Welcome to The Portly Man

Here’s me attempting some accountability through very non-scientific trial and error.

I woke up way too fucking early today. My knee hurts but my full-body stress rash is finally starting to subside. The first time I noticed a stress rash was about a year leading to my divorce. It started on my abdomen and chest and kind of moved around my torso. It’s itchy as fuck and eventually leads to welts that scab as you scratch them. It’s wholly unpleasant. While my business was collapsing, the rash came back around Christmas of ‘22 after being dormant for a couple years and engulfed my whole body. I mean my WHOLE body. I’ve been treating it with oatmeal baths by Aveeno and switching between using hydrocortisone cream and Dermasil’s eczema relief cream. Finally it’s getting under control, however the underlying cause is still lingering, so I’m concerned this is just a band aid.

Last week, my girlfriend broke up with me. I was extremely in love with her. Before meeting her last year, I was pretty content to build a harem of friends with benefits and be single for the rest of my life. She was in the same boat, but we hit it off like beans and rice: great sexual chemistry, some healthy overlap in our music tastes and style, and a healthy amount of misanthropy. Plus, she is gorgeous. Unfortunately, a few months into our relationship is when my business started collapsing and I went into a pretty gnarly depression, which I’m just now barely digging myself out. I prioritized working extra hard thinking that more work = more money and more money = more happiness. Turns out this is kinda bullshit. She states that she wanted to break up because I had no time and that it’d be “best for me” to alleviate my stress. Of course “doing something for somebody else’s benefit” is just a modern, coded way of saying, “it’s not you, it’s me.” So it kind of hurts that we were so close and hot-and-heavy, but she couldn’t be honest with me about why she ultimately wanted to end things. It’d be a lie if I wasn’t thinking of breaking up the last few weeks of our relationship also. Losing my business was a crushing blow to me in many ways and she was hyper dismissive about it and expected life as normal. All-in-all, she got kind of mean and I became less and less attracted to her. Maybe we’ll be friends moving forward, but I’m not fussed if we are or not. The meanness and lack of empathy made the breakup kinda easy, but losing anyone under any circumstances has its pain.

I’m not bringing up my recent break up for any empathy or venting. It’s important because it is the impetus for this blog and journey as a whole. She made me realize I want a partner in life. I want a badass partner that has their own interests and hobbies. So I did what all males do when they’re lonely and feeling dejected, I reactivated some dating app accounts. I upload a couple recent photos, tweak my bio, and start swiping. I see some attractive people, some not so attractive people, interesting people, and it dawns on me: what am I truly looking for? I’m looking for a partner. My last girlfriend made me realize I want a person to share my life with. Somebody by my side during my good times, somebody I can support while they work towards their goals, and somebody to hold when shit gets rough. Passion and longevity is my kink. So what am I putting out there to these potential partner matches? A shitty body, overworked, stressed, but hey, I play a show and can get you backstage sometimes. That’s not enough.

Post breakup, I’ve been having ups and downs: can anybody love this portly man that snores like a strangled zoo animal? Yeah, sure, it’s happened before, so why not? But what about somebody that works way too much and still doesn’t have a lot of money? I mean, yeah, I can find ways to make life entertaining without a lot of cash. This tussle back and forth has been both gratifying due to the insight I can glean, as well as stressful and, frankly, horrifying.

Walking up at 3am this morning to this dichotomy made me really introspective. I don’t particularly deserve to hate myself. I’m by no means perfect, but I’m not all bad. But I need to do better. I need to do better for my kids, my career, and ultimately whomever decides to settle down and share the rest of our lives together. Like most chubby, middle aged males in my position, I grab my phone and begin scouring the internet for “how to lose weight” with additional keyword operators like “middle age,” “getting started,” and “home workout.” The dearth of specific information for me was shocking. There’s a lot of general stuff with photos of insanely fit people in stretched positions my large midsection could never achieve. If there was any imagery of somebody near my shape, it was a derivative drawing or 3d rendering of a grotesque te man torso. What in the fuck?

I realized the basic tenants of physical and mental health are universal for everyone; exercise, eat right, and don’t bottle up or drink away your feelings.

I found a simple exercise app called Better Me and decided to start there. Also found a couple articles demonstrating stretches for first thing in the morning and post workout stretches. So I just dove in. My fucked knee made a couple exercises difficult, but managed to get through today’s 7 minute workout with relative ease. And holy shit, I actually feel better! I’m kinda surprised.

Overeating has been a thing with me. I tend to get excited at each dish in a meal then wind up serving myself a full-meal sized portion of the protein/meat, vegetables, and everything then clean my plate. So each meal was actually 2-4 meals in one that I’d whorf down then get immediately tired and want a nap. This morning I tried to bust this cycle and oddly enough, my breakfast was satisfying. Not amazing, but satisfying – I should be able to get through the day. I don’t really have money to eat lunch downtown, so my next meal will be dinner after I get through my workday.

Holy shit this was a long post. I don’t expect every post to be this long or detailed. This will be used to journal what I’ve done, how I felt about it, and how I plan to do better moving forward. Maybe you can relate? If you can relate, let’s discuss in the comments.