The scale is digital. The plate rests on the floor of the men’s locker room at the UA rec center, while a little digital readout is way above my eye-line.
I’ve struggled with my weight, alternating between healthy and overweight for long enough that we can’t call it baby fat. I’m just unhealthy.
There’s no secret to this, I don’t exercise enough.
My career choice of writer is problematic, but by no means endemic. Better writers have managed to deal with this: for instance, Haruki Murakami wrote a book about long-distance running called “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.”
I also eat like someone on a Food Network reality show. I’ve horked down two cheeseburgers in a day and knocked out a breakfast burrito for a midnight snack.
Let’s review: I don’t exercise and I eat like shit. Which, could be fine although I’m shortening my life and also increasing my risk for diabetes, stroke and a half-dozen other diseases. And, that’s not a great trade-off when I think about it.
But, I have a bigger, more recent problem. I have a son.
And, that creates two significant challenges: I exist as a model of behavior for him—whatever imprints of his life are beginning now and I don’t want my faults handed down. Second, I am 36 and he will be three; I want to see him graduate high school, I want to see him get married, I want to see his children. And, I cannot do that if my heart explodes after too many Sonoran hot dogs.
There are, of course, no guarantees. When I was 17, a kid in our high school dropped dead on a soccer field. Various friends and acquaintances have died from cancer, car crashes, bad luck, suicide.
I may buy myself a few years, but die early anyway. But, at least I’m buying the time where I can.
So, I’m working at it.