I am going to a high school friends wedding this weekend, which necessitated my need to purchase some formal attire. I wasn’t going to buy a suit, but a sport coat, and some nice slacks. Just the idea of owning an overweight suit felt like I was buying my own burial clothes. I visited was Syms, which is a discount retailer that does business in about 12 states just think Marshalls but has a focus on men’s suits, sports coats, slacks, and shoes.
I was amazed to find a sport coat that fit me; I ended up buying a jacket in a 48R. I was also surprised to find a pair of slacks in a 44 waist which fit. I am presently wearing shorts which are a 46, but about a week ago it started to feel a bit loose, I don’t think I’ll do a wardrobe change until I can fit into shorts which are a 42 waist.
I ended up buying clothes which fit, but perhaps felt a smidge on the tighter side, I did so knowing that If I bought something which was a perfect fit I would wear it for this one occasion and probably never wear it again because it would be too big. At least this half size smaller increases the chance that I will wear it again sometime in the near future, but not in the long term future.
What gave me a bit of shock, and actually made me feel concerned, was the number of racks dedicated to pants sizes larger than 40. A 40 waist is a big size. I know this because when I was overweight in my youth I had a hard time finding pants that fit. 15 years ago finding pants which were larger than a 38 was difficult. Stores that did carry them typical had one or two styles in stock. You rarely saw a name brand company producing styles in sizes bigger than 40.
The sheer number of pants and jackets that I saw in these larger sizes tells me that we as Americans are getting too big, why else would a retail store dedicate so much space to those sizes unless they were being sold. I was also amazed to find Brand Name companies like Kenneth Cole with pants that were a size 48. Kenneth Cole the notoriously skinny legged pants company sells pants in a 48 waist, that’s like selling spandex to guy who weighs 400 lbs.
I don’t know how to feel about my recent clothing revelation, but it saddens me. Perhaps there is a big opportunity to help more people make the changes that I have, yet I can’t help but feel depressed that obesity is becoming accepted in our country. It would appear that so many of us who are overweight have struggled so hard and long, that they have just given up and decided to accept defeat.
Every time I go to the “Casual Men” store aka “Casually Loose Fitting Clothes to Cover my Large Ass”, I tell myself as I enter the store this is the last time I’m shopping here, I hate going to these stores, and you can tell the other shoppers in it don’t care for it either because they rarely make eye contact with other fat guys.
I don’t know what else to say about the subject, other than that I am sadden to see my struggle is far more widespread than I realized, because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone other than super skinny assholes who give fat people a hard time.
I do know for an absolute certainty that fat is not good, it is far from beautiful, it is surely not healthy, and most assuredly not jolly.
07/07/2011 Daily Recap
My morning workout with Ian was a less than stellar performance, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, and when I woke up I was more tired than I anticipated. The Crossfit workout from the day before, and my session with Ali proved to be more taxing than I realized.
Fortunately the diabolical work that he had planned was set at the pace that I could handle. We worked on the chest, triceps, and abdominals. Doing chest presses with Ian is always different, whether it’s in the combination of exercises or the motions themselves; he finds a way to make the movements more effective. The opening series of chest presses started with a light weight doing a set of 1 armed chest presses, I then picked up 45 lbs dumbbells and had to a set of 15 reps. What was different was that I would have to do 5 reps pulsating on the lowest 1/3 of the motion, then 5 reps going 2/3 of the way, and finishing with 5 strong reps. We did three sets of this exercise, and then moved to doing three sets of dumbbell flies changing the motion as we progressed.
Ian brought the TRX today; I did a handful of core exercises with my feet in the TRX. Doing TRX crunches, or TRX pikes is difficult. My session with Ian completed with a series of triceps exercises, including t-dips.
When we finished I felt beat, yet because I skipped my third workout yesterday I thought I needed to get a session in at Crossfit.
This was only my second full class at Potomac Crossfit. Today’s warm-up involved a short dynamic warm-up doing, butt kickers, high knees, high skips, shuffling, and leg crossovers. Following the dynamic warm-up we rolled right into an AMRAP. We had to do 5 Power Cleans, 5 Good Mornings, and then alternated with Handstand Push-Ups, and pull-ups. I scaled down and alternated between push-ups and ring rows. The AMRAP (as many reps as possible)was set for 10 minutes.
The actual meat of the workout involved doing dead lifts. Whenever there’s a day of heavy lifting in the WoD (work of the day), you normally have to do 3 warm-up sets with lighter weights before moving into the “work sets”. I started my work set with 185 lbs, then did 225 lbs, and finished with 245 lbs, each set I only did 3 reps. In hindsight I think I could have started with 225lbs, and worked up to 265 lbs.
The hour was finished up with a short metcon (metabolic conditioning). We had to do 5 power cleans, and 10 burpees, for 5 cycles. The first three cycles I did 105 lbs for the power cleans, and did burpees. In the final two cycles I had to go down to 85 lbs, and upped my burpees to the required 10 reps. It took me 6 minutes and 13 seconds to finish.
When I read this WoD the night before I felt intimated because I had never done Good Mornings, or full burpees the way Crossfit does them. An interested thing happened during my final round of the metcon. The guy next to me finished faster than I did, and he saw that I was struggling to finish the burpees, so he came over and started encouraging me to finish strong.
It’s a strange thing that a complete stranger can take an interest in my work, and just by the simple act of his encouragement I can find the strength to push harder when things are most difficult. What is it about the human condition which causes us to find things within ourselves by the simple act of an outside party telling us that we can do it, why is that this guy I have never talked to before in my life can give me motivation by just saying “finish strong”, or “you can do this”?
It was just another moment in a series of experiences which tells me that I always have more in the tank, and I really like the culture that is a part of Crossfit. If I have time I am going to try and make the 4:00 PM class tomorrow.