for my self-confidence and helped me to recognize something in myself that I have had trouble accepting: I might actually be good-looking. The response has also been incredible online and I am not ashamed to say, I have a few dates pending my return from my upcoming Italian vacation.

I have also discovered a new exercise that not only kicks my ass, but helps me lose it too. It is called moving. For a week and a half leading up to the move, I had no time to work out, but not to worry, I also didn't remember to eat. This is a perfect program for someone like me who reacts to food like Tom Cruise reacts to Katie Holmes. Plus, the endless purging of my belongings lightened my proverbial load. Old possessions lost their luster and value as I've made room for new ones. Old photos I had forgotten about stared up at me from boxes reminding me to stop thinking about what I still don't have or haven't accomplished, but to keep in mind all that I already have and have done.

By moving day, there was no way to prepare my body for the onslaught of physical exertion. No miles run on the treadmill, no Slimmons-ing, no yoga stretches or Dodge Ball-ing trained me for the heavy lifting, box after box. I used muscles I didn't know I had to wedge a bookshelf in the door after carrying it down a long driveway. And it didn't just last for an hour or two. No. It has been one week. I still haven't gone to bed before one in the morning after long sessions of unpacking and endless sweating. Who needs a treadmill? I'll just move every week.

When I did get around to eating, I admit I felt no guilt eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and when my friend Joe showed up in the afternoon with pizza, I didn't even hesitate to stuff several slices in my mouth. I believe I was burning more calories than I was consuming and was staying well under my 1,800 calories a day because of it.

So far, I have donated several large boxes of clothes that are now too big for me to the Goodwill. I refuse to hang on to them in fear that someday I might fit into them again (which, in the past, I would have kept as a 'just in case'). It has been a very cathartic experience. I am feeling very 'out with the old and in with the new.'

The other piece of exciting news is that I have lost another nine pounds, which means that all of my drops in the bucket add up to 46 pounds. Richard Simmons will be so proud. It is just over my halfway mark, which is fine since I am six months in. It may not be happening as quickly as I'd like, but I also have never been so encouraged and inspired to keep moving on.

This week I am off to Italy for my 31st birthday. I am putting no pressure on myself to maintain my 1,800 calories a day, nor am I giving myself the freedom to indulge and overeat. I am just encouraging myself to have a good time and enjoy all that I have. I'll be curious to see the scale when I return. In an effort to keep my inspiration up, I have printed out a photo from the shoot and put it in a frame. To the uninformed, it may seem vain. But for me, it is about learning to love and appreciate myself and all of the effort I am putting into me.

To read part eleven, 'I'm Getting Very Sleepy'' click here.

To read part ten, 'Who's Got the Pain?' click here.

To read part nine, 'Old Habits Die Hard,' click here.

To read part eight, 'Taking A Fresh Dip in the Dating Pool,' click here.

To read part seven, 'A Walk Down (Unpleasant) Memory Lane,' click here.

To read part six, 'Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures,' click here.

To read part five, 'Sex, Lies, and the Internet,' click here.

To read part four, 'Sweatin' with an Oldie' But Goodie,' click here.

To read part three, 'What Happens in Vegas, Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas,' click here.

To read part two, 'Let's Get Physical,' click here.

To read part one, 'Resolutions and Commitment,' click here.

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