On the scale: Girl look at that body; I work out! | AspenTimes.com

On the scale: Girl look at that body; I work out!

Benjamin Welch
The Aspen Times

No angle was going to save this photo op. The closest thing was an obtuse angle, and that's just because it's the nearest spelling to "obese."

It's hard to take sexy mirror selfies when you're, you know, not that sexy. Like noticing security before stealing a painting, I thought to myself, "Better just leave this pic in the gallery."

I've learned a lot from Alex Jones over the years, but the most important lesson he taught me was this: If you flex, suck in your gut and still think "I look terrible," it's probably time to either hit the gym or go tanning.

I chose the former because I figured the souls of my Scandinavian ancestors would be more pleased with me getting beefed up like my cousin Leif Erikson rather than torturing my pasty beer belly with the scalding gamma rays of the sun.

And so I enrolled at a local gym, utilizing a company work benefit. I recognized the woman who set up my account from the advertisements. I swallowed a request for her autograph.

I strutted around the upper floor along with the wealthy old men of Aspen and pretended to enjoy views of Ajax while actually sideways-glancing the workout machine instructions so I wouldn't tear a rotator cuff or, worse yet, look like I didn't know what I was doing.

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I was buff once, chugging a gallon of whole milk and spending two hours a day at Planet Fitness, with pictures of Adonis statues taped over my glasses like a carrot in front of Julius Caesar's chariot horse.

And I was overweight once, unable to fit into anything fashionable in Marshalls' young men's section and having to dress in checkered vests and corduroy suits.

But here I now was somewhere in the middle, where you can't quite button your shorts anymore and have to resort to using a safety pin to afford you that extra inch of waistband. (Pro tip: Going commando will reduce a quarter-inch from your hips if you're right there on the cusp.) How do you do a seated overhead lateral raise again? How many times can I try to pull this extension lever out incorrectly before everyone realizes I'm a poser? Why does nobody want to talk MLB trade rumors at the water cooler?

Forty-five minutes later as well as a realization that two sets are more appropriate than three, I was back home, chugging year-expired protein powder and plugging in my massage pillow. I took a nap, drifting off to sleep while visions of Brock Lesnar danced thunderously in my head.

All of this was like, three weeks ago. I should probably go back.

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