Monday, January 13, 2014

Down To The Wire

Nine months ago, when I booked passage on the S.S. Boytanic*, anything seemed possible. I pictured myself and StevieB sitting on deck chairs in our Speedos, buff and tan, glistening with oil and bristling with abs. Oh, and we're drinking Mai Tais. I've never had a Mai Tai in my life, but I'm determined to make this vacation all about experiencing new things. You know... before it's too late.

My upstairs neighbor had just gotten pregnant. I figured if she can make an entire human being from scratch in nine months, surely I could crunch out a six-pack. And so last June I set myself to work and – aside from a calf injury, a summer cold, a disastrous Thanksgiving with the in-laws, and a shameful nog-fueled three-way with a Christmas ham and a cheeseball – I haven't let up.

But now that we're only a month out from the Big Gay Cruise, I'm coming to terms with the fact that what I'm seeing in the mirror now is pretty much how I'm gonna look in that deck chair. Good thing I didn't invest in that Speedo. Or oil.

I know I still have a few more weeks to chip away at what's left of the love handles. And, believe me, I intend to. But I need to be realistic and, most of all, I need to accept myself as I am. Which is easier said than done for someone who's spent the past six months shopping for swimwear online.

Anchors oy vey.
Nothing will skew one's sense of realistic body image like looking at a photo of a swimsuit on an athletic male underwear model while trying to picture how it might look on yourself.

Seriously, why can't they show what these swimsuits look like on average men? And if they did, would I still buy them? When I pick out a swimsuit that I like, am I really buying the swimsuit? Or am I buying a fantasy of how I wish to look?

And when UPS delivers the swimsuit that looked so hot online, I try it on and face myself in the mirror. It's times like this I wonder if I'm even anatomically correct. Where are MY deltoids? Where's MY Apollo's Belt? Where's MY adorable outie belly button?

I picture God working frantically at an assembly line. He's in a rush to finish me because it's been hours since his last smoke break. After pushing me through my mother's uterus, he wipes his brow, looks down and realizes he's got parts left over. He picks them up, looks around to see of any of the angels are watching and quickly stuffs them into Ryan Gosling.

That makes me smile and relax. In the mirror I realize I look better when I'm smiling and relaxed. I start feeling better about myself. Six-pack or not, I'm ready to frolic poolside with my shirt off and that's a huge improvement from how I felt eight months and 25 pounds ago. And that makes me smile even more. I look in the mirror and think, "Stop grinning, you look like a dork."

* Not affiliated with Brian Boitano.


  1. Trust me on two things: You look amazing. We are both going to have an amazing time, looking hot in our swimsuits. And… we'll just find people heavier and older than us to sit next to on deck. Look who will be the skinny bitches.

  2. 25 pounds is a great accomplishment!!!! As for the models for the swimsuits, I question the ads for the cruises themselves - that zero hair / zero body fat on everyone they show on those boats keeps me from ever booking a cruise, let alone pondering swimwear.

    And at least g-d gave your extra body parts to Ryan Gosling. Mine went to Kate Gosling!